Unity Foundation Participates in $2 for $1 Matching Grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.
The Unity Foundation of La Porte County has received a grant of $1,000,000 as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s
seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. With GIFT VII, the Endowment is
making up to $125 million available to help Indiana community foundations strengthen the towns, cities and
counties they serve.
The Unity Foundation can use this matching fund grant to build our financial assets and support our charitable
activities. The Unity Foundation will designate these funds to support the growth of our unrestricted
endowments, which over time will provide flexibility to help the foundation to meet community needs. The
Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed to the Unity Foundation’s unrestricted endowments such
as its Power for Good Fund, during the matching period, October 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020.
Michele Magnuson, Co-Chairwoman of the Unity Foundation said, “GIFT VII will help us shape the future of
La Porte County-for the better. We look forward to working with our partners to improve the quality of life
here, now and for generations to come.”
The GIFT initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s grantmaking to strengthen Indiana communities and has been
a priority of the Endowment since the first phase of GIFT in 1990. The initiative’s primary aim is to help
Indiana community foundations develop the philanthropic capacity to identify, prioritize and address local
opportunities and challenges.
To encourage the engagement of the Unity Foundation’s board of directors, the Endowment also will award
an additional $100,000 unrestricted grant if the foundation achieves 100 percent financial support from our
board members during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Maggi Spartz, Unity Foundation
president said, “The board members have always supported Unity through their personal giving. They know
that Unity is making a difference.”
Starting in 2019, the Unity Foundation will have the opportunity to apply for more funds through GIFT VII’s
community leadership grants. This component includes both planning and implementation grants, which are
available to help the foundation deepen its understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing its
community; convene key stakeholders and explore how it can effectively play a leadership role in
implementing initiatives and strategies that enhance the quality of life in La Porte County. Jon Gilmore, Unity
Co-Chairman said; “Unity has been active in community leadership for many years. This opportunity will help
us sharpen our focus and do things that will strengthen our communities.”
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three
members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their
pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support causes of community
development, education and religion. Lilly Endowment’s community development grantmaking is designed to
support efforts that enhance the quality of life in Indianapolis and Indiana.