Wabash Valley Community Foundation Issues over $155,000 in New Challenge Grants

Wabash Valley Community Foundation Issues over $155,000 in New Challenge Grants in Recovery Phase of Support for Nonprofit Organizations

TERRE HAUTE, IND. (04/26/2021) – The Wabash Valley Community Foundation has issued $155,168 in new matching challenge grants in its Recovery Phase of support for nonprofit organizations in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo counties.

Building upon the success of the $1-for-$2 matching challenge grants awarded late last year to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum and the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, the Community Foundation is moving forward with the Recovery Phase of its COVID-19 response. In this third phase, nonprofit organizations seek an opportunity to rebuild their operational funding in an effort to recover from the adverse financial effects the pandemic has had on their organizational budgets.

“We invited all eligible 501(c)(3) organizations to apply for up to $10,000 in a $1-for-$2 match,” said Kelli Miller, Program Director for the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. “Eligible grantees were those who experienced a loss of revenue directly resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. Each request underwent committee review to confirm eligibility, thereby ensuring the grant amount and total fundraising goal reflected the need that was demonstrated in the organization’s request.”

The following nonprofit organizations received a matching grant opportunity to assist in recovering funds lost over the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions:

Clay County
• CRADLES of Clay County – $4,313
• Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America – $4,580
• YMCA of the Wabash Valley – $10,000

Sullivan County
• Brown Baggers – $5,610
• Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America – $458
• Life In Fairbanks Township, Inc. – $2,835
• Humane Society of Sullivan County – $4,800

Vigo County
• Camp Navigate – $10,000
• Catholic Charities of Terre Haute – $6,000
• Community Theatre of Terre Haute – $10,000
• Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America – $10,000
• FSA of the Wabash Valley, Inc. – $10,000
• Haley Tower Historical & Technical Society, Inc. – $1,122
• Meals on Wheels, Inc. – $7,950
• St. Benedict Church – $10,000
• Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club – $10,000
• Terre Haute Humane Society – $10,000
• TH Symphony Association – $10,000
• United Campus Ministries – $2,500
• Vigo County Education Foundation – $10,000
• Vigo County Historical Society – $10,000
• YMCA of the Wabash Valley – $5,000

To receive the match, the nonprofit organization must raise $2 from the general public to receive $1 from the Community Foundation, up to the amount of its grant. The match period runs April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

This matching challenge grant opportunity is the latest action from the Community Foundation to address the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Community Foundation implemented a Rapid Response grant process, through which nearly $90,000 was awarded to entities on the front lines in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo counties. The Community Foundation also partnered with the United Way of the Wabash Valley to coordinate a response to support immediate economic stability through the establishment of the UW/CF COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund, in its first tier, granted over $612,400 to community-based organizations best positioned to meet the needs resulting from the pandemic. The Fund received an additional $1.1 million grant from a partnership between Lilly Endowment, Inc. and Indiana United Ways. This allowed committee members to award an additional $503,500 in grants for large scale mid-term relief services.

In December, the Community Foundation launched the Recovery Phase of its COVID-19 response after issuing a revenue loss survey to Vigo County nonprofit organizations to determine the financial effects of the pandemic. The survey responses showed staggering deficits, with organizations reporting a dramatic reduction in private funding due to cancelled fundraisers and programs, loss of earned income revenue and a decrease in individual donations resulting in layoffs, program delivery limitations and the risk of closure.

As fundraising efforts are vital to nonprofit operating budgets, the ongoing effects of the pandemic have placed the future of some local nonprofit organizations at a severe risk and harmed the trajectory of others. This prompted the Community Foundation to determine how it could create meaningful impact with the remaining COVID-19 funding set aside for Vigo County.

The Community Foundation opted to target two local nonprofit organizations by issuing $1-for-$2 matching challenge grants to provide an infusion of relief funding in order to maintain operations. Though several nonprofit organizations identified a significant financial need in the Revenue Loss Survey, the Community Foundation targeted these grants to strengthen two organizations whose missions complement the Vigo County community’s investment in downtown Terre Haute as seen in the newly renovated Hulman Center and the construction of the Convention Center. Additionally, as identified in the “See You In Terre Haute 2025 Community Plan,” tourism and visitor attraction are economic drivers key to the community’s success.

The Terre Haute Children’s Museum and the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, due to their presence as Terre Haute attractions and each playing an essential role in a thriving downtown and overall vibrant community, received $1-for-$2 challenge grants in the amount of $70,000 and $15,000, respectively. Both entities were successful in their fundraising, exceeding their respective challenges thanks to individuals taking advantage of year-end giving to help the organizations meet their matches.

The Wabash Valley Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo counties. The Community Foundation enables people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the organizations and issues they care about – immediately or through their estate plans.

Donors may give to existing funds or establish a charitable fund at the Community Foundation by contributing a variety of assets. For more information on the Community Foundation, please contact 812.232.2234 or visit www.wvcf.org.