Our Story


The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana was formed by a group of Southern Indiana residents who wanted to build charitable resources that would benefit nonprofits and residents of Southern Indiana, forever. Through their support, and funds from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc., the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana was established in 1991 with nearly $1 million.

Throughout its history the Community Foundation has filled an important leadership role in our community. The 1990’s were full of growth as the market surged and helped the Foundation grow quickly with over $1.7 million in grants awarded in 1999. In 2002 the Foundation granted funds to put early warning emergency sirens throughout Clark and Floyd counties. Those sirens still operate today to warn residents. During the 2000’s the Community Foundation went through a number of changes. Scott, Crawford and Harrison Counties were all in the original service area of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana but, over the years, each community established their own foundations to focus on the needs of their specific region.

Additionally, the Foundation formed new supporting organizations to renovate the historic Carnegie Library in Jeffersonville (Jeffersonville Carnegie Library Foundation Inc.), to implement the vision of the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Southern Indiana 2020 – now One Southern Indiana – project (the OSI Foundation, Inc.), to support the New Albany Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation (New Albany Floyd County Education Foundation Inc.), and to own and manage the building that houses the Community Foundation and One Southern Indiana (4100 Charlestown, Inc.).

Since it began in 1991, the Community Foundation has granted more than $23 million in scholarships and grants to community nonprofits while continuing to grow and provide an important leadership role in Southern Indiana. Following the devastating tornadoes that swept through our community on March 2, 2012, staff of the Community Foundation visited the impacted areas and immediately began working with community leaders and relief organizations. The Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund collected donations from hundreds of donors across the country. Foundation staff participated in the regional long term recovery operation, March2Recovery, and partnered with other organizations to rebuild and assist with the long term recovery efforts. Analyzing the needs of the communities, the Foundation donated more than $325,000 towards long term relief and recovery efforts and staff volunteered hundreds of hours of time – working hand-in-hand with various groups and organizations – to assist with rebuilding efforts.

Today, the Foundation invests and administers more than 230 individual charitable funds, grants over $1 million annually to causes that impact our area, has more than $30 million in assets and continues to administer important programs like the Youth Philanthropy Council, Education Matters Southern Indiana and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

 

Click on a year below to follow our history.

• CFSI begins with $250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment

• Ogle Foundation contributes $250,000 matching grant

• In 1992, Dale Orem is hired as the first Executive Director

• John Hartstern took over as Executive Director

• Total assets exceed $7 million and $93,000 was awarded in grants in scholarships

• John Ragland named Board President

• Total assets exceed $10 million

• Lilly Endowment makes $500,000 challenge grant

• CFSI moves into headquarters in One Commerce Square

• Total assets exceed $13.1 million

• $25,000 awarded in community grants

• More than $1 million in total grants awarded since 1991

• Scott County Community Foundation added as affiliate

• Mike Newman named Board President

• Total assets exceed $17 million

• $54,000 awarded in community grants

• Foundation now holds over 100 permanent funds

• Community Foundation of Crawford County added as affiliate

• Total assets exceed $29 million

• $114,800 in community grants are made with a total $1.7 million awarded

• Total of $260,000 in scholarships awarded

• Pam Bennett Martin named Board President

• Total assets of $24.8 million

• Community Grants awarded $214,500

• Total grants awarded $1.279 million

• Scott County Community Foundation becomes independent

• Community grants awarded: $210,603

• CFSI celebrates its 10 year anniversary

• Total grants awarded since 1992 are $5.4 million

• Scholarships awarded since 1995, $1.5 million

• CFSI becomes the seventh-largest of 94 Indiana community foundations

• Youth Philanthropy Council is formed with $150,000 Ogle Foundation grant

• Total assets exceed $22 million

• Community grants awarded exceeds $80,000

• Total grants awarded $1.16 million

• CFSI now holds over 135 endowment funds

• Early warning sirens project funded with partners

• Ron Barnes named Board Chair

• Mike Douglas named interim President and CEO

• Total assets now exceed $23 million with over 150 endowment funds

• $50,500 awarded in Community Grants

• Robert E. Kleehammer named Board Chair

• Laura Hansen Dean named President and CEO

• Two supporting organizations formed (Southern Indiana 20/20, Jefferson Carnegie

Library Foundation)

• Total assets equal $23 million

• $69,159 awarded in community grants

• Total of $1.9 million in grants awarded

• 4100 Charlestown, Inc. supporting organization is created

• Total assets now at $22 million

• $405,573 in community grants awarded

• $348,370 in scholarships awarded

• $3 million Lilly Foundation grant helps form CAPE (Community Alliance to Promote Education)

• New Albany-Floyd County Education Foundation supporting organization is formed

• Don Day named Board Chair

• $61,689 in community grants awarded

• $250,580 in scholarships awarded

• Total grants awarded of $792,386

• Crystal Jubilee honors 15-year anniversary

• CFSI certified in compliance with National Standards

• Building Excellence Through Endowment programs launched to assist non-profits

• Carnegie Library restoration project completed, Timeline of Liberty bronze sculpture installed

• Total assets of $24.9 million

• $90,830 in community grants awarded

• $255,000 in scholarships awarded

• Total grants awarded $862,328

• Rita Hudson Shourds is named Board Chair

• Mike Waiz named President and CEO

• Legacy Society grows to 27 members

• Multicultural Outreach Council formed

• Dictionary Project begins to give free dictionaries to all third graders in service area

• Total assets of $18.3 million

• Community grants awarded $189,518

• $211,732 in scholarships awarded

• Total grants awarded exceed $1 million for the first time

• Total assets grow to $20.5 million

• Community grants over 113,000 awarded

• Another $261,718 in scholarships

• Total grants awarded of $1.3 million

• CFSI partners with Ogle and Horseshoe Foundations to create the Community Relief Fund to address immediate basic needs during economic downturn

• The Women’s Foundation of Southern Indiana launches

• Dolly Parton Imagination Library projects begins in Floyd County with partners

• Leslie Robertson named Board Chair

• Total assets of $20,827,536

• Mike Waiz retires

• Linda Speed named President and CEO

• Butch Shaw named Board Chair

• CFSI celebrates its 20th Anniversary

• The Foundation adopts a new strategic plan to develop strong community relationships and continue to grow assets

• Foundation assets approach $25 million

• $126,000 in grants is awarded 51 organizations during the fall grant cycle anniversary

• CFSI plays an important role in the long term recovery efforts following the March 2, 2012 tornadoes, grants more than $325,000 to assist with recovery efforts and staff volunteers hundreds of hours to March2Recovery to help with the rebuilding efforts

• Joe Jacobi named Board Chair

• Total assets reach nearly $28 million

• Over $114,000 granted to community nonprofits

• Over $200,000 awarded in scholarships to area students

• The Education Matters Southern Indiana initiative is launched with surrounding partner community foundations

• Kevin Cecil named Board Chair

• Foundation assets top $30,000,000

• Lilly Endowment, Inc. provides $2 million in matching funds for the GIFT VI Initiative

• CFSI undergoes important long-term sustainability study

• The Foundation begins transitioning to more strategic grantmaking to provide the community with more impactful grants

• Education Matters Southern Indiana program receives two years of funding from national and regional funders

• Total grants top $1.4 million

• Over $200,000 awarded in scholarships to 98 students

• Julie Larner named Board Chair

 

• CFSI launches the 2015 Assessment of Community Needs and Priorities for Clark and Floyd Counties

• Total grants top $23 million, including $1.2 million for the 2015 year

• Over $533,000 awarded in scholarships to 94 students

• CFSI now holds over 230 individual funds

• Susie Stewart named Board Chair

 

• CFSI meets a $2 million matching grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

• The Foundation helps Floyd County establish the $70 million Floyd County Fund, providing a reliable, multi-million dollar income stream to the county for generations to come.

• Total grants top $24 million, including $1 million for the 2016 year

• Over 100 scholarships awarded with a combined value of over $620,000

• CFSI now holds over 240 individual funds

• Gary Banet named Board Chair