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

(Pike County, Indiana)  The Pike 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 Pike County School Corporation’s expansion of its Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to build relevant industry skills and attract and retain talent in Pike County.

The Pike 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 Pike 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 Pike County. In March 2020, the Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.

“Through community meetings, the planning committee identified Pike County’s most pressing needs,” stated Cindy Gaskins, Director of the Pike County Community Foundation. “Given the loss of so many energy-related jobs,” she continued, “the committee concluded that the CTE classes were vital to training Pike Countians in different trades so that they can remain in the community they know and love.”

“The new CTE programs will be offered at the Pike County School Corporation Learning Center and include construction trades (HVAC); construction trades (electrical); fire science; and diesel technology,” noted Sarah Belmore, Pike County Community Foundation advisory board president. She explained that these educational programs will be available to high school students by day and to adult-learners after school hours. “We are very excited to be a part of this program as it will equip displaced workers with alternate skills permitting them to continue to Pike County their home,” Belmore added.

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