$1.1 Million in Key Initiative (challenge) Grants

Community Foundation awards two agencies with challenge grants totaling $1.1 million

The Community Foundation of Elkhart County supports Beacon Health Foundation’s Blue Zones Project and Lifeline Ministries’ building campaign.

On June 8, the Community Foundation of Elkhart County’s board of directors approved $1,100,000 of Key Initiative Grants to end the 2017 fiscal year.  The competitive grants are awarded through the Community Foundation’s unrestricted fund, the Fund for Elkhart County.  This is the third year under the new grant model established in July 2014.

Key Initiative Grants

Key Initiative Grants support organizations whose requests are above $250,000 and whose work is related to the Community Foundation’s three priorities: youth development, vibrant community, and quality of life.  These grant requests begin in the Community Investment Grant (CIG) process and, upon approval of the respective CIG committee, are forwarded to the Key Initiatives Committee (KIC). All committees are comprised of local volunteers, community leaders, and current and former Community Foundation board members.


  • Beacon Health Foundation was awarded a $100,000 challenge grant for three years, totaling a $300,000 investment, toward the Blue Zone Project (additional information link).  Elkhart County will be the first community in the state of Indiana to implement this effort. The organization is required to raise $100,000 each year through community support.
  • Lifeline Ministries was awarded a $1 million challenge grant toward the organization’s building campaign.  The funding will support the acquisition and renovations of a new facility, where they will provide programming in collaboration with other local partners. Lifeline is also required to raise $1 million through community support in order to receive the $1 million award from the Community Foundation.

“The Key Initiatives Committee was pleased with the high quality of  programming through these efforts. Both awards reflect the importance the Community Foundation places on community support,” says Jill Sigsbee, chairperson of the KIC. “As these local agencies work to advance their mission, so too does the Community Foundation work to improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity.”

About the Community Foundation of Elkhart County

The Community Foundation of Elkhart County partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives. Since 1989, the Community Foundation has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by providing scholarship opportunities to local students and making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve Elkhart County.  The Community Foundation has awarded approximately $78.5 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations, including more than $16.1 million in fiscal year 2016.  It is with strength and hope the Community Foundation seeds the local landscape, supporting plans, programs, and ideas that potentially stand the test of time.  The Community Foundation strives to be a local entity known for inspiring good and impacting success.