By Chris Bavender
The Community Foundation of Boone County was awarded a $1 million matching grant challenge in early January from Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Eligible community foundations were invited to apply for grants ranging from $500,000 to $4 million based on the population of the counties the foundations serve.
“The grants are designed to encourage residents and others to give generously to grow community foundation endowments and to fund local community needs,” said Kristi Reynolds, president and CEO of CFBC. “Due to the size of Boone County, we were able to request a grant of up to $1 million.”
The Foundation applied for the grant in November 2018 and received approval the following month.
The CFBC currently has just above $22 million in endowed investment funds, according to Reynolds. It has 203 funds established by donors, businesses and organizations to support students or charitable work in the county.
“To encourage residents and others to support unrestricted endowments in local communities, the endowment will provide $2 for every $1 donated to our Community Impact Fund,” Reynolds said. “This is the fund used to support local granting to nonprofits serving Boone County and to address the most pressing needs locally. All gifts, large and small, will be essentially tripled to unrestricted funds.”
Reynolds said if the community can raise $1 million, Lilly Endowment will match it in various funds that would increase the local endowment impact by $2 million.
“An additional $2 million in endowment funds means at least $80,000 more a year, every year forever, to grant and support students and local needs,” Reynolds said. “When you think about what those dollars can do every year for generations to come, the impact is immeasurable.”
The endowment will award an additional $100,000 unrestricted grant if the CFBC achieves full support from board members through June 2020.
“It’s too soon to know what they will decide how those dollars will be used, but our mission is to unite people, organizations and philanthropy to create a thriving community for all,” Reynolds said. “Our sole purpose is to help Boone County thrive.”
The CFBC was created in 1991 with $15,000 in startup gifts and a matching grant from Lilly Endowment.