Building Leadership Skills

Alisa and board member, Ben Wicker, recently spent a day learning ways to lead our community forward and create a vibrant future at the Lilly Endowment Inc GIFT Community Foundation Convening (LEI Convening) in Indianapolis.


The event provided the opportunity for executive directors and board members from foundations across the state to gather and hear from an array of experts. “After two years of only ‘gathering’ via Zoom an in-person meeting was especially powerful. There was energy in the room that is simply not duplicatable over a screen,” noted Alisa.


(l to r) Alisa, Danka Klein (Union Co.), Alexandra Pflug (Fayette Co.)

She continued, “Indiana Community Foundations are so fortunate to have a strong network. We support each other through sharing ideas, policies and processes, and more. Although each foundation operates independently, we have recognized success through working together so well. I’ve made some wonderful friends, too.”


Ben agreed. “My biggest takeaway was that while there is a thread of commonality amongst all community foundations, they are each structured in a way that reflects the needs and desires of their local communities. It was was great opportunity to network and share big ideas about how to help our communities thrive while fitting that to what makes our local places unique.”


Topics ranged from strategies for renewal to challenges and opportunities surrounding early education, workforce development, and diversity & inclusion. Panelists provided resources for engaging board members and community stakeholders and guiding community-lead quality of place initiatives.


These sessions proved timely and relevant. The RCCF-funded First5 Rush County’s Early Learning Coalition is leading efforts to improve access to more high-quality early learning options for Rush County families. The organization and our community’s gap in services was highlighted in Early Learning Indiana’s recent report and resulted in a $100,000 grant to address the need.


The Community Based Action Planning (CBAP) initiative continues taking shape locally. The current projects have attracted new volunteers with skills and interests to lead positive change. Another valuable outcome has been the broadening of communication pipelines between efforts. The skills acquired through this process can be replicated for years to come.


We are beyond grateful for the many ways that Lilly Endowment Inc. supports Rush County and the entire state of Indiana!

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