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Unity Foundation Releases 2019-2020 Annual Report

MICHIGAN CITY, IN —Unity Foundation of La Porte County is pleased to release its 2019-2020 Report to
the Community. The report provides a look back at the accomplishments during this period.

Highlights for 2019 included kicking off the Vibrant Communities of La Porte County process, which
hadn’t been done in nearly 30 years. Unity took pride in 2019 in making $1.4 million in grants and
scholarships that nourished the community. Unity responded to opportunities from the Lilly
Endowment to plan and implement strategies to strengthen the county and region – working closely
with the Crown Point Community Foundation, Legacy Foundation and others to accomplish what no one
could do alone.

“While 2020 seemed unfathomable, our staff, board, partners and donors reacted quickly toward the
goal of ensuring our community’s needs were being met. Together, we are a power for good,” said
Maggi Spartz, Unity Foundation President.

In 2020, Unity pivoted quickly to remote working and virtual meetings and office visits, accomplishing
the following:

• The Vibrant Communities community engagement process was completed, but stalled by COVID
when it was time to unveil the Action Agenda to the community. Despite this, Unity began
implementing the more urgent items such as the virtual tool to support entrepreneurs of all
kinds: NWIBIZhub.com. Unity worked with its partners to take first steps toward a county wide
housing study and action agenda. Further implementation of Vibrant is ongoing in 2021—with
everyone’s help. Visit vibrantLPCounty.com to learn more.
• Unity activated the La Porte County Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund and made proactive
grants to frontline organizations to get ‘early’ money to them for food and supplies, while other
funding sources were gearing up. Non-profits received expedited annual fund payments, and
2019 grant recipients were given flexibility to divert unused grant funds to crisis response.
• Weekly, Unity convened the county’s three homeless shelters and many support organizations
working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst the homeless. Unity also convened local
funders weekly to avoid duplication and to coordinate grant making and solutions.
• Unity also convened bi-weekly meetings with key groups to try to prevent mass homelessness of
people facing the ‘eviction cliff.’ A pilot program with Township Trustees is seeing results.
• Unity granted over $1.44 million and distributed scholarships of $280,000 to benefit local
residents and non-profits.

To view the report or to sign up for Unity’s newsletter, visit uflc.net.

Since 1992, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has served donors, nonprofits and local communities. As
La Porte County’s community foundation, it manages approximately $35 million in assets, administers
more than 325 charitable funds, and has distributed more than $21 million through direct grants and
scholarships. The Council on Foundations has deemed Unity Foundation in compliance with all Indiana
and national ethical and operating standards for community foundations. Unity Foundation’s mission is
to strengthen La Porte County now and forever by building permanent endowments; providing
leadership; offering philanthropic vehicles for everyone; and, being a catalyst for social and economic
vitality. For more information, please visit www.uflc.net or call 219-879-0327.

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