Monthly Archives: April 2023

Back to Basics: What is a Community Foundation?

When I started working for the LaGrange County Community Foundation, I heard a familiar question: “What is a Community Foundation?” 

In my many years in the workforce, I have had a variety of jobs. Many that I do today as the Marketing & Community Engagement Manager. But working for a nonprofit in this capacity was new for me. So, this was a great question to answer for myself as well.  

A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization composed, primarily, of permanent funds created by many separate donors for the long-term benefit of the residents of a specific geographic area. Our geographic focus is LaGrange County, Indiana. 

Three things set us apart from other charities:  

  • Permanent Endowment Building 
  • Broad, Flexible Grantmaking; and  
  • Community Leadership.  

Through Permanent Endowment Building we develop and maintain relationships with our donors, investing and protecting the principal of our donor’s gifts, and distributing the earnings from these gifts based on the charitable intent of the donor. 

Broad and Flexible Grantmaking is understanding our community’s needs, re-directing charitable dollars over time and as community needs change. We offer grant opportunities to local nonprofits and make investments in community needs.   

Community Leadership can encompass many things. Our organization seeks to be proactive, connecting people and ideas for the purpose of solving problems, to educate, and to find ways to better serve our community. 

We are led by a volunteer Board of Directors, who represent the communities of LaGrange County. They direct our strategic vision and make decisions regarding investment of assets, charitable distributions, donor relationships, new donor funds and growing assets.  

The LaGrange County Community Foundation manages more than 140 unique funds, each created for a specific charitable purpose. The Community Foundation works with each donor to identify the purpose and goal of their fund and manages the fund long-term on behalf of the donor. Some funds provide annual grant support to local nonprofits, while others provide scholarships for graduating seniors. 

There are several ways to give and support community needs through the Community Foundation. You can add money to an existing fund or create a new fund, your choice! You can donate to an organization or give to a specific cause or interest.  

Click here to see a list of the Foundation’s charitable funds. 

I hope this helps clarify things a little more! If you have ANY questions about the Community Foundation, how to give, about grants or scholarships, or even how you can volunteer, contact us HERE. We would love to assist you! 

The writer of this post, Sarah Hostetler, starting working for the LaGrange County Community Foundation at the end of March 2023.

It’s National Volunteer Week! Fun Statistics!

This week (April 16th- 22nd) is National Volunteer Week, and we thought it would be interesting to share some Volunteer statistics with you. These are from an article on Volunteer Hub.

  • One out of four American’s volunteer, two out of three American’s help their neighbor.
  • Individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most likely to volunteer their time.
  • Volunteers are worth on average $28.54 an hour.
  • Volunteerism has a value of over $184 billion dollars.
  • Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress.
  • Those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment.
  • 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruiting decisions.
  • Volunteers under the age of 24 accounts for 22.6% of all volunteers.
  • Volunteers, on average, spend 50 hours per year donating their time to the greater good.
  • 67% of people found volunteer opportunities online in 2014 vs 34% in 2006.
  • There are more than 1.8 billion active nonprofits in the United States alone.
  • 66% of volunteers give their time to improve their community, 83% do so to contribute to a cause they care about.
  • People who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the US.
  • 28.2% of Millennials volunteer each year.
  • 30.7% of Baby Boomers volunteer each year.
  • 24.8% of Silent Generation Americans volunteer each year.
  • 39.9% of parents volunteer each each.
  • Utah has the highest rate of volunteers in America (51%).
  • Volunteering decreases the likelihood of high blood pressure development by 40%.
  • 96% of volunteers reported the action enriched their sense of purpose in life.

Every person who has helped another, with no expectation or payment in return, is a volunteer. We, in LaGrange County, count these volunteers as blessings. And it’s one of the many reasons our county is such a special place to live.

“Volunteering is at the very core of being a human.  No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” – Heather French Henry

Don’t forget, now through May 1st, we at LCCF are accepting applications of this county’s exemplary volunteers for the Heart of Gold Award. For more details and the application, go HERE.

VolunteerHub Link

We are Now Taking Applications for Nonprofit Assistance Grants!

Nonprofit Assistance Grants help LaGrange County nonprofits with needs in technology, training, operations, emergency, and awareness events. Last year (2023) was our first year of opening this grant program.

Nonprofit Assistance Grants are available to LaGrange County nonprofit organizations. These grants are made possible through the generosity of donors who have supported the unrestricted and field of interest charitable funds at the Foundation.

LaGrange County nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for up to $2,500 in assistance in the following categories, but not limited to:

  • awareness events
  • emergency needs
  • operations
  • technology (includes software)
  • training/development

Fundraising projects, utilities, general operating expenses, or your organization’s regular programing are NOT eligible for Nonprofit Assistance Grants. Government agencies, public schools, and churches are not eligible for Nonprofit Assistance grants. 

If you are unsure if your assistance project qualifies, please contact Program Director, Leanna Martin at or by calling 260-463-4363.

Grant Deadlines: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Award notification will be made within 30 days of the application submission. Grants are awarded as funds are available. One grant award per organization. Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2023.

Want to Find Out More?

Go HERE to the Nonprofit Assistance Grants Page, for more information. To apply, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “APPLY NOW“.

2023 Heart of Gold Award Nominations are Now Being Accepted!

Heart of Gold Awards 2023, LaGrange County, Indiana

The importance of volunteerism cannot be overestimated. Volunteers are what keeps non-profits ticking. They are the hands, feet and hearts.

Starting April 1st through May 1st, 2023, we are accepting nominations for outstanding volunteers in our community. The Heart of Gold award was created to recognize these outstanding volunteers whose unselfish and dedicated service has made significant contributions to LaGrange County.

2022 Heart of Gold Nominees
2022 Heart of Gold Nominees: Carolyn Hostetler, Allisa Brown and Kailie Snyder-Farnsworth (Not pictured: Chad Miller)

Some of the hard work and service in our county may go unnoticed, but we would love to encourage you to look around and see what others are doing around you!

If you know of anyone who deserves to be recognized, please let us know by filling out the nomination form on our website. It’s an easy form, and not only will the volunteers be recognized, but they also have a chance at getting a donation to the non-profit of their choice! Well worth it!

Check out the nomination form HERE!