Lilly Endowment Inc. awards $3.75 million matching grant to Community Foundation of Elkhart County

Community Foundation raising $2.375 million to activate the grant

March 21, 2024

Community Foundation of Elkhart County has received a matching fund grant totaling $3.75 million as part of the eighth phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s initiative, Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VIII).

The Community Foundation will use the funding to grow the fund that supports discretionary grantmaking to nonprofits in Elkhart County and to complete the outdoor park portion of Tolson Center for Community Excellence.

Qualifying matching funds raised to support the community foundation’s unrestricted endowment, totaling $1,375,000 will be eligible for a $2 (grantor)-to-$1 (grantee) match from the Lilly Endowment for the Fund for Elkhart County totaling $2,750,000 from Lilly Endowment. Qualifying matching funds totaling $1 million raised for community projects and programs or capacity-building activities such as Tolson Center will be eligible for a $1 (grantor)-to-$1 (grantee) match.

“We are deeply grateful for the support of Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and to community foundations throughout the state,” said Pete McCown, president of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. “Lilly Endowment’s strong support has improved the lives of countless Hoosiers and we are fortunate to receive grants such as this one.”

Through GIFT VIII Lilly Endowment has awarded matching fund grants totaling $133.8 million to community foundations serving all 92 of Indiana’s counties. Eligible community foundations submitted proposals requesting grants ranging from $100,000 to $15,000,000 based on the
population of the counties they serve.

In 2023, Lilly Endowment launched GIFT VIII to help community foundations strengthen the towns, cities and counties they serve. Matching fund grants are one of several funding opportunities designed to help community foundations promote long-term viability; further strengthen their abilities to lead; encourage board engagement; and support and develop strategic efforts to enhance quality of life in their communities.

About Community Foundation of Elkhart County
Community Foundation of Elkhart County partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives. Since 1989, the Community Foundation has helped generous donors to meet community needs, provide scholarship opportunities to local students, and made grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve Elkhart County. The Community Foundation strives to be a local entity known for inspiring good and impacting success. To learn more, go to

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