Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties Receives Lilly Endowment Inc. Community Leadership Grants

Community Leadership Implementation Grants total $350,000 for the three counties

October 23, 2020 -- The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties has received a Community Leadership Grant of $350,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. Howard County received a $150,000 grant, and Clinton and Carroll counties each received a $100,000 grant. The Community Leadership Implementation Grants were based on county population. With the grants, the Community Foundation will fund mental health and addiction services navigators in each county. 

The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities in the towns, cities and counties they serve. Lilly Endowment expects to make additional GIFT VII grants in the coming months.

“The Community Leadership Implementation Grants will allow the Foundation to support nonprofits, that are providing mental health and addiction services, respond to high-priority needs in our communities,” said Greg Aaron, President of the Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties. “The need for better navigation to these types of services was evident before COVID-19 and has increased since the pandemic. These grants will improve access to the quality services our communities already offer.”

As part of GIFT VII, the Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties was awarded a Planning Grant totaling $175,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges among Howard, Clinton and Carroll counties.  Howard County received a $75,000 grant, and Clinton and Carroll counties each received a $50,000 grant. In March 2020, the Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.

During the Planning Grant phase, the Foundation conducted more than 70 meetings among the three counties. These included community conversations and key service provider meetings to learn and prioritize what concerns and actions the citizens in each county felt was important to the future well-being and growth of their community.

The community research was used to develop the proposals to apply for the Community Leadership grants to fund the mental health and substance abuse navigators. The Community Leadership Implementation Grants will fund the navigator positions through Turning Point – System of Care in Howard County; Healthy Communities of Clinton County; and Mental Health of America – Wabash Valley Region in Carroll County. 

“Placing additional navigators at these nonprofit organizations will help to reduce barriers to service delivery and reduce the frustration individuals can experience when seeking mental health and addiction services,” said Aaron. “This strengthened network will help to improve outcomes by engaging clients in the healing process and facilitating the transition toward treatment and wellness. The regional collaboration will be instrumental in providing cohesive services in the area.”

“We are grateful to the Foundation and Lilly Endowment for supporting the services of Turning Point – System of Care,” said Paul Wyman, Board Chair of Turning Point – System of Care. “Because of COVID-19 we have experienced a significant increase in need for our programs and services. This grant will be used immediately to improve access to quality care for those in need.”

Healthy Communities of Clinton County has also experienced a rise in need for behavioral health and addiction services. “For people seeking treatment, this grant allows us to provide additional bilingual guidance to resources,” said Lorra Archibald, Director of Healthy Communities of Clinton County.  “The Foundation has been a good partner in supporting the community and we appreciate collaborating with them in support of our mission to address health issues in Clinton County.”

“This grant gives us the opportunity to introduce our navigator program in Carroll County and offer behavioral health and addiction services to its citizens,” said Brandi Christiansen, CEO of Mental Health America – Wabash Valley Region. “It will help us remove barriers to people seeking mental health treatment by giving them a starting point to connect to resources.”

The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Clinton and Carroll Counties is a nonprofit charitable organization. The purpose of the Foundation is to serve the interests of donors, to make grants and act as a catalyst around issues of community importance in Howard, Clinton and Carroll counties. For details about making a charitable gift or establishing a permanent endowment fund to benefit a charitable organization or interest, contact Greg Aaron at (765) 454-7298 or

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.


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