Mike Kubacki

Chairman, Lake City Bank and Chairman, ECCF Grant Committee

A Serious Approach to Grantmaking with Meaningful Results

“Everyone on the ECCF Grant Committee takes their responsibility seriously,” says Mike Kubacki, chair of the committee. “They come to the meetings prepared. They’ve read through every application and its supporting documents. They take a very thoughtful approach.”

Kubacki believes the spirit of the Elkhart County is reflected in the ECCF. ‘Members of the board and many of its committees have earned their own success. There’s a County pride here that helps make Elkhart special. Our committee reflects that. We have no biases toward one non-for-profit agency vs. another. We ask ourselves: Is this agency fulfilling a need? Is it run effectively? Is it doing a good job? Then we award capital to organizations doing good work.”

At a typical quarterly meeting, the all-volunteer committee receives approximately 25 applications. However, it normally has resources to award grants to about 10 of them. But because committee members have done their homework, “it works out; we reach consensus.”

Because the ECCF was a driving force for the Horizon Plan, “we place a strong emphasis on economic development,” Kubacki says.

“We want to grant projects that improve the quality of life in Elkhart County. We unabashedly want to help people help themselves and help them be better off.”

When asked about the effectiveness of the ECCF, Kubacki says “what the ECCF does is very important to this community. One evidence of its success is in the caliber of the board members. They’re outstanding people. And we all want to be involved in something this effective.

How ECCF “does grants” is a core element of what we do. Through a sophisticated system, we announce, receive, study and award grants. Over 200 organizations are now listed in our online Charitable Catalog. The approach we take to grant-making is purposeful with internationalism and the desire for meaningful results.

Catherine Wells-Bentz