Legacy Foundation introduces new resources and tools to strengthen Northwest Indiana nonprofits
Legacy Foundation, Lake County's leading philanthropic partner, today (May 2) held a lively Town Hall session with more than 100 representatives from area nonprofit organizations to educate them about important new resources and tools offered by the foundation.
"Legacy Foundation has been granting funds into the community and building partnerships with area nonprofits for 20 years," said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer. "We are proud to bring the area's nonprofit sector the next level of collaboration tools, training and development opportunities and online resources that will help them raise money and build capacity. This will, over the long term, benefit the people of Lake County by enhancing the delivery of services from these organizations."
The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation
Legacy Foundation introduced The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit mentoring and resource center. Through The Think Tank, Legacy Foundation staff and partners will help the area's nonprofit sector solve problems and enhance nonprofit organizations' capacity to deliver services.
Resources offered by The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation include:
- Capacity-building grants
- Facilitation of Communities of Practice
- Meeting facilitation
- Free meeting space at Legacy Foundation's convenient Merrillville offices
- Collection of online resources
- Referrals to community training resources
- Research, data collection and analysis
- Development of young philanthropists in Northwest Indiana
- Fundraising opportunities for Lake County nonprofits via www.legacyfdn.org
A primary focus for The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation over the next year will be building communities of practice. Communities of practice bring together participants including nonprofit members, business professionals, civic leaders, religious leaders, funders and donors to build innovative partnerships that address community needs. The participants share their knowledge in specific service areas, which may include arts and culture, education, the environment and human services.
The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation is led by Director Trish Alt, who brings an extensive background in community foundation leadership and nonprofit collaboration to Legacy Foundation.
New grant opportunities
Legacy Foundation announced a new grantmaking strategy designed to strengthen the Lake County community.
"We define a strong Lake County community as one where informed and engaged citizens want to live, work, worship and play," said Lara Kalwinski, Legacy Foundation vice president. "Our nonprofit community thrives as we dedicate ourselves to the collaborative spirit and to demonstrating collective impact."
Legacy offers grants for:
- Nonprofit Training – up to $2,000 for organizations seeking professional guidance on how to manage their operations, programming, and fundraising
- Transforming Lake County – programming that relates to a measure of improved economic, social or environmental well-being
- Informed and Engaged Urban Communities – grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Fund for organizations bringing residents together to collectively address issues residents identify as important and to take action in ways they themselves deem appropriate
- Neighborhood Spotlight – collaborative efforts targeting local needs, coming in 2013
- Improving Student Success – for organizations working to increase high school graduation rates, college and career opportunities
- Supporting Hobart Seniors – grants from the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund to support a vibrant senior community in Hobart
Online fundraising platform
Legacy Foundation also introduced an online donor engagement platform that enables nonprofit organizations to fundraise directly from the community with minimal effort and no cost. By simply clicking on the "Give in Lake County" button on Legacy Foundation's newly redesigned website, www.legacyfdn.org, a 501(c)(3) organization can post and promote a need to the community.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit Legacy Foundation's website often, click on "Give in Lake County," and view local needs. Giving even a small amount can help an organization make a difference in the community.
$10,000 Cara Spicer Award
Vande Velde announced the application process for the Cara Spicer Award, a $10,000 one-time award to be made later this year to a Lake County organization.
Applicants for the award must have participated in Legacy Foundation's previous Great Lake Award Initiative workshops for at least three years and must not have received the Great Lake Award for Excellence. Applications will be available via Legacy Foundation's website June 1, with completed applications due August 1. The award will be presented in late fall.