The decision 40 years ago by community leaders to establish the Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County has proven to be one of the better ones made on behalf of local residents.
A need that was established locally has borne fruit time and again. Heritage Fund began to not only provide funding for worthwhile causes through a wide array of grants it administers, but to serve as a moderator and facilitator for discussions on community matters of significant importance.
Heritage Fund has emerged as the major philanthropic force, as evidenced by the fact that it sixth among community foundations statewide with assets of $65 million.
Heritage Fund’s efforts have been directed at its four primary focus areas: learning systems, economic growth, welcoming community and bridging the economic gap. The fruits of Heritage Fund’s labor have been seen in multiple ways, such as:
Aiding in the rebuilding of The Commons
Helping struggling families find financial stability
Supporting early childhood education
Creating Engage Columbus to connect new residents with resources to help them feel more welcome in the city
Providing a three-year, $40,000 gift to help build what is now IUPUC
Providing a five-year, $100,000 grant for IUPUC’s nursing program and faculty retention effort
The Heritage Fund plays an even greater role in the community after the disappearance of two prominent philanthropic organizations. The Arvin Foundation ceased to exist in the early 2000s, and the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation wound down over the past few years.
Heritage Fund, however, continues to grow in assets and in the impact it has on providing help and direction for a dynamic, growing community. Its goal for the next 10 years is to increase its assets to $100,000.
Foundations such as Heritage Fund are vital in helping a community address its needs. The foundation has benefited the community in many ways thanks to the support and donations of community members.
Expect the Heritage Fund to play an even greater role as community needs continue to evolve.