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From $65K to $80M, Community Foundation marks 50 years
Plus, COVID vaccines will be available for kids ages 5-11 starting Thursday. Tippecanoe County Health Department lays out the best way to get that done.
In October, the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette finally was able to mark its 50th anniversary, after putting it off for a year, by bringing together a night spotlighting nearly a dozen nonprofit organizations that have benefited the gifts accumulated and managed through the decades.
The Community Foundation started in 1970 as a public charity meant to serve the philanthropic interests of Greater Lafayette residents. In 2020 alone, the Community Foundation accepted more than $2.5 million in gifts and handled grants to 104 nonprofit groups and 39 scholarships totaling close to $2 million.
David Lasater, president and CEO, talked about the 50th anniversary, which included an update to the organization’s brand.
Question: Happy 50th – a year late. Is there an elevator pitch-sized history you can give about how the Community Foundation got started?
David Lasater: The Capital Funds Foundation was created in 1970 with $65,000 in assets by community-minded individuals. At the beginning, we were tied to United Way but eventually saw the need for separate support agencies. We eventually became The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette. Over the last 50 years, we have grown significantly and now have over $80 million in assets.
Question: In those earliest years, how much was the Community Foundation able give back? And what were those initial targets?
Lasater: In the early years, the targets were United Way agencies due to our connection with United Way. The Foundation didn’t have a lot of assets but was able to give out about $30,000 a year in today’s dollars in the beginning.
Question: How has the focus changed or evolved over the past 50 years?
Lasater: The focus of The Foundation centers around three key pillars.
Relationship and fund development: We focus on increasing the assets of the foundation through raising endowment funds that will support the nonprofit community in perpetuity.
Grant making: We distributed nearly $2 million to local nonprofits in 2020.
Community leadership/convening: We are involved in a variety of initiatives in Greater Lafayette ranging from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to facilitating a greater understanding of the health and human services needs within the community in partnership with the United Way of Greater Lafayette and Greater Lafayette Commerce.
We also expanded the organizations we fund from United Way agencies to any 501(c)3, which really broadened the reach we’ve been able to have in the community.
Question: You mentioned that in the past year the Community Foundation gave away nearly $2 million. Were there specific community goals achieved with that money?
Lasater: The Foundation’s board has set several funding priority areas around community needs. The funding priorities are: Arts and humanities, education, environment, animals, health and human services and public/society benefit. We have a grants committee made up of Greater Lafayette citizens that determine where to distribute most of the grants.
We also serve as a trusted resource for donor advisers, family foundations and professional advisers seeking to learn more about the needs of local nonprofits. We meet with nonprofits throughout the year to gather information about their current needs so we are prepared to meet with prospective donors at any time.
Question: How has Community Foundation assets grown over the years? And what’s the plan to continue to grow?
Lasater: Through the generosity of the citizens of Greater Lafayette our assets have grown tremendously over the years from $1 million in 1983 to over $80 million today. Our plan for growth is to continue to be good stewards of the funds given to us by investing them wisely as over seen by local citizens who sit on our Finance committee. We are also launching a Legacy Society Initiative. This Initiative has the goal of encouraging community minded citizens to include The Foundation in their estate plans to benefit a local nonprofit.
Question: Why the new branding? And what was the Community Foundation going for on that?
Lasater: It has been more than 15 years since we refreshed our branding, so we felt that our 50th anniversary celebration was the perfect opportunity to launch a new brand and tagline. We have built amazing relationships with donors over the years and hope to continue creating relationships in order to broaden awareness of the work we do in the community.
Question: What other context should everyone know as The Foundation marks its 50th?
Lasater: Our event last week was a wonderful showcase of our 50 years in this community. Over 120 guests were in attendance. We broke guests up into small groups who traveled from room to room in the Northend Community Center, where they heard engaging presentations from different nonprofits representing the relationships we have built over the years. We also celebrated all of those who have designated The Foundation in their estate plans and publicly announced our Legacy Society Initiative.
Also, what is the difference between the United Way and The Community Foundation? I like to describe United Way as a checking account and The Foundation as the savings account. Each year, the United Way runs a fundraising campaign and the funds go directly back out to the agencies they support right away. The Foundation is more like a savings account in that we work with donors to establish endowed funds to support specific causes the donors are passionate about. United Way serves a particular set of agencies whereas The Foundation is able to direct funding to any 501(c)3 organizations. Both organizations serve very important purposes in our community.
FOR MORE: More information on The Community Foundation can be found at www.inspiringgreater.org.
COVID SHOTS READY FOR 5- TO 11-YEAR-OLDS
Pediatric doses of COVID vaccines will be available at the Tippecanoe County Health Department’s clinic on South 18th Street, starting Thursday, after the state health department gave the go-ahead Wednesday. But county health officials were pleading for patience, with a limited number of doses of the Pfizer vaccine in pediatric doses and booked appointments this week.
The health department advised that the best way was to set up an appointment at ourshot.in.gov to get shots at the vaccine clinic, 1950 S. 18th St., or at a participating pharmacy or other outlet. The health department will take walk-ins for the final 90 minutes of its clinic shifts for now, but did not guarantee that doses would be available. Here are those times:
4:30-6 p.m. Monday
2:30-4 p.m. Tuesday
3:30-5 p.m. Thursday
2:30-4 p.m. Friday
Khala Hochstedler, Tippecanoe County Health Department administrator, recorded these tips – post-workout, she said – Tuesday night, anticipating what parents will need to know when lining up appointments. Adjust for the days – she was still anticipating the state signing off on the vaccine distribution and accounting for the clinic being closed on Wednesdays – and it’s still good info.
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