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Community Foundation of Elkhart County awards $620,550 toward program expansions and building renovations

Monday, June 25, 2018
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(Elkhart, Indiana) The Community Foundation of Elkhart County approved $620,550 of Key Initiative Grants to end the 2017-2018 fiscal year.  The competitive grant awards come from the Community Foundation’s unrestricted fund, Fund for Elkhart County.  The fiscal year ends June 30 and the Community Foundation board approved the grants at its June 19 meeting.

Key Initiative Grants

Key Initiative Grants are awarded to organizations whose requests are above $250,000 and whose work is related to the Community Foundation’s three priorities: Youth Development, Vibrant Community, and Quality of Life. 

Award Recipients

  • Lacasa of Goshen, $300,000 to expand programming

The grant is to support the implementation of Lacasa’s new 5-year strategic plan.  The project will implement initiatives which increase the impact of proven Lacasa services throughout Elkhart County, utilizing innovative collaborations. The plan includes financial empowerment, home rehab, and neighborhood development services; as well as a number of quality rental units to community residents.

  • Goshen College, $220,550 to renovate the Student Union

The grant is to support Goshen College’s effort to create an innovative and publically accessible gathering space on campus where students and faculty can interact with guests and visitors, surrounded by a unique art collection. The project is scheduled for completion by summer of 2019.

  • IUSB Elkhart Center, $100,000 to expand Health Sciences Graduate School programs

The grant is to support the expansion of graduate professional degree programs at the Indiana University South Bend’s Elkhart Center. The Community Foundation’s investment will help fund the implementation of the staff and the programming.  The architectural plans are underway for laboratories for the Speech Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy, as well as a Speech Clinic. In 2017, the Community Foundation granted $400,000 toward this project.

Changing Grant Model

An evaluation of the Community Foundation’s grant model and its effectiveness resulted in a new process starting with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2018. The new model is designed to streamline the grant-seeking process. Therefore, rather than a variety of grant types and separate processes for each, those seeking funding will submit their idea as part of one, simple online application form - no matter the size or type of the request. Staff members will review the application and respond within 7-10 business days. Funding priorities will be in kids & families, placemaking, and career pathways. For more information, go to

About Community Foundation of Elkhart County

Community Foundation of Elkhart County partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives. Since 1989, the Community Foundation has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by providing scholarship opportunities to local students and making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve Elkhart County.  The Community Foundation has awarded approximately $96.4 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations, including more than $18 million in fiscal year 2017.  It is with strength and hope the Community Foundation seeds the local landscape, supporting plans, programs, and ideas that potentially stand the test of time.  The Community Foundation strives to be a local entity known for inspiring good and impacting success. 

To learn more about the Community Foundation and its services, go to or call us at 574-295-8761.

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