Questions to ask before joining a board

Training series continues Aug. 11

Area nonprofit directors, their staffs and board members can take advantage of the third installment in a four-part training program this year -- Board Governance Series: Leading the Change -- aimed at helping improve their effectiveness and their programs.

The next installment will take place Aug. 11 at the Community Foundation of Jackson County Conference Center. Its topic is What You Should Know Before Joining a Board of Directors.

Jackson County United Way, Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of Jackson County have teamed to bring this robust board governance training series to the community.

June Miller will facilitate the training with all sessions taking place at the Foundation office, 107 Community Drive in Seymour. Miller is the regional director of Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network.

“We will discuss everything you need to know before joining a nonprofit board of directors and all the questions you should ask about the organization before making the commitment,” Miller said.

Participants will explore questions such as whether you think joining a board will help you become more informer about your community, whether it might help your career and many others.

The topics of this four-part series were selected in part because of the number of new executive directors leading area nonprofits, Executive Director Tonja Couch of Jackson County United Way said.

“June will offer valuable information and training aimed at helping our executive directors, their staffs, their board members and even prospective board members better serve their constituents and our community,” she added.

All sessions are from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The $15 cost per session includes lunch and materials.

The final session is set for Oct. 6. Its focus is meetings with the title “We’ve Got to Stop Meeting Like This.”

You may enroll online through the Community Calendar at the Chamber’s website,

“We encourage our community partners in the nonprofit sector to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Dan Davis, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Nearly 30 people attended the opening session in February and we received good feedback from those participants. We had another good crowd in May. They found it worthwhile. We’re happy to partner with the United Way and the Chamber on this series and pleased to host the sessions here at the Foundation.”

The series is aimed at more than nonprofit directors and their staff, however.

“It’s a great opportunity for business people to learn more about their volunteer responsibilities in our community by participating on the boards of area nonprofits, including what their responsibilities might be and what kind of questions they might want to ask,” Chamber President Tricia Bechman said.


Fall grant deadline approaches

Nonprofits must submit Fall Grant applications to the Community Foundation of Jackson County by Aug. 1.

Each year, the Foundation accepts grant proposals for projects and needs of Jackson County nonprofit agencies, President & CEO Dan Davis said. Grants are funded through the unrestricted and field of interest endowments administered by the Foundation and are available to nonprofit organizations serving Jackson County.

Grant guidelines and proposal forms are available from Foundation Vice President Sue Smith, who may be reached at 812-523-4483 or by e-mail at  Grant Proposal Forms are also available at the Foundation’s website,

Smith is available to review grant proposals before submission.

Applications will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Grants Committee and organizations will be notified following approval at the organization’s October meeting of the Board of Directors.

The Foundation administers the following endowments for the purpose of making Fall Grants:

  • Aisin U.S.A. Manufacturing Inc. Endowment.
  • The Donn Bishop Memorial Endowment.
  • The Don Bollinger Memorial Fund.
  • Jackson County Community Endowment.
  • Bob and Kate Hall Endowment.
  • The Thomas J. Lantz / Montgomery, Elsner & Pardieck Community Endowment.
  • Psi Iota Xi Sorority, Alpha Beta Chapter Endowment.
  • Potts Family Endowment.
  • SIHO Insurance Services Community Endowment.
  • The Larry and Joanne Sunbury Community Endowment.
  • Virginia G. Otto Endowment Fund.
  • Irwin Union Bank & Trust Company Fund.
  • The Cartwright Endowment for the Arts.
  • Carl Hemmer Memorial Fund.
  • Granger H. and Ruth M. Smith Drug Abuse Prevention Fund.
  • Tri Kappa Endowment.
  • The Shelter Fund.
  • The Seymour Tubing Inc. Charitable Endowment for Education.

“All of these endowments have been created through the generosity of businesses and individuals who care passionately about Jackson County and the folks who live and work here,” Smith said.

 ast year, the Foundation approved 20 grants totaling $35,244 through the Fall Grant cycle.

The Foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities, and scholarship administration.  It was created in 1992 and made its first grants in 1994. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in grants and scholarships across Jackson County. The charitable nonprofit administers more than 140 funds with assets of more than $10 million.

For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Davis at


4 scholarships focus on vocational, technical degrees

Deadline for Class of 2017 graduating seniors is Aug. 17, 2016

Four scholarships offered through funds at the Community Foundation of Jackson County aim to help graduating seniors further their education through vocational and technical education programs.

The foundation at times has trouble finding applicants for the scholarships, which are available to graduating seniors from area high schools, said vice president Sue Smith, who oversees much of the organization’s scholarship work. This year’s application deadline is Aug. 17.

“We don’t know if students planning to attend vocational and technical training think there are no scholarships to assist them or what, but there are funds available to help them and their parents with their educational costs,” Smith said.

Those nontraditional scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors include:

The Jackson County Community Endowment was established in April 2007 by the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The primary purpose of the fund shall be to provide scholarships for college, advanced or technical training to a graduating senior from an accredited secondary school in Jackson County. Preference targets students who have a demonstrated financial need and a grade-point average below 3.5.

The Jasper N. Thompson Memorial Scholarship was established in January 2002 by the trustees of the Jasper N. Thompson Testamentary Trust. The primary purpose of the fund shall be to provide a scholarship for advanced vocational or technical training to a graduating senior of any Jackson County high school. Preference shall be afforded to students who have a demonstrated financial need and a grade-point average below 3.5.

The Walter and Cora Schlehuser-Clark and Ruth Thompson Scholarship was established in July 2010 by the Jeff Thompson family. This scholarship is available to students who plan to pursue a two- or four-year degree in a vocational or technical program. Preference is given to Hamilton Township residents graduating from high school, although any Jackson County high school senior may apply.

The Medora High School/Gossman Scholarship was established in September 2004 by George Gossman, the State Bank of Medora and Medora High School alumni. This nonendowed fund shall provide a scholarship or scholarships for two- or four-year advanced vocational or technical training to a graduating senior of Medora High School.

“These scholarship funds have been established to help area residents continue their education with the understanding that doing so doesn’t always mean attending a four-year college and earning a bachelor’s degree,” said Dan Davis, the foundation’s president and CEO. “These funds can help a graduating senior reach their occupational goal.”

To apply for the scholarships, a student must complete the common scholarship application for the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The application can be found online at The deadline this year is Aug. 17.

For information, call the foundation at 812-523-4483 or send an email to


2017 scholarship applications now available online; deadline is Aug. 17, 2016

Lilly Endowment announced it will renew a program that offers full-tuition scholarships for Hoosier high school graduates attending any accredited public or private college or university in Indiana.

With that news came a new, earlier deadline for submitting applications for the program, the Community Foundation of Jackson County reports.

As a result, applications for all scholarships administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County must be submitted by Aug. 17 this summer. Applications are now available on the Foundation’s website,

“The challenge for us is to communicate this change to our current juniors, and counselors across the county are doing that now,” Foundation Vice President Sue Smith said. “Our juniors need to be focused on completing the materials during the summer so that they can turn them in to counselors when school starts.”

Once that’s done, counselors will attach transcripts and the appraisal sheets for each applicant.

“We have also asked counselors to suggest to their juniors that they secure letters of recommendation from teachers now, before the end of the school year,” Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis said. “This will help speed the review process in August.”

The Foundation’s Scholarship Committee will essentially work with the same material as it did with the later deadline, but the information simply must be submitted sooner, Davis said.

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program in 1998 to help address Indiana ranking near the bottom of the 50 states in the percentage of its residents 25 years old who hold a baccalaureate degree.

The program, which will continue to be administered with help from the state’s community foundations, including the Community Foundation of Jackson County, is designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and increase awareness of the potential of Indiana's community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state's residents.

The scholarship program, which has helped more than 4,200 Indiana high school graduates, also provides $900 per year for required books and equipment.

The program is administered by Independent Colleges of Indiana and includes significant participation by the community foundations in each of Indiana's 92 counties. Jackson County residents interested in information about the program may contact the Community Foundation of Jackson County at 812-523-4483.

Information is also available online at, and high school guidance counselors generally can also provide information as well.

With the selection this spring of Trinity Lutheran High School senior Luke Onken as the recipient of the 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, there are now 35 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars from Jackson County.  During the 2016-2017 academic year, there will be four Jackson County Lilly Scholars on college campuses throughout the state of Indiana, Smith said.

Criteria for selection included academic achievement, school and community activities showing depth of involvement and leadership, and employment showing time management and a desire to help oneself, Davis said. 

Additional criteria included advanced placement and honors classes taken in high school, a required essay, and some evidence of financial need. 

“The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Indiana students reach higher levels of education” Smith said.  There were 142 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships awarded statewide this spring.

Increasing educational attainment among Jackson County residents is an important part of the Foundation’s mission to help grow better tomorrows, Davis said.

“Concern about the education levels here was a key factor when the Foundation brought together other partners from the community such as the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce to build the Jackson County Learning Center,” he added. “We remain committed to improving the educational levels of our residents. It is certainly part of our guiding efforts in administering scholarship funds entrusted to the Foundation.”

The Foundation’s efforts to improve educational opportunities extends beyond programs focused on college, including support of the Jackson County Education Coalition’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program for 4-year-olds and the encouragement of workforce development in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and others.

The Foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities and scholarship administration. For information or to make a donation, call 812-523-4483.


Library receives grant

Andy Royalty, left, of the Community Foundation of Jackson County presents Library Director Julia Aker and Jackson County Public Library Board Vice President Josh Bartley of Norman with a $1,099 grant check on Monday (April 18). The Jackson County Public Library benefits annually from a fund administered by the Foundation. The Jackson County Public Library Fund was created in July 1998 with a $5,000 grant from the Board of Directors when Jim Roberts of Seymour was its president. Donations since, including several from the Friends of the Library, have increased the fund’s balance to nearly $24,000. Aker said annual grants from the fund have made improvements at the libraries in Crothersville, Medora and Seymour. Supporters of the Jackson County Public Library may make donations to the fund as memorials, to mark milestones in their lives and through their planned giving strategies. For information, call the Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis at 812-523-4483.

Agency fund grants aid nonprofits

Annual grants from endowed agency funds administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County assist operating and programming expenses for a number of nonprofits in Jackson County.

Recently, Priscilla Wischmeier, below, left, a member of the Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors, presented an agency grant check to Mindy Taskey, center, and Holly Sipe of Child Care Network of Jackson County. The grant is from the Child Care Network Inc. Endowment, an agency fund administered by the Foundation.

Individuals, businesses, groups and other organizations may make donations to the fund  -- and others -- as memorial gifts or planned giving to benefit Child Care Network and its important programs serving the youth of Jackson County.

The Child Care Network Inc. Endowment was started in February 2008 with an initial gift of $4,000. It has since grown to more than $9,000.

Other agency funds provide annual support grants to Girls Inc. of Jackson County, Jackson County History Center, Jackson County Public Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Provisions of Jackson County, Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and Jackson County United Way and Boys & Girls Club of Seymour.

For information, call Dan Davis with the Foundation at 812-523-4483.

Fall Grant assists Freetown Museum's expansion

The Freetown and Pershing Township Museum is growing again.

A grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County will help fund the expansion of the museum on State Road 58. The annex includes the addition of a former café, which houses many of the museum’s artifacts of Freetown and Pershing Township.

The grant was one of 20 awarded recently by the Foundation through its Fall Grant cycle.

In the photo below, Gary Meyer, right, of the Community Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors presents a grant check to Sharon Yost, president of the Freetown Improvement Association, and Russell Fritz. At left is Dan Davis, the Foundation's President & CEO.

For information about donating to the Foundation, call 812-523-4483 or visit online at

Grant aids Turning Point

A grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County’s Fall Grant cycle will help Turning Point Domestic Violence Services deliver services to Latino families in Jackson County. In the photo below, from left, Turning Point President Lisa Shafran and Charlotte Moss, the Jackson County Community Service director for Turning Point, accept a Fall Grant check from Foundation Vice President Sue Smith and Board Member Ron Sibert. The grant was among 20 granted totaling more than $43,000 approved by the Foundation through this year’s Fall Grant program. So far this year, the Foundation has awarded than $344,000 in grants and scholarships.


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Focused on:

  • Community Impact
  • Permanence
  • Proactivity
  • Flexibility
  • Professional Management
  • Stewardship


  1. Charities
  2. Local Organizations
  3. Families
  4. Community Members
  5. Donors
  6. Local Government

Board of Directors

Denise Connell - Chair
Gary Meyer - Vice Chair
Ray Eakins - Treasurer
Priscilla Wischmeier - Secretary
John Beatty
Susan Bevers
Patricia Butt
Michael A. Fleetwood
Kevin Gabbard
Ron Harrison
Jim Johnson
Thomas J. Lantz
Susan Nehrt
Darrell Persinger
Jim Plump
Andy Royalty
Ron Sibert
Dennis Wayman


Dan Davis
President & CEO

Sue Smith
Vice President

Cindy Rinehart

Lori Miller
Development Associate

Board Log-in

Playing Our Part in Local Stewardship

Community Foundation of Jackson County is a community-focused organization. Through our efforts, we stay dedicated to building visionary partnerships with donors and local service organizations, and provide funds to enhance the quality of life across Jackson County. Our employees are chosen for their knowledge of the community and tasked to be representative of a broad cross-section of the community on the whole. We possess the right kind of expertise in the many areas of management necessary to carry out the stewardship functions of the Foundation and benefit the people of our various towns. In all that we do, we promote growth, giving, and flexibility so that we can uniquely tailor all our incomes to the many needs of Jackson County.

The Community Foundation is a public non-profit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to a public charity.

For more information about The Community Foundation of Jackson County, please contact us and speak with one of our members at 812-523-4483 or contact us by e-mail