HOPE — Significant strides are being made by a northeast Bartholomew County philanthropic organization toward a goal of increasing its value to $1 million by 2020.
After receiving more than $50,000 in donations last year, the Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment is approaching a value of $850,000 since its inception in 2002, advisory board member Tom Finke said.
It is the endowment fund for Flat Rock and Haw Creek townships.
Last year, the organization approved 13 grants, including five to Hope area schools, to provide more than $30,000 to worthy causes and nonprofits.
The increase in giving for 2017 — up from $23,050 the prior year — was due in part to two $10,000 matching fund challenges from separate donors: the Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County and Timothy M. Andrews, Finke said.
Since the endowment operates as a fund within the Heritage Fund, the Columbus-based community foundation always has provided consistent support, said Celeste Yonushonis, director of finance for the Heritage Fund.
But the matching grant opportunity by Andrews, a 1980 graduate of Hauser High School, came as a late-summer surprise, she said.
The CEO of a 450-employee advertising corporation in Pennsylvania, Andrews didn’t issue his $10,000 matching grant until early September, Yonushonis said.
After the Heritage Fund responded by issuing an identical challenge, the goal was reached by the end of the year with the help of anonymous donors, she said.
But Finke said there was more behind the increased giving last year than just two matching grants.
For example, a total of 56 memorial donations were made in honor of Merrill Clouse, a prominent community leader who died April, 2017, at the age of 95.
“I think donations are also picking up because folks recognize the good we’ve been doing,” Finke said. “The word is out that we are impacting folks and making a difference.”
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to:
Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment Fund
PO Box 202
Hope, IN 47246
Checks should be made payable to “Hawcreek-Flat Rock Endowment Fund.”
For more information, visit www.endowmenthfr.org