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Porter County Community Foundation Supports Porter County ‘for Generations to Come’

Article written by Curtis Hankins, GreatNews.Life | February 29, 2024

Every day, people across Porter County depend on dozens of nonprofit organizations. They keep people fed, sheltered, educated, employed, and much more. Budgets are often tight for these essential organizations, and they depend on the support of generous community members to continue providing and expanding their services.

The Porter County Community Foundation (PCCF) is our county’s community foundation dedicated to partnering with individuals and organizations that would like to offer support to nonprofit organizations that matter to them and to provide leadership to our community.  Founded in 1996, PCCF uses the power of endowment funds to help generous, philanthropic individuals turn an initial gift into a perpetually expanding well of support for organizations and causes the donor cares about.

“Our guiding principle is strengthening our community through lasting generosity and leadership,” said Samantha Bean, director of marketing and communications for PCCF. “We are grateful to be in a position to bring together and facilitate conversations with passionate community members and nonprofits to help make our community an even better place to live and work. 

PCCF works with individuals and organizations that are interested in investing in our community through philanthropy. The aim is helping the prospective donor invest in the nonprofit missions that matter most to them. This is accomplished primarily by facilitating and pooling philanthropic donations through the creation of endowed, or permanent, funds. The focus is on the sustainability of local nonprofits to enhance the community. Prospective donors can add funding to existing funds or create new funds. Donors may choose to name the fund after their family or loved ones to honor them by establishing a legacy in their name. PCCF has endowed funds to support arts, animal welfare, education, the environment, human services, youth programs, and more. 

“We work with donors to find the best way to meet their charitable and financial goals,” Bean said. “An endowment is a tool for these generous people to support causes that matter to them, not just today but forever. That’s the purpose: to create and grow steady, predictable charitable resources that continue for generations to come.”

The funding made possible by the endowed accounts enables PCCF to offer grants and scholarship support. In 2023, PCCF awarded over $4,500,000 in grant funding to Porter County nonprofits and over $195,000 in scholarship support to local students for both college and vocational school. This shows the wide-range of giving options and, more importantly, the impact the work that community foundation is doing has on our community. 

PCCF grants help make possible many of the positive headlines you read about local nonprofits expanding their operations. One recent example is Hilltop Neighborhood House’s upcoming soup kitchen, which is already under construction.

“We awarded $60,000 in grants to Hilltop to support their Mission Kitchen,” Bean said. “The soup kitchen is scheduled to open in April, and it will be serving meals three days a week to the community. That’s powerful and highly needed.”

Over the course of PCCF’s history, there have been times when the community has identified a need or opportunity that required special attention. Two years ago, the PCCF board of directors saw an opportunity to enhance the work being done around early childhood education and launched First Things First Porter County (FTF). As a separate 501c3 nonprofit, FTF supports initiatives focusing on early childhood learning. In partnership with PCCF, FTF launched Seeds of Promise, a program where every baby born to a Porter County resident is automatically eligible for a $100 grant to be invested for their post-high school educational expenses. This program is funded through a permanent endowed account by PCCF. That is the beauty of the work that PCCF is doing; the funds raised are being used to impact and make a difference in our community in so many ways. 

“We’re always thankful for our donors and their incredible generosity,” Bean said. “We encourage anyone who wants to learn more to visit us online on our website or social media. You can also give us a call, and someone will be more than willing to speak with you. We have people call our office all the time saying, ‘I want to be charitable. How can I make that happen?’ and we help them.”

For more information about PCCF, visit PCCF.gives or call 219-465-0294.

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