December 21, 2020  |  News

Community Foundation of Boone County receives $150,000

Community Leadership Grant

The Community Foundation of Boone County (CFBC) received a Community Leadership Grant of $150,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. With the grant, CFBC plans to bring people together and connect communities and resources, to collectively make a major impact in all communities throughout Boone County. This will be done through the development of a much needed Connect Boone County app, which will be the driving vehicle to connect Boone County residents, nonprofits, community leaders, and people of all ages.

The Connect Boone County app will connect and engage people in collective work that is positive and interactive, regardless of education, ability, or income. The app will become the hub of all things nonprofit-related, such as raising awareness of volunteer opportunities, current nonprofit needs, and resources offered to the public. “Many Boone County residents are unaware of nonprofits services, while many nonprofit organizations are unaware of who they can link arms with to make a greater impact by collaborating forces. Many residents want to help but don’t know where to look, while nonprofits need volunteers, but don’t know where to find them. These areas of concern came up time and time again during our 2019 Community Needs Assessment, and this app is our solution. We are excited for what it will bring!” – Jodi Gietl, President & CEO, Community Foundation of Boone County.

As part of GIFT VII, in 2019, CFBC received a $100,000 planning grant from Lilly Endowment to identify local community needs. The foundation conducted a needs assessment, gathered and compiled results, then shared the results with the community. CFBC compiled a planning committee comprised of community members, focused on brainstorming solutions to the identified areas of need. In 2020, CFBC was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategic activities identified during the planning work. As a direct result of the needs assessment data and planning committee work, CFBC proposed the Connect Boone County app to Lilly Endowment and was awarded the $150,000 Community Leadership Grant.

The Connect Boone County app will address several top areas of need found in the 2019 community needs assessment:

  • Connect residents with local transportation services
  • Connect residents with philanthropic opportunities for all ages, including youth under 21
  • Connect residents with various arts and cultural opportunities
  • Connect residents with nonprofits focused on physical activity for all ages
  • Connect residents with nonprofits focused on addressing food insecurity
  • Connect residents with nonprofit focused on helping with housing needs
  • Connect residents with mental health providers, based on type of help needed

“CFBC wants local residents to feel included in the local opportunities that exist right here in Boone County, have a voice in our collective future, reach their own potential, and know that a broader community outside their circle of friends and family cares about them”, says Gietl. “We believe this will happen through the development of this much needed app. We are so very grateful to Lilly Endowment for continuing to pour into our communities in impactful ways like this!”

Once the app is developed, CFBC will launch it alongside two community initiatives, to show Boone County residents how the app can connect us all, not only for volunteering and donating, but also for community involvement. The app will be used to promote a series of high-engagement, all-ages public art murals as a way to continue connecting rapidly-changing and differing communities throughout the county. The app will also be used to launch On the Table community meetings, bringing together small groups of all ages across the county on one day to discuss one question based around an identified area of need, brainstorm actions, and then as a group submit grant ideas to CFBC.

The Community Foundation of Boone County 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 town, cities and counties they serve.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 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 the founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.


Since 1991, the Community Foundation of Boone County has granted over $25 million from its various funds to nonprofit organizations and programs working to solve critical challenges in Boone County. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation currently holds over $25 million in assets and awards an average of $1 million back into the local community each year. In the past 29 years, we have worked with donors to create permanent funds for charitable giving. The establishment and growth of permanent endowment funds will strengthen Boone County for generations to come.