The Warrick County Community Foundation Receives $150,000 Grant Through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant

(Warrick County, Indiana)  The Warrick County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation Alliance, has received a Community Leadership Grant of $150,000 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 expansion of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) initiative within the Warrick County School Corporation (WCSC). 

The Warrick 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 Warrick County Community Foundation was awarded a planning grant of $75,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges in Warrick 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.

“The Warrick County Community Foundation undertook an extensive process to assess community needs prior to developing our implementation grant proposal. Through numerous conversations with community leaders, we identified mental health and substance abuse as a priority concern. The WCSC has initiated an innovative approach, designed to help young people develop vital skills related to recognizing and managing their emotions. The investment in this program will set the foundation for improved mental health and relationships for the future generations of Warrick County.” says Sidney Hardgrave, Regional Director of Community Engagement and Impact.

Last year, the WCSC piloted Social Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies with great success in one of their elementary schools. Through our partnership with the WCSC, this grant will support additional staffing and training to expand the SEL activities. Initial efforts will focus on expanding SEL strategies into all of the WCSC elementary schools.  This work began with the start of the 2020/2021 school year.    

“The Warrick County Community Foundation is excited to enter into this partnership with the Warrick County School Corporation. Through our numerous community discussions, concerns relating to mental health and substance abuse became a clear priority needing our attention. With the ability to provide support to our local schools, we are hopeful to make a significant positive impact for young people and their families in our communities.” says Tony Loudermilk, the Warrick 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 https://www.communityfoundationalliance.org/community-impact/understanding-our-communities/.