Grants — the gifts that keep on giving

Caring people who identify the Hancock County Community Foundation as a vehicle for giving come to know that their gift is or will be permanently invested with our $32 million endowment. Although the funds HCCF stewards retain their individual identity, gifts benefit from being invested as a pool for maximum earning power and minimum fee impact. But what does this mean?

This space for gift making is special because the gift keeps on giving. Annually, ones’ favorite causes, charity or charities will benefit for all time from grants generated from income earned. The foundation provides the administrative oversight to ensure this is done in a professional manner, holding benefactors accountable to the donors’ intent … it’s what community foundations do. They are in the business of working on behalf of donors forever. You can Google that.

This spring, the foundation granted $392,245 to 104 organizations. We’ll continue to do so next year, the next year, and the next year; however, there will be more dollars and more organizations as the endowment grows. You get the picture, but the benefits of this form of generosity are best expressed by those who receive these perpetual gifts — nonprofit organizations both near and far:

We used our grant money to promote our organization. In addition to regular expenses like the post office box and liability insurance, we were able to use a large portion of this year’s grant to create a website with a social media link. We are grateful for Martha’s generous gift to us.

— Cathleen Huffman, Greenfield Historic Landmarks Board President

Our society is a volunteer-driven organization. Our volunteers save lives and fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. They raise funds to support critical research, provide rides to lifesaving treatments, and give one-on-one support. All are trained by the American Cancer Society and the grant was used to offset related expenses. Last year in Hancock County 102 unique program activities were provided with the help of this grant.

— Peggy Blackard, Senior Director Corporate Relations

The grant made possible by the thoughtfulness of Herb and Judy Brown, allowed the Greenfield Parks Department to mow, trim, maintain trees and trails, lay stone for the parking lot, and supplies needed to add railing on the pedestrian bridge.

— Ellen Kuker, Greenfield Parks and Recreation Superintendent

The grant was allocated to St. Labre’s Indian School’s educational programs, which serve over 700 Northern Cheyenne and Crow students from pre-k to 12. Thanks to the generosity of the Walter and Dorothy Helfenberger Charitable Endowment, the grant ensures that these children are provided with empowerment through effective education and sense of community and culture to become self-sufficient adults.

— Rachel Earl, Chief Development Officer in Ashland, Montana

Through this grant, Families First expects to bring hope and healing to more than 8,500 residents in Central Indiana. The stakes are high … jobs, marriages, custody of children — even their freedom — may hinge on the help they receive.

— David J. Siler, President/CEO of Families First

Funds were used to purchase much needed school supplies that were needed in the classroom, but not covered by the general budget.

Nikki Wheeler, Zion Lutheran School Treasurer in New Palestine

HCCF has granted more than $13 million dollars since 1992. As we reflect upon the Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary, we celebrate the caring people who have placed their confidence in the stewardship our organization provides, allowing us to impact charitable causes, both across the country and throughout our local community.

Mary Gibble is the president of the Hancock County Community Foundation.
She can be reached at 317 462-8870 ext. 239 or Send comments to