Deadline nears for scholarship applications

The deadline for applying for scholarships administered by the Community Foundation is fast approaching.

Applications must be filed by Dec. 3, 2015. There are no exceptions.

For information, call Foundation Vice President Sue Smith at 812-523-4483.

#GivingTuesday asks you to help our community

It's getting closer. #GivingTuesday -- set for Dec. 1 this year -- is a local, national and international effort to promote giving to charity and giving back to one's community during the holiday season.

People are encouraged to donate to charity following the shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Your #GivingTuesday gifts to the Community Foundation of Jackson County can help make a difference in perpetuity through the earnings of endowed funds that benefit people and programs throughout Jackson County.

That could include giving to any of the local nonprofit agency funds administered by the Foundation, including those that benefit the United Way of Jackson County, Boys & Girls Club of Seymour, Girls Inc. of Jackson County, Childcare Network, Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, Community Provisions of Jackson County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jackson County History Center Jackson County Public Library and Developmental Services Inc.

Your #GivingTuesday donation could also benefit the unrestricted funds that help finance the Foundation's Fall Grant Cycle and Classroom Education Grants.

If you'd like a donation could be made to start a new endowed fund in your name or perhaps in memory of a loved one.

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

In the photo above, Jason Schuerman unloads corn donated by Engelau Farms for the Gift of Grain program with the Community Foundation of Jackson County. Engelau Farms donated corn to the Foundation through the Jackson-Jennings Co-op elevator at Cortland. Other participating elevators are Bundy Bros. of Medora, Tose Acre Farms of Cortland and Tampico Grain near Crothersville.

Red Team retakes lead over Green in Head to Head contest

The Red Team retook its former lead over the Green Team in the second annual Head-to-Head tractor contest sponsored by the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Tractor lovers and area farmers can participate in the annual Giving a Gift of Grain program and the Head-to-Head: Green vs. Red contest. Votes cost $20 or six for $100. Donors are encouraged to vote early and often.

Donations can support the Green or Red team and benefit the community forever through funds administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Deer Country and Jacobi Sales Inc. of Seymour have teamed again to park equipment pitting Green vs. Red in the Foundation parking lot, 107 Community Drive, Seymour.

The Red team won last year.

The Red Team moved ahead with a recent donation of corn from Engelau Farms. Their votes moved the Red Team ahead with 50.8 percent of all votes case in the contest. This is the second year for Engelau Farms to participate in the Gift of Grain program offered by the Foundation.

“I see it as a good way to help others,” Ed Engelau said the Gift of Grain program. “I’ve been blessed, and this feels like a good way of paying that forward.”

The Gift of Grain process is simple. Farmers tell their grain elevator that a particular load of grain is being donated to the Foundation. The elevator then sells the grain for the Foundation. Donors to Giving a Gift of Grain can benefit by avoiding the sale of the donated grain in their farm income, which can provide a savings in their tax bills.

Participating grain elevators are Bundy Brothers in Medora, Jackson-Jennings Co-op in Brownstown and Cortland, Tampico Grain near Crothersville and Rose Acre Farms near Cortland.

Farmers can contribute their gifts of grain to benefit any of the 138 funds administered by the Foundation, including the Jackson County Community Endowment, which helps the Fall Grant Cycle, said Dan Davis, President and CEO of the Foundation.

Tractor enthusiasts who don’t have grain to donate can cast a ballot in the Green vs. Red competition through cash donations.

For information about how to cast your vote, call the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 812-523-4483, or send an email to


Foundation awards fall grants

Matching gifts extend Community Foundation fall grants


Young boys and girls across Jackson County will receive life advice from adult volunteer mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana.

New fire hoses and other equipment will aid volunteer firefighters when their new tanker truck rolls up to a house fire in Grassy Fork Township.

And Jackson County residents needing a hot meal will find a warm, comfortable space this winter to share that meal with others at Matthew 25 Street Ministries.

Those outcomes result from two members of the Community Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors extending the reach of the Fall Grants cycle with matching dollars of more than $8,300, boosting grants to $43,595.71 total.

Ron Sibert said his employer, Jackson-Jennings Co-Op, will fund a $2,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters and a $2,500 grant to Grassy Fork Volunteer Fire Department, and Andy Royalty said he and his wife, Misty, will match a $3,894.35 grant to Matthew 25 Street Ministries for a new heating and cooling system.

The grants are among 20 approved Oct. 22 through the Fall Grants cycle, aimed at improving life throughout Jackson County.

“We appreciate Andy and Ron stepping up when they saw that those grants might go unfunded,” said Dan Davis, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Every autumn, the grants committee faces far more requests than we’re able to fund.”

That was the case this year, too, with 33 grant applications totaling more than $186,000. Earnings from unrestricted and field of interest funds that finance fall grants totaled $35,244.

“That’s a real disconnect,” Davis said.

With the unmet needs exceeding grants each year, the Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff are exploring possible ways to narrow that gap. Under consideration is creation of a matching program to boost the balances and earning power of existing funds administered by the Foundation.

“Our experience has shown that many funds started at the Foundation do not see follow-up donations once established,” Board Member Tom Lantz of Seymour said. “We’re exploring ways of re-engaging donors and finding new donors to encourage giving to those existing funds and possibly starting new funds. We need to find ways to help fund those unmet needs each grant cycle.”

Among those unmet needs included applications for grants to assist people struggling to return to the work force, support services for people who have found new jobs and after-school programming for area children. Some other fund requests were trimmed.

The approved Fall Grants increase the total of grants awarded by the Foundation so far this year to more than $318,000. They include $73,836.67 in scholarships, $130,901 from endowments for nonprofit agencies, $4,178 from donor advised funds and more than $55,000 in grants to various Jackson County charitable organizations.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors approved the fall grants following recommendations from the Grants Committee, which consists of board members and community volunteers.

“A majority of the grant dollars are funded through what are called unrestricted endowments with the purpose of using earnings from donors’ gifts to benefit Jackson County,” Davis said. “Our Grants Committee, with the experienced assistance of Vice President Sue Smith, does a thorough job of reviewing applications and conducting site visits to ensure that community needs are being met.”

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

2015 Fall Grants

The following fall grants were approved:

Actors Community Theater of Seymour Inc. -- $1,300 for production equipment.

American Red Cross -- $1,000 for the Home Fire Preparedness Project.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana -- $2,000 for Jackson County Mentor Programs (with funding coming from the Jackson-Jennings Co-op.

Brownstown/Ewing Main Street -- $500 for the Ewing Depot Restoration.

Child Care Network Inc. -- $1,000 was for 2016 Kids Fest.

Developmental Services Inc. -- $2,000 for a storage facility for mobility equipment.

Fort Vallonia Association for the Joe Jackson Hotel -- $2,000 to drywall the first floor of the Joe Jackson Hotel.

Freetown Improvement Association -- $2,000 for a museum annex.

Grassy Fork Volunteer Fire Department- - $5,000 for hoses and equipment for the new tanker truck (a donation of $2,500 from Jackson-Jennings Co-op will provide half of the grant).

Hoosier Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America -- $1,000 to install steps at Maumee Camp.

Houston School Restoration Committee -- $500 toward purchase and installation of year-round heating and cooling units.

Jackson County Education Coalition -- $5,000 for required matching funds for the On My Way Pre-K Project.

Jackson County Public Library -- $2,238 for learning and discovery stations.

Jackson County United Way -- $1,500 for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Leadership Jackson County -- $2,000 for a pre-k literacy book for preschool-age Jackson County children.

Matthew 25 Street Ministries -- $7,788.71 for a heating and air conditioning upgrade (gift from Andy and Misty Royalty will fund half of the grant).

Reins to Recovery Inc. -- $3,469 for the Take the Reins Program.

Southern Indiana Center for the Arts -- $1,300 for a 15-by-20-foot frame tent.

Thrive Alliance -- $1,000 for the Foster Grandparents Program.

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services -- $1,000 was for Jackson County Latina Services.

Sources of grant dollars

The following endowments and field of interest funds supported unrestricted grants this year:

  • 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
  • Jackson County Unrestricted 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 Virginia G. Otto Endowment Fund
  • The Irwin Union Bank & Trust Co. Fund
  • The Cartwright Endowment for the Arts
  • Granger H. and Ruth M. Smith Drug Abuse Prevention Fund
  • Carl Hemmer Memorial Fund (performing arts)
  • Tri Kappa Endowment (charity, culture and education)
  • The Shelter Fund (homelessness)

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


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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

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