forward thinking leadership initiative

The Forward Thinking Leadership Initiative launched in 2020 in response to community input and with support from Lilly Endowment. The aggressive three-year initiative provides opportunities for the community to grow its leadership strengths and focus on investing in community action for the future good of Pulaski County.

Programs scheduled for 2021 under this initiative include:

  • Elected Official training assessments to be followed by training opportunities
  • Meeting of the 2020 Excellence in Nonprofit Management Training cohort
  • Indiana Communities Institute from Ball State University will provide the Community Development Course, an intensive course for community members early this summer: 
  • Leadership Pulaski County through Purdue Extension
  • “So You Want to be an Elected Official?” event for new or potential elected officials -- see below

so, you want to be an elected official?

Have you considered running for public office?  Have you run before and are considering another go at it?  Are you “just curious” about how it works? This event has you covered!

The event is Thursday, October 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Winamac.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at Read more... 

Community Development Course

Twenty-eight individuals gathered for 2.5 days in June, 2021 for this course through the Indiana Communities Institute at Ball State University. Elected officials, community leaders, and engaged citizens were introduced to concepts for building stronger, more sustainable communities. 

Sessions included readiness for change, community engagement, local economies, civic design, comprehensive community wealth, integrated storytelling, and a capstone exercise for actionable items. They were also given tools for community visioning, tips on facilitation, placemaking principles and more. Read full story.


The 2020 Excellence in Nonprofit Management Series was the first program under the Community  Foundation's Forward Thinking Leadership Initiative.  Read full story.

The training series was created after a survey of Pulaski County nonprofits revealed their greatest needs for capacity building and effectiveness.

A Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Management was awarded to six participants who successfully met additional specific requirements. View participants who earned Certificates of Excellence. 

View the 2020 Program Results from the Excellence in Nonprofit Management Training.

Why Community Development?

     considerations for ChangE

David Terrell, Executive Director of the Indiana Communities Institute at Ball State University, met with local leaders in August to share research and facts on community development.  Listen to the recording and view the presentation video and slides here:

leadership initiative launched

Following the Community Conversation process of 2019 in which the community expressed their desire for visionary leadership and forward momentum for Pulaski County, the Community Foundation of Pulaski County developed and launched its Forward Thinking Leadership Initiative. Read more here.

In the fall of 2020, the Community Foundation received a Community Leadership Grant of $100,000 as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s seventh phase of Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. With the grant, the community foundation will pursue efforts to build and strengthen forward-thinking leadership across the county. Read more...

How it all started

With a planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Community Foundation held facilitated conversations in the summer of 2019 with community members from around Pulaski County.  The goal was to seek public input on community concerns and aspirations. The report, "Conversations with our Community" compiled the findings and was publicly revealed in January, 2020.  Read the report to learn the top four aspirations or priority challenges.  (Hint: one of the top four was forward-thinking leadership!)