PARTNERING TO MAKE A GREATER DIFFERENCE
Throughout its 30-year history, The Community Foundation has had a close connection with the Ball Brothers Foundation. In fact, in the mid-1980s it was Ed Ball who led the charge to form a philanthropic organization that would not only allow the Ball Brothers Foundation to focus on Minnetrista and other larger projects but also provide an important opportunity for the citizens of Delaware County to support their own community. He along with other members of the Ball family and the Ball family foundations initiated a matching challenge that sparked the inception of The Community Foundation in 1985. Since then, the two organizations have partnered on numerous projects and continue to work together for the greater good of the community.
“I think we each understand our individual strengths and look for opportunities to support each other,” says Jud Fisher, president and COO of the Ball Brothers Foundation. In addition to this role, Fisher has also served on The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors as well as the Grants Committee and says this has given him a firsthand perspective of how effectively and efficiently the organization is run. “They are absolutely committed to smartly addressing community needs through grant-making while always honoring the wishes of their donors,” he says.
Because of their shared history and common goals, there have been many opportunities throughout the years for The Community Foundation and the Ball Brothers Foundation to work together. In some instances, their partnership has led to beautification projects and other tangible improvements in the community. For instance, in 2012, the Ball Brothers Foundation provided a matching grant that helped establish a quality-of-place fund for projects that revitalize the community and attract a greater number of residents and businesses. Gifts that were made to this fund were matched by the Ball Brothers Foundation, which doubled the impact.
"By pooling resources, we are often able to attract new support, whether through matching dollars from individuals, the state, or other sources."
On other occasions, the two organizations have worked together in order to protect the county’s valuable land and resources. The Land Conservation Fund is an example of such a partnership, providing matching dollars for land acquisition and conservation. “This collaboration is unique in the state of Indiana,” Fisher says. “The process prepares grantees to compete successfully for matching state funding, bringing even more resources into our community.”
Yet another focus for the two organizations has been childhood development and education, which led to their mutual support of the BY5 Early Childhood Initiative, working to ensure all children in Delaware County are kindergarten-ready by age 5. The initiative is a supporting organization of The Community Foundation, and the support it has received from the Foundation as well as the Ball Brothers Foundation has helped defray programming costs and benefit a larger number of children.
Through these and many other partnerships, The Community Foundation and the Ball Brothers Foundation have been able to maximize their impact on the community. “By pooling resources, we are often able to attract new support, whether through matching dollars from individuals, the state, or other sources,” Fisher says. “No single entity can take advantage of new opportunities on its own. The Community Foundation is a great partner in our community’s efforts to constantly improve and to become an even better place to live and work.”
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