Community Foundation of Southern Indiana Adds Quality of Place Focus to Area Grantmaking
Each year, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana makes nearly $350,000 in grants from its unrestricted Community Impact Fund to support the residents of Clark and Floyd counties. Since 1991, these grants have helped nonprofit organizations make a positive impact in our community by addressing our region’s most pressing needs – supporting arts and culture, community development, health and human services, education, the environment and more.
Today, Southern Indiana’s amenities and great quality of life continue to attract new growth and opportunities as more businesses and families are calling Clark and Floyd counties home. Capitalizing on this momentum, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana announced that beginning on July 1, 2021 it will begin designating half of its annual grantmaking funds to Pathways to Progress Grants which will support initiatives aimed at improving our region’s quality of place.
Linda Speed, president and CEO for the Community Foundation said, "Getting to this point has been an intentional and thoughtful process. Our board of directors takes seriously its responsibility to steward the funds we've been entrusted with and the important role those funds play in addressing local issues." She continued, "Deciding to transform our grantmaking by focusing on quality of place projects was facilitated by hearing from our community and learning from experts how increased accessibility to parks, trails and other public spaces would help connect our neighborhoods and improve our sense of community. We discovered how the ripple effects of doing so could help transform our region and it was clear this needed to be a priority."
The Foundation’s Pathways to Progress Grants were set to begin in 2020, but the Foundation pivoted its focus this year to address the needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pathways to Progress Grants will focus on serving people with the least access to safe, high-quality public places and amenities, typically those who have low incomes and/or who have transportation or mobility challenges or physical and/or mental differences. When their lives are improved, our communities are more welcoming and attractive to all residents, tourists, and employers.
For these populations, the Foundation will work with nonprofit partners to improve:
- Both real and perceived safety of existing amenities (greenspaces, parks, playgrounds, rivers, etc.)
- Safe and affordable access to the amenities (trails, public/shared transit, etc.)
- Environmental quality and sustainability of those amenities
- Use of the areas to decrease physical inactivity, obesity, and other health risks
While half of the Foundation’s Community Impact Fund grants will be allocated towards Pathways to Progress Grants, the other half will continue to support the various needs of our community that are being addressed by the region’s nonprofit organizations.
Speed continued, “The COVID-19 pandemic created needs that were essential for us to address. But, as we started looking towards this coming summer, we wanted our community and nonprofit partners to begin thinking about ways we can improve our connections to each through quality of place initiatives. There is tremendous progress being made in our community and we’re excited to build upon that momentum by strategically investing our charitable capital in ways that will enhance our area and attract new opportunities to the region.”
For more information on the Foundation’s Pathways to Progress Grants, visit www.cfsoutherninidana.com.