The Unity Foundation of La Porte County has received a grant of $1,000,000 as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. With GIFT VII, the Endowment is making up to $125 million available to help Indiana community foundations strengthen the towns, cities and counties they serve.

The Unity Foundation can use this matching fund grant to build our financial assets and support our charitable activities. The Unity Foundation will designate these funds to support the growth of our unrestricted endowments, which over time will provide flexibility to help the foundation to meet community needs. The Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed to the Unity Foundation’s unrestricted endowments such as its Power for Good Fund, during the matching period, October 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020.

Michele Magnuson, Co-Chairwoman of the Unity Foundation said, “GIFT VII will help us shape the future of La Porte County-for the better. We look forward to working with our partners to improve the quality of life here, now and for generations to come.”

The GIFT initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s grantmaking to strengthen Indiana communities and has been a priority of the Endowment since the first phase of GIFT in 1990. The initiative’s primary aim is to help Indiana community foundations develop the philanthropic capacity to identify, prioritize and address local opportunities and challenges.

To encourage the engagement of the Unity Foundation’s board of directors, the Endowment also will award an additional $100,000 unrestricted grant if the foundation achieves 100 percent financial support from our board members during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Maggi Spartz, Unity Foundation president said, “The board members have always supported Unity through their personal giving. They know that Unity is making a difference.”

Starting in 2019, the Unity Foundation will have the opportunity to apply for more funds through GIFT VII’s community leadership grants. This component includes both planning and implementation grants, which are available to help the foundation deepen its understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing its community; convene key stakeholders and explore how it can effectively play a leadership role in implementing initiatives and strategies that enhance the quality of life in La Porte County. Jon Gilmore, Unity Co-Chairman said; “Unity has been active in community leadership for many years. This opportunity will help us sharpen our focus and do things that will strengthen our communities.”