The Marshall County Community Foundation has received a Community Leadership Grant of $100,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. The grant will support the Marshall County Crossroads team and increase their capacity to address community development needs by sponsoring enFocus Fellows over the next two years.
The Marshall County Community Foundation is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities in the towns, cities, and counties they serve. Lilly Endowment expects to make additional GIFT VII grants in the coming months.
“The opportunities presented by the GIFT VII grant will help improve the quality of life for Marshall County residents. Over the past eight years, enFocus has placed over 800 young professionals into communities across northern Indiana to discover, design and implement innovative solutions to build better communities. We are thrilled to have their strategic insights to complement and invigorate the work of the Crossroads team,” said Linda Yoder, Executive Director of the Marshall County Community Foundation.
As part of GIFT VII, the Marshall County Community Foundation was awarded a planning grant in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize, and assess opportunities and challenges in Marshall County. In March 2020, the Marshall County Community Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.
“The timing is perfect! After two years of regional planning and collaborating with over 100 volunteers, Marshall County Crossroads is now a new 501c3 nonprofit. enFocus will bring their entrepreneurial lens to this work, adding stability, consistency and creative spark,” said Yoder.
With this grant, the Marshall County Community Foundation Board seeks to solidify the Foundation’s leadership role in implementing the Marshall County Quality of Life Plan by sponsoring an enFocus team. The enFocus Fellows will aid as needed in discovery with data collection and analysis, strategic research, and opportunity assessment. They will assist with coalition building where additional support may be needed. They will also aid in building organizational strength by implementing solutions and by sharing project management, training, and evaluation techniques.
“The Crossroads team released a Quality of Life plan this summer that centers on ten key pillars. We are grateful to Lilly Endowment and excited to see how this grant will provide a foundation for enhancing our county’s health and wellness, education, arts and culture, leadership development, and housing work and so much more,” said Yoder.