The Community Foundation Alliance (Alliance) was incorporated in March 1991 after Lilly Endowment announced its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) Initiative in the summer of 1990. From the beginning, the Alliance was designed to be a regional structure serving counties throughout southwestern Indiana.
Alliance organizers believed that the regional structure would allow centralized, cost-effective administration and governance of the organization. Alliance leadership also believed that the best organization would serve willing partners. Rather than creating a separate charitable non-profit corporation, a county could choose to join the Alliance by becoming an affiliate, through the creation of a named Foundation fund to serve its community.
Under the Alliance by-laws, each county affiliate is, therefore, a “county services committee,” but is known locally as the “[Name of County] Community Foundation.”
The Alliance Board of Directors is the legal entity responsible for all aspects of Alliance oversight and operation: governance, policymaking, legal requirements, financial stewardship, and strategic plans for the Alliance as a whole.
Each affiliate has a volunteer County Advisory Board whose role and efforts are focused on asset development, learning about the community’s charitable needs and nonprofits working to meet them, and awarding grants and scholarships. The first 2 counties to organize their own County Advisory Boards were Posey and Vanderburgh, both of which held their first meetings in June 1992. In the next year, the Daviess, Perry, and Gibson County Community Foundations were formed. Spencer and Knox counties formed Foundations in 1996, followed by Warrick and Pike in 1998.
All recommendations made by the County Advisory Boards must be presented to the Alliance Board for final approval. At least 1 County Advisory Board member from each affiliate serves as a county representative on the Alliance Board of Directors.
Today, the Community Foundation Alliance holds more than 1,200 named funds established by individuals, families, businesses, civic groups, and agencies to improve the quality of life in their local communities, with charitable assets nearing $100 million. During fiscal year 2017, grants and scholarships awarded from all Alliance funds to benefit the programs, projects, and people in the 9 affiliate counties totaled nearly $2,150,000.
Community Foundation Alliance affiliates:
- Daviess County Community Foundation
- Gibson County Community Foundation
- Knox County Community Foundation
- Perry County Community Foundation
- Pike County Community Foundation
- Posey County Community Foundation
- Spencer County Community Foundation
- Vanderburgh Community Foundation
- Warrick County Community Foundation