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Wabash Valley Community Foundation

Imagine making a contribution that will benefit our community now and on into the future, benefitting your great-grandchildren’s children! A contribution to the Wabash Valley Community Foundation does just that! Every gift, whether $1 or $1,000,000 becomes part of the lasting endowment to benefit the Wabash Valley, unless the donor specifies otherwise.

Through the Community Foundation, individuals, families and businesses can contribute to, or establish, a lasting endowment or charitable fund to reflect their favorite charitable purpose. Whether you wish to support one or more favorite charitable organizations, or would like to provide funding to address opportunities for a specific or general purpose, or if you desire to create a scholarship to help individuals pursue post high school education, the Community Foundation can help you. These funds serve as a lasting legacy to an individual, family or business. Each year, the Community Foundation presents grants or scholarships from each fund to the organizations or charitable purposes originally identified by the donor.

There is lasting power in endowment funds because they are a natural renewing resource of charitable dollars. Many know that, in 1992, Delmar and Betty Jones made a $1 million contribution to the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. Over the past 29 years, the Jones’ $1 million contribution has funded more than 230 grants totaling over $1.36 million! The value of the Jones Fund now exceeds $1.5 million. Think about it – the Jones’ gave us $1 million; the Jones Fund has granted more than $1.36 million and its current value is more than $1.5 million that is continually providing grants to benefit Vigo County! That is the “Power of Endowment!” It is a renewable resource of community capital that does not diminish over time; rather, it grows stronger as it strengthens the community.

The vast majority of the gifts received by the Community Foundation are not in the $1 million range; the average gift received by the Community Foundation is $100. However, the “Power of Endowment” holds true for the smaller funds. One of our scholarship funds was started with a gift of $26,000. Twenty-eight (28) scholarship awards totaling over $34,000 have been made from this fund which now has a value of more than $37,500 and will continue awarding scholarships in the future!

Just as windmills capture the power of the wind to turn into electricity, we must harness the “Power of Endowment” to turn charitable gifts into renewable capital resources that provide grant funding for the arts, human services, recreational pursuits, community development projects, educational opportunities and post-secondary scholarships.

At the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, every gift to an endowment fund does just that. Endowment funds create a continual source of future income. Gifts contributed to an endowment are not spent; rather, the gifts are invested and income on the gifts is distributed each year to support the charitable purpose for which the endowment was created. This ensures every endowment gift is preserved to provide income again next year and every year following. It becomes a renewable resource to benefit our community!

Endowment funds are relatively easy to establish. An endowment fund can be created for as little as $5,000, and reaching that sum can be spread over a period of years. Endowment funds can be created to achieve the donor’s charitable purpose such as supporting a specific charity or charities, supporting a program or project in the arts or youth, or supporting any charitable opportunity within the community. The staff at the Community Foundation works with the donor to customize each endowment fund to achieve the donor’s charitable goals.

Endowment funds provide needed assistance today while establishing a legacy of philanthropy for future generations to benefit. This also provides an opportunity for an individual to exemplify his or her giving spirit and commitment to the Wabash Valley community as these funds will continue to carry out the donor’s specified purpose in perpetuity.

For nearly thirty years, your Community Foundation has carried out our donors’ intentions to provide grant dollars to support vital efforts in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo counties. From our earliest days, we have granted funds to our local partnering nonprofits to improve our residents’ health, support education and advance the quality of life. We have enriched lives through providing $30 million in grants and scholarships within our three counties, allowing community-serving organizations to provide food and shelter, develop trails projects, implement community beautification projects and more.

Using funding from the discretionary or “unrestricted” endowments, the Community Foundation responded to the floods of 2008 and this past year provided COVID-19 funding totaling $437,000 for Rapid Response Grants, Relief Grants and now nonprofit Recovery Grants. This was all accomplished thanks to the generosity of those who believed in a better tomorrow, today.

If you, too, want to create renewable community capital, you can easily do so. Contributions of any dollar amount can be made to any existing endowment fund in the Community Foundation.

When you give to the Community Foundation, you join thousands of local individuals who have provided local dollars to create permanent endowments. Your endowed gift will support art education for children, nourishment for the hungry, provide vision screening for area daycares and schools, activities in the community and much, much more!

Remember, the “Power of Endowment”. An endowed contribution to the Wabash Valley Community Foundation is a gift that gives forever. We invite you to visit our website at to learn more.

Beth Tevlin is the Executive Director of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. She can be reached by calling 812-232-2234.


Feb 5th Blog Post
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