In 1994, Pulaski County citizens gathered to create our community foundation. For two years these leaders worked closely with a similar group in adjoining Starke County. In late 1996 both counties decided to become affiliates of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF), which already consisted of Cass, Fulton and Miami counties.
Marking 1997 as the inception date, the Pulaski County Services Committee completed GIFT Phases sponsored by Lilly Endowment Inc. Like many community foundations throughout Indiana, ours was made possible by Lilly Endowment, Inc.'s GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) Initiatives.
In 2000 the Pulaski County committee unanimously voted to become self-standing, and a local office was established in Winamac in 2001 with a part-time staff. The Board of Directors was increased and the organization applied for 501c3 status. Also in 2001, CFPC won a $5,000,000 educational CAPE grant for Pulaski County, forming the PACE organization that continues as a grant making entity today.
On March 31, 2002, the Pulaski County Community Foundation officially became an independent organization. Its first independent granting cycle was offered that year, awarding over $12,000 to local projects and organizations.
A full-time executive director was hired in 2003, and the Community Foundation continued to grow. The office was moved to 127 E Pearl Street in Winamac in 2006, and by its 10th anniversary, total assets of the Foundation exceeded $6.5 million.
The next decade for the Community Foundation included advancements in organizational practices and technology, community awareness, and assets. Youth programs at elementary and high school levels were offered to spread the concept of philanthropy. Nonprofit support through grants, workshops, and endowment building programs were presented. The Legacy Society was created to recognize individuals who create planned gifts for the future of their community.
Donations may now be made online, and grant and scholarship programs are also processed online. CFPC maintains accreditation with state and national standards for community foundations and has its own Facebook page. Total number of funds has risen to over 100, and total assets to nearly $10 million. Total grants and scholarships distributed now surpass $4.4 million.
The Community Foundation Board adopted a new name in 2015 (putting “community” first), logo, vision, and commitment statement. In March of 2016, the Community Foundation succeeded in raising half a million dollars in response to Lilly Endowment Inc.'s GIFT VI challenge. Combined with Lilly's match, over $1.2 million was raised and added to CFPC funds.
In celebration of the Community Foundation's 20th year in 2017 and recognition of the tremendous community support over those years, Love Your Community placemaking grants were awarded to each community that summer, totaling $50,000.
With continued focus on long term goals, commitment to donors, and stewardship of endowed funds, the Community Foundation continues its mission to serve and support the philanthropic interests of Pulaski County. We look forward to continuing service and support of the charitable interests of our citizens and community in the years ahead!