Looking Back and Thinking Forward 8th January 2020 As we look forward, it’s a good idea to look back, too. See where we’ve been. Take stock of the progress made. Celebrate the successes. Give credit where it’s due… to YOU. There’s no denying it – 2019 was huge. We’re grateful for your support! Take a look at what we’ve accomplished together. Grants and Fund distributions totaled $731,659. This support funded scholarships; nonprofits; and designated churches, cemeteries, organizations and fields of interest to serve the Rush County community. This was made possible by EACH gift that has been made to RCCF since 1991! Every time you make a donation, your gift is invested. The earnings from those investments create this support. And the original gift you made? It stays in the invested funds to generate more support FOREVER. Speaking of your gifts, they totaled more than $425,000! Your generosity established 13 new funds. Since October 2018, you donated $250,000 to community grants funds to support local nonprofits. You met the $500,000 match provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT VII way ahead of schedule. In just 11 months $750,000 were added to endowed funds to support our community always. That’s a serious team effort! Lilly Endowment Inc. made a $50,000 grant to assist RCCF to take on a new community leadership role. In August, we invited 30 local leaders to participate in a three-day community development course. Participants learned principles of community engagement, civic design, local economies and storytelling. They explored readiness for change and took away tools, resources and a heightened enthusiasm for leading Rush County into a vibrant and prosperous future. The group continues to meet and work together. You participated in eight community insights meetings held throughout the county. You learned about shifting demographics and told us what you “like, love and want to love” about where we live. Another 434 responded to an online survey. Your input will help shape the vision for our future. Lisa Benjamin joined the RCCF team as the Marketing & Communications Officer. This newly established position will give us a dedicated staff member to share stories of the impact you’re making and will free up Executive Director Alisa to spend more time with donors and step more fully into her community leadership role. 2019 also saw RCCF’s National Standards® accreditation approved. The National Standards is a self-regulatory program designed by community foundations for community foundations. This process requires significant time and effort to submit documentation and implement feedback to ensure high standards are being met. Accreditation is reconfirmed annually. The accreditation assures you as a supporter that RCCF has demonstrated evidence of excellence, accountability, impact and distinction with regards to community philanthropy. What will 2020 bring? New and exciting opportunities for sure. We’ll be submitting a competitive grant to Lilly Endowment Inc., which if awarded will transform our community. We’ll continue our leadership efforts and develop a new strategic plan. We’ll be updating software and processes to become more efficient. We’ll host the 3rd annual Five in 50 bike ride. We’ll award grants and scholarships to enhance life for all. And we’ll look forward to having you right there beside us as we continue to create a community that supports the needs of all.