We are part of the unfolding story of generosity in Elkhart County

We believe the Community Foundation resembles the unique traits of the distinctive ginkgo tree. The ginkgo has a strong root system and resembles strength and hope to those who recognize it – inspiring good. Its leaves have been used for remedies, just as the Community Foundation strives to support nonprofits and various endeavors that improve the health of our community, our businesses, and our people – impacting success. 

Mission and Values

  • Mission: To improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity.
  • Values: The Community Foundation is committed to the following as essential to our effectiveness. We aspire to reflect the following values as we serve the community:
    • Integrity: An abiding pledge to honesty, professionalism, humility, and respect.
    • Inclusion: We seek and elevate diverse voices. We are most impactful when our organization and deliberations include people from varied backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives.
    • Excellence: In our every endeavor.
    • Collaboration: We believe in teamwork, both internally and externally. We desire to be trusted partners with community members, civic leaders, and not-for-profit organizations to provide high-impact programs and services benefitting the broadest possible constituency.
Elkhart County Courthouse

Your community at a glance

(1989 - 2017)

  • Mid-1980's: While vacationing in Naples, Florida, Oscar Schricker observed people being approached for financial contributions by the local community foundation. As the Elkhart County resident thought about the abundant wealth in Elkhart County, he and a friend, Jim McNamee, began talking about the possibility of forming a community foundation in our county.
  • 1989: After a generous donation from Dr. John Foreman, the Elkhart County Community Foundation was founded.
  • 1989: Bill Myers named founding president of the Elkhart County Community Foundation.
  • 2000: W. Earl Taylor named second president of the Community Foundation after the retirement of Bill Myers.
  • 2006: In August, founding member Wilbert (Bill) Budd died at the age of 93 and endowed the Community Foundation with $7.3 million the following year.
  • 2011: Pete McCown becomes president of the Community Foundation after the retirement of W. Earl Taylor.
  • 2011: Legacy Society member David Gundlach died unexpectedly at the age of 56.
  • 2012: Following his death, the Community Foundation received news of an end-of-life gift from Gundlach, with a gift of more than $150 million.
  • 2015: Following a multi-year listening tour, the Community Foundation rebrands as Community Foundation of Elkhart County.
  • 2019: Acts of Service joins Community Foundation family.
  • 2020: Assets total more than $300 million.

Other Community Facts

  • 1829: Immigrants from New England began settling in Elkhart Prairie, land that was inhabited by Potawatomi tribe.
  • 1830: Elkhart County officially established with Dunlap as the original county seat.
  • 1841: Amish settlers come to Elkhart and LaGrange counties.
  • 1876: C.G. Conn begins selling patented cornets and Elkhart becomes known for producing world-class band instruments.
  • 1930s: Entrepreneurs build first recreational vehicles and Elkhart County becomes RV Capital of the World.
  • 1965: Tornadoes on Palm Sunday, including a twin tornado, kill 66 in Elkhart County.
  • 2012: Elkhart County rebounds from the Great Recession and continues its excellence as a manufacturing hub.

Founding Donors

Founding donors are those individuals or organizations that contributed $50,000 or more from the inception of the Foundation through June 30, 1995. The ongoing support of Lilly Endowment Inc. has also contributed greatly to the resources we have to fulfill our mission. We are deeply grateful to our founding donors and Lilly Endowment Inc.

These include:

  • Bashor Children’s Home
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Goshen Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert H. Budd
  • First Congregational Church
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Corson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Deahl
  • Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Decio
  • The Decio Family (Terrence, Jamee, Lindy, Reilly, Jay, and Leigh)
  • Sherrill and Helen Deputy Family
  • Elkhart County Council on Aging
  • Elkhart County 4-H
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Fidler
  • Dr. and Mrs. John Foreman
  • Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Hartman
  • Mr. F.L. Hascall
  • Goshen College
  • Goshen Rotary Club Scholarship Endowment
  • Greencroft Foundation
  • Gunden Family
  • Paul and Joyce Hultin Family Endowment
  • KeyBank
  • LaCasa of Goshen
  • Lilly Endowment, Inc.
  • Mervin D. Lung Family
  • Martin Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. Frank Martin
  • Mr. William F. Martin
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Naquin
  • Northridge High School Dollars for Scholars
  • Oaklawn Foundation
  • Mrs. Lee A. Rieth
  • Ms. Martha Reith
  • Mr. and Mrs. Marly Rydson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Sailor
  • Salvation Army of Elkhart
  • Mr. and Mrs. Dan Sherman
  • Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Schricker
  • Ina L. Strasser Endowment
  • Trinity United Methodist Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. Basil S. Turner
  • United Way of Elkhart County
  • Mr. and Mrs. Richard VanDerKarr
  • Maynard W. Wells Family
  • YMCA/YWCA Joint Community Project
Leadership

Community Foundation Staff Presidents:

2011 – Present: Pete McCown

2000-2011: W. Earl Taylor

1989-1999: Bill Myers

Our People

President and Operations Finance and Administration Advancement: Development, Communications, and Philanthropic Services Program: Grants, Scholarships, and Community Initiatives