A Hoosier Movement for Good

As your Owen County Community Foundation celebrates our 25th year of service to Owen County, we can look around Indiana and see the same success and progress of community foundations that serve all 92 counties. Thanks in great part to the foresight of the Lilly Endowment Inc, Indiana philanthropy has blossomed into a movement for good.

I attended a luncheon in Terre Haute a couple of weeks ago where members of our state organization, the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, sat down with our elected representatives to discuss issues confronting Hoosier communities. As a preface to the conversation, we shared with our local legislators data that demonstrates the impact of this philanthropic movement.

Indiana is home to 1,230 foundations with assets of $21 billion which provided a total of $1.7 billion in giving (2016 results). Our Hoosier foundations include community foundations like your OCCF, corporate foundations, family foundations, independent foundations, and operating foundations.

Indiana foundations provide support to communities in many areas, but education and human services lead the way, both categories are over $250 million per year. Major support also goes to arts & culture, community & economic development, health, and religion.

Here in Owen County, your OCCF also supports education at 30% of our giving and human services at 12.6% of the total. Grants for Arts & Culture/Citizenship make up 15.4% of our total giving. We also heavily support recreation at 33% of our grants with our support of the MYPath Trail System.

The story behind all of those numbers is that Hoosiers are able to support their home communities by giving to organizations close to the action. Wherever you live, you can find a foundation that is committed to helping your home place.

Foundations work for the common good. We believe everyone in Indiana should have the opportunity to live in a community of which they can be proud. Our goal is to transform communities and lives by tackling big challenges facing Indiana and make our state a better place to live. That is just the bigger picture of your OCCF’s commitment to helping make our Owen County communities better places to live, grow, and work.

The force of philanthropy in Owen County and Indiana allows us to bring together the doers from nonprofits, business, government, and other sectors. We take the big picture view of tough challenges like the economy, education, healthcare, and the environment. We respond to community needs and leverage resources to create lasting change.

Indiana foundations participate in an ongoing process that creates positive impact for Indiana communities. Because we stay close to our respective communities and people, we can identify needs, convene the right partners, and look for transformative solutions. By joining with other organizations in various sectors, we can leverage resources and pool those resources with others. Then as we implement programs, we can learn what works, share that knowledge, and continue the cycle of support for Indiana.

Your OCCF has been working with our fellow foundations in the eleven counties of the Indiana Uplands to find and support ways to attract workforce to our communities and cooperate to improve the quality of our communities. We supported the work of Spencer Owen Community Schools in their successful application, and now implementation, of the Ready Schools grant they received from the Regional Opportunities Initiative (ROI). More recently we cooperated with a wide range of local groups to develop a Workforce Attraction and Quality of Place Improvement Plan. We are now working to fund multiple projects through the ROI Ready Communities grants. You can check out the Owen County plan at https://swcindianadotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/owen-county-ready-communities-plan-8-15-19.pdf.

We love our pleasant existence here in Sweet Owen but we’re aware that we are part of something bigger. We’re part of a philanthropic movement. Join us.

Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better place to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit all over Indiana.

If you would like to know more about this local charity or how you can work with us on your charitable giving plans, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at www.owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit at our office on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer.

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