Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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How Well Do You Know the Community Foundation?

Often, people know us because of a specific program. But are you aware of the full range of our work?

The Imagination LIbrary, launched in Spring 2018

HOW MANY CHARITIES HOLD FUNDS WITH THE FOUNDATION?

We believe firmly in the power of endowment, and many local charities do, too. More than 80 hold endowed funds within the Community Foundation, including LOGAN, Center for the Homeless, South Bend Symphony, Unity Gardens, Pet Refuge, and dozens more. (You’ll find the full list at cfsjc.org/endowments.) The money in these funds is permanently invested, and each fund generates annual earnings which are paid to the charity to support its work. It’s a wonderful way to ensure that the charities that make our community a better place have resources that will support them now, and long into the future.

HOW MANY STUDENTS EARN FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS?

Each year, more than 300 students receive support from the  Foundation’s more than 60 scholarship funds. Over the years, we’ve awarded more than $12 million in scholarships, helping thousands of deserving students pursue their dreams. Two of our biggest scholarships—the Laidig Community Service Scholarship, and the Charles Martin “Touch a Life” Scholarship—include paid internships. To date, recipients of those scholarships have served more than 34,000 internship hours at 29 different local charities.

HOW MUCH MONEY DOES THE FOUNDATION GRANT?

We award some $7 million dollars in grants each year. Those dollars come from charities' endowed funds, which provide annual support that those charities can rely on, year after year; scholarship funds; designated funds, which support donors' favorite causes; our competitive grantmaking process, and our Community Endowment Fund, which supports much of our initiative work. Since we began making grants, we’ve awarded more than $125 million to local charities—and that number grows every year, thanks to the strength of our endowment.

WHAT ELSE DOES THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION DO?

Perhaps more than you realize! Our Early Years Count education initiative funds teacher training and evaluation in dozens of preschools, daycares, HeadStart classrooms, and elementary schools. This year, we worked with partners to launch the Imagination Library in our county, expanding our early literacy efforts. Our ArtsEverywhere initiative produces the free Community Foundation Performing Arts Series every summer at Potawatomi Park. Our African American Community Fund supports many projects, including the community safety work of the South Bend Group Violence Intervention. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity and REAL Services, our Senior Living initiative helps local seniors age in place, and funds quality-of-life programs like Music & Memory. Our biennial Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence recognizes the best of our local charities with a $175,000 prize, encouraging every organization to continue to grow and improve. And our two Give Local St. Joseph County events, held in 2015 and 2017, raised a combined $15 million for local charities.

Did you learn something new about the Foundation’s work? We bet you did! Pat yourself on the back—and keep learning through all the material you'll find throughout our website.