Last week, Mike Hicks wroteÂ column about how lucky Indiana is to have so many community foundations and how they help our economy. Here is what we took away from that article.
Indiana has many things going for it and the expansive network of community foundations is among the most important, in our opinion. Indiana has more than 90 community foundations throughout the state. And unlike other organizations, the community foundations focus their efforts on better understanding how to impact their local economies and improve the quality of life for their residents.
Community foundations are able to focus on the community specific grants that larger organizations cannot. Here are a few advantages community foundations have over larger organizations because they are close to the community they serve:
- they understand those they support, so potentially, those who do good work versus those who write good grants can get more funding.
- they fill the gap between publicly and privately provided services – they know where the unmet needs are.
- they act as a lifeguard for their communities by bridging funding for orgs that face potential short-term financial problems.
So, what better partnership could the IEDC and other economic development associations/organizations have than with their local community foundations? We would argue that Economic Development Corps. that are focused on how to boost and strengthen their local communities/economies need to rethink their partnerships with their local community foundations.