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Harrison County Community Foundation to Use Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant for Comprehensive and Asset Management Plans

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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The Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) has received a Community Leadership (Implementation) Grant of $90,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative.  With the grant, the community foundation will provide resources and support for all 10 incorporated towns in Harrison County to create or update a Comprehensive Plan and an Asset Management Plan to leverage outside funding for infrastructure projects. 

The HCCF 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. 

“Now more than ever, we recognize the importance of community planning,” said Julie Moorman, President & CEO of the HCCF. “This generous Implementation Grant from Lilly Endowment will provide resources and support for our incorporated towns to plan for their future. Our hope is that these town plans can be integrated into a new county-wide comprehensive plan.” 

As part of GIFT VII, the HCCF was awarded a planning grant of $46,500 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges in Harrison County. In March 2020, the HCCF was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to use strategies and activities identified during the planning period.  

“During the planning grant process, we reviewed strategic plans, hosted an online survey for county-wide resident feedback, and collaborated with over 50 community leaders in Harrison County to discuss priorities for the future of our county,” Moorman said.  “There was a clear consensus that a shared county-wide vision and strategic plan for future land use planning and infrastructure was a top priority.  During the planning process, we realized that many towns did not have an updated Comprehensive Plan or an Asset Management Plan to leverage outside funding for infrastructure projects and saw this as an opportunity to support those towns around our county.” 

Now that this grant has been awarded, the HCCF will be reaching out to the 10 incorporated Town Councils about the project plans during the next few months. During this time of COVID-19, the HCCF recognizes that holding in-person events has some challenges and health concerns, so the foundation will shift its timeline to accommodate those needs.  The Implementation Grant is a multi-year grant, which gives the HCCF time to work with each incorporated town to get resident feedback. 

The HCCF will be contracting a project manager to oversee the town planning process and development of Comprehensive Plans and Asset Management Plans in the next four years.  

“As we embark on this journey, it will be important for us to remember that community planning is a marathon, not a sprint,” Moorman said.  “We will need to mindful of the time it takes to get input and ideas for many, work to come to consensus and map out the desired future outcome for each town.”   

The HCCF’s mission is to inspire and assist everyone to experience philanthropy, producing positive and sustainable growth in Harrison County. The foundation was created in 1996 by the Harrison County Commissioners with an initial donation of $5 million from what is now Caesars Southern Indiana, and the HCCF will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021.  

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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