Working together for ‘Big Impact’

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Hancock County Community Foundation is offering a new $25,000 grant opportunity encouraging collaboration among area nonprofit organizations.

The Big Impact grant, part of the foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration, will be awarded to a program, project or capital improvement project with a long-lasting positive impact on the community, officials said. Any Hancock County nonprofit organization, from human services organizations to arts organizations, may apply, but special consideration will be paid to those applications showcasing collaboration among nonprofits, officials said.

“What we want is for organizations to think holistically about how to enrich and enhance the entire county,” community foundation president Mary Gibble said.

Organizers are inviting organizations to first submit a letter of intent about their project, said grants officer Kara Harrison.

“The letter of intent is not as intensive as a full application,” Harrison said. “It’s designed to make the process easier. It allows nonprofits to be very thoughtful throughout the process.”

To be eligible, applicants from a nonprofit serving Hancock County must present a program or project that is sustainable beyond the grant funding, or that will have a long-term significant impact on the community, officials said.

Organizations must prove the project will serve a community need, and eligible organizations must be in good standing with the community foundation, meaning all evaluation reports on previous grants have to have been filed prior to the application.

Gibble said the grant opportunity is unusual not only because of its large amount but also because organizations are permitted to submit more than one proposal.

“It’s different than anything we’ve done before,” Gibble added.

Ellen Kuker, Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department superintendent, is among several representatives of municipalities working together to apply for the grant. Their project would help to hire a consultant to create a map connecting all of Hancock County’s trails.

“It is an amazing opportunity for all of these organizations to work together for one goal,” she said.

Letter of intent forms for the Big Impact grant are now open and are due by 4 p.m. May 5. An application process will continue this summer, followed by finalist presentations in the fall. Awards will be publicly announced at the community foundation’s 25th Anniversary Gala, planned to be held Dec. 2.

Big Impact grant timeline

The Hancock County Community Foundation’s Big Impact grant invites nonprofits serving Hancock County to collaborate on a program or program and request up to $25,000 in funds. Here’s a look at important dates for those considering an application:

May 5: Letters of intent due.

June 12: Applicants are notified of their letter of intent status and are provided access to the full application.

Aug. 18: Applications are due by 4 p.m.

Oct. 3: Finalists are notified and invited to present before the grant committee.

Nov. 6: Applicants present to the grant committee.

Nov. 17: Winning applicants are notified.

To apply, visit

For more information, contact Kara Harrison, community investment and grants officer, at 317-462-8870, ext. 226 or

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or