The Knox County Community Foundation Receives $100,000 Grant Through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Gift VII Community Leadership Grant

(Knox County, Indiana)  The Knox County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation Alliance, has received a Community Leadership Grant of $100,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative.  With this grant, the Community Foundation will support the Pantheon’s implementation of Purdue University STEM programming for middle and high school students by expanding STEM programming to Knox County high schools, and supporting a middle school STEM summer camp.

The Knox County Community Foundation is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities in the towns, cities and counties they serve. Lilly Endowment expects to make additional GIFT VII grants in the coming months.

“Lilly Endowment’s GIFT VII initiative has allowed community foundations to enhance our partnerships with local organizations to achieve a greater impact in our communities through this phased grant opportunity,” says Jill Carpenter, president and CEO of the Community Foundation Alliance. “These implementation grants allow us to continue that work, alongside our community partners, and directly impact key development indicators – leading change for generations to come.”

As part of GIFT VII, The Knox County Community Foundation was awarded a planning grant of $50,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges in Knox County. In March 2020, the Community Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.

“The Community Leadership Grant process has been a great opportunity to work collaboratively with other leading organizations in our community,” says Lauren Osmon, Regional Director of Community Engagement and Impact. “The Community Foundation Advisory Board chose to focus implementation grant efforts in the area of increased economic opportunity, based on feedback received through stakeholder forums. The Pantheon’s STEM programming addresses a key component of Increased Economic Opportunity, workforce development.” The Pantheon is partnering with Purdue University and Knox County schools to successfully implement this initiative.

“Increasing economic opportunities through various quality of place and workforce attraction initiatives has been important in our community for quite some time. We are extremely grateful and excited about this grant that will support the

Pantheon Education Theatre’s STEM programming for middle and high school students,”’ says Drew Garretson, the Knox County Community Foundation advisory board president.

To learn more about the research conducted during the planning grant, or to download the detailed Community Indicator Report for your community, please visit