Porter County Community Foundation

The Porter County Community Foundation collaborates with community members to support their favorite causes by establishing and managing permanent endowment funds that make it possible for their support to last forever. Since 1996, PCCF has awarded over $37 million in grants and scholarships to organizations and students in our community. It’s easy. Tell us what you love, discover your options, and make a powerful gift that lasts. 

Our Guiding Principle
To strengthen our community through lasting generosity and leadership.

Watch the video to see how we make your generosity go further

Our Values

Power of Generosity




Our Staff

Jeri Patricia Gabbert

Executive Vice President & Chief Philanthropic Officer

Bill Higbie

President & CEO

Janelle Lewin

Office Coordinator


Melissa Martin

Executive Assistant


Caroline Schrenker

Director of Operations

Karisa Zacarias

Director of Finance

Mary Jane Eisenhauer, EdD

Executive Director
First Things First Porter County


Laura Green

Outreach Coordinator
First Things First Porter County


Hadassah Moore

Project Coordinator
First Things First Porter County

Board of Directors

Dean Cobble

GW Berkheimer

Ryan Cole

Valparaiso University

Tim Coleman

Centier Bank

Saradha De Jesus


Julie Elisha

McColly Real Estate

Carol Hall

Berglund Construction

Scott Hufford

Portage Township Schools

Stephanie Jones


Jung Lee

Indiana Beverage

Jeffrey Lewis


Lauren Kroeger

Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans

Megan Marshall


John Montgomery

Blox Digital

Emily Richardson-Rossbach


Mark Ritzi

Horizon Bank

Jennifer Shikany


Rachel Stoner

East Porter County School District

Matt Vessely

1st Source Bank

Jennifer Vidimos

Retired Educator

Celina Weatherwax

McMillan Family Foundation

Sami Welter

Ella Jayms

Michael Wendahl

Incremedical Corporation

Kari Zehner

Kittredge & Zehner, P. C.

Frequently Asked Questions

A community foundation is a public charity focused on supporting a geographical area, pooling donations used to address community needs and support local nonprofits. Community foundations offer numerous types of grant-making programs, including donor-advised funds, endowments, scholarships, field-of-interest funds, giving circles, and more. These foundations are funded by donations from individuals, families, businesses, and grants from the government. They play a key role in identifying and solving community problems. Because community foundations work with a wide variety of nonprofits, donors, grantees, and government entities, community foundations have special insight into community issues.

Yes, gifts of all sizes make a difference, and you can decide how your gift will be used. A little goes along way. Watch the video at the top of the page to see what it would look like for our community if we all just gave a little bit.

The two organizations complement one another, and each is uniquely positioned to fill a distinct role. United Way focuses on raising and distributing resources for immediate use, while PCCF gathers generosity for the purpose of investing it to grow for the future. Both are equally important. 

If you are supporting a local nonprofit, we urge you to continue your support; that organization relies on you to help provide their services. PCCF provides a way to make your support last forever. The Foundation has the expertise to manage your endowed gift efficiently and effectively for the benefit of one or more charities of your choice.

PCCF is very flexible. You can give in traditional ways, such as cash or stocks, but you can also give life insurance, real estate, or retirement benefits. There are even ways to make a gift enabling you or your family to draw an income from your gift. You can enjoy tax savings today and peace of mind for the future, knowing you have made a difference. Donors have contributed many amounts – from $2 to $12 million! Contact us, and we will work with you to curate a unique giving opportunity just for you.

PCCF enables you to support so many worthwhile organizations in your own community, organizations you choose. Because endowed gifts remain forever, they truly help to transform local nonprofit organizations, enabling organizations to focus on delivering valuable services. This long-term support is a great way to ensure these organizations last as long as your gift – forever.

Yes, PCCF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so your gift is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  

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