#GivingTuesday supports community

You survived Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and a big dinner.

You shopped for family and friends on Black Friday.

You shopped some more when you Shopped Small at local businesses onSaturday.

And today you're set for yet more shopping online during Cyber Monday.

That it? Well, we hope not.

The Community Foundation of Jackson County asks that you consider giving to local charities – including the endowment funds we administer – on #GivingTuesday. As in tomorrow. Right now, gifts to the Jackson County Community Endowment can earn a generous $2 match from Lilly Endowment Inc. for every $1 you donate. Other community (unrestricted) funds are also eligible for the match.

#GivingTuesday is an effort to raise awareness of the needs of charitable programs at home and around the world during a time when so many seem more focused on spending for wishes and wants rather than the needs of others.

The event, however, can be – and really should be -- about much more than one day each Christmas and holiday season. We ask that you consider pledging to do more next year. Perhaps give a certain amount every month to a local nonprofit such as Community Diner or pledge to volunteer every month with an organization such as the Jackson County History Center or maybe Turning Point.

We hope that #GivingTuesday spurs you to help others through bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during this upcoming holiday season and throughout next year. You could make a donation in a loved one’s name rather than buying them yet another necktie, sweater or Bass-O-Matic.

Or you could start a new fund at the Foundation in memory of a loved one, perhaps one that benefits a particular nonprofit or church or provides general granting for community needs. In fact, gifts to start a new community (unrestricted) fund or help grow an existing community fund can earn $2 in match dollars for every $1 donated.

The earnings from community funds help finance our Fall Grant cycle, when charitable organizations across our community apply for grants to help with important programming needs that touch the lives of people of all ages in all corners of the county. Just last month, the Foundation awarded 16 Fall Grants totaling more than $54,000.

I’d be happy to speak with you about donating to any of the more than 200 funds the Foundation administers. Either way, your gifts to endowed funds can benefit others in perpetuity, a gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving to help make a difference.

We also encourage you to keep an eye out for the Foundation’s annual Holiday Gift Guide. It includes a list of all of the Foundation’s funds and offers information about how to give. Information about #GivingTuesday and other gifting opportunities may be found on our website and our Facebook page.

Thank you, and on behalf of the Foundation staff and our Board of Directors, we hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and that you have a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas to come.


Planned gifts aid community

By Dan Davis

President & CEO
Community Foundation of Jackson County


The Community Foundation of Jackson County and our counterparts across Indiana receive a variety of gifts aimed at growing better tomorrows, building our future together and making our communities better places to grow, work and live.

While our mottoes can be different and our donors surely are, one common thread is that planned gift donors can help community foundations capture part of the immense transfer of wealth expected to occur in the next 40 to 50 years.

In 2013, it was reported there was $1.74 billion in wealth in Jackson County and $1.8 billion was expected to be transferred to the next generation in the next 50 years. That’s right -- $1.8 billion passing hands in Jackson County.

If every family donated just 5 percent of that wealth to the Foundation over 10 years, we would increase our assets by $27.3 million, generating an estimated $1.3 million in grant dollars – annually – forever.

Planned gifts are usually the largest gifts a community foundation will receive. We most often don’t know they’re coming until a letter from an attorney arrives indicating that the Foundation has been named a beneficiary in an estate they are working to settle.

We’ve seen three examples of that in the past year, including one that resulted in a $100,000 gift to the James Ralph Thompson Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2008. This was a bequest from Jayne Thompson Black.

Recently, we received a gift of more than $105,000 from the estate of Margaret Ann Roeger of Seymour. She died last summer at the age of 76. She named the Foundation a beneficiary in her will with instructions to create a scholarship fund. The Charles and Aileen Roeger Endowed Scholarship fund was established this summer. Charles and Aileen Dannettelle Roeger were her parents.

The fund will award its first scholarship in spring 2020. It targets adults who are continuing their interrupted education or vocational training and is renewable for a total of two years of assistance.

The Foundation can share with you material that offers help with estate planning. Several law firms in the community make use of those materials, too.

But planned gifts go beyond wills and bequests. They can also include:

  • Retirement plan assets, such as an IRA, a 401k or a 403b. They’re considered among the best assets to leave to charity.
  • Life insurance designation. They offer a low cost on the donor’s side and major gifts for the Foundation.
  • Charitable remainder trust.
  • Charitable lead trust.
  • Charitable gift annuity.

Just recently I received an email from a Jackson County native who is interested in naming an existing fund at the Foundation as a beneficiary of an IRA retirement plan. It’s a simple matter, and we can help walk you through that process if you’re interested. Give us a call.

As with estate planning, the Foundation has materials pertaining to those sources of gifts that can be shared with attorneys and financial planners. Again, give us a call.

Most recently, the Foundation received a bequest of more than $126,000 from the estate of Marjorie J. (Wrighthouse) Bland, who died in September 2017. The homemaker and former beautician created the Ellis E. Bland and Marjorie J. Wrighthouse Bland Endowment in 2010. The fund benefits Brownstown Central High School with an annual grant in the spring.

Back to that 2013 report, if every family donated just 5 percent of their wealth to the Community Foundation over 10 years, we would increase our assets by $27.3 million, generating an estimated $1.3 million in grant dollars – annually – forever.

Imagine the possibilities for our community with $1.3 million in annual grants.

If you’re thinking about your future and how to make charitable contributions through planned giving, give me at the Foundation. We can help you get started and explore ways in which you can continue to make a difference in our community for years to come through your generous gifts.


 Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the Foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.



Bigs program links high school, younger students

Ron Sibert of the Community Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors presents a grant check to Kate Eder of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana.
The grant was one of 19 grants recently awarded through the Foundation's Fall Grant cycle.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters grant will help finance the High School Bigs program, which matches high school students with younger students who are in need of a positive role model in their lives.
The mentoring program focuses on avoidance or reduction of risky behaviors, increased socio-emotional competency and educational acihevement, Eder said.
The program aims to match 50 younger children with 50 high school students all across Jackson County.
And did you know that Big Brothers Big Sisters benefits each spring from a designated endowment? Earnings from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County Endowment Fund are used to pay a grant to the agency each spring.
Your gifts to the endowed fund can help increase the size of that grant and work to benefit the agency forever. For information, call Dan Davis at 812-523-4483.

In the picture above: Girls Inc. Executive Director Ginger Schneck accepts a $1,000 grant check from Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis.


Girls Inc. tackles substance, alcohol abuse

Girls Inc. of Jackson County delivers important programs to students at schools throughout Jackson County.

The Friendly PEERsuasion Program is designed to help teens avoid drug and alcohol use and abuse.

A $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County's Fall Grant cycle will help deliver the Friendly PEERsuasion message to eighth-grade students who, in turn, help lead the way for younger children to follow as well.

The program is delivered as part of the students' health class and runs over five days.

"This program is needed in the Jackson County schools," Girls Inc. Executive Director Ginger Schneck said. "Teachers feel that this program is very effective. Participants who complete Friendly PEERsuasion were less likely to begin using harmful substances and were less likely to continue associating with substance-using peers."

The grant was one of 19 recently awarded by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The grants total $38,195 with money coming from the earnings of 13 unrestricted and six field of interest funds administered by the Foundation.

"Our Grant Committee and Board felt this program merits the support of the community and the Foundation, particularly as we all as a community confront an epidemic of drug abuse, overdoses and the many other ill effects of substance abuse on all of us in Jackson County," Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis said.

Friendly PEERsuasion is presented to students at Brownstown Central Middle School, Crothersville Junior-Senior High School, Immanuel Lutheran School, Lutheran Central, Medora Community School, St. Ambrose Catholic School, St. John's Lutheran School and Seymour Middle School.


Protect charitable giving incentives

By DAN DAVIS / President & CEO
The Community Foundation of Jackson County

The Community Foundation of Jackson County joins the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, representing 145 public and private foundations across Indiana, to express concern about the impact recent tax proposals could have on charitable giving.

Although these proposals do not eliminate the charitable deduction, they could effectively eliminate tax incentives for millions of individuals and couples. That, in turn, could dramatically decrease charitable giving in Indiana and across the country, affecting the impact of local agencies such as Anchor House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Provisions and the Jackson County United Way, as well as the Foundation and many others serving the young and old alike all across our community.

And while Jackson County residents, like Americans in general, are generous, research consistently shows that people do give more when given the incentive to do so through the tax code. A recent study, just released by Independent Sector and conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, found that the proposed tax reforms could cut charitable giving by $13.1 billion.

How might Indiana be affected by such a decrease?  There are nearly 33,000 nonprofit organizations in Indiana, employing more than 230,000 people. Each year, Hoosiers give $2.97 billion and Indiana foundations grant $1.48 billion to charitable organizations to fund increased access to education and health care; help Hoosier families escape the cycle of poverty; help military veterans and seniors; mentor children; and protect the environment. A reduction in charitable giving could significantly reduce these services and the quality of life for all Indiana residents.

We support the IPA advocacy for policy that encourages and promotes charitable giving.  However, if the current standard deduction does increase significantly, we want to ensure that charitable giving doesn’t decline as a result of this reform. A “universal” charitable tax deduction would ensure that every American has an incentive to engage in charitable giving through a federal tax code that extends the charitable deduction to all taxpayers, regardless of their itemizer status.

The IU study shows that when tax reform proposals incorporated a standard deduction for all taxpayers, including people who do not currently itemize on their taxes, charitable giving would increase by an estimated $4.8 billion. It also shows that current tax reform proposals would reduce charitable giving to religious organizations by as much as 4.7 percent and giving to other types of charitable organizations by as much as 4.4 percent. 

We contend that our tax code should promote and encourage philanthropy. The charitable community has a long and unique history of being the sector where people come together to solve problems, such as funding long-term flood recovery in Jackson County in 2008, and improve our communities, such as constructing the Jackson County Learning Center. Our tax code should reflect these values by encouraging all people to give more to the organizations and causes that care for those in need and improve our quality of life.

We encourage you to reach out to your federal lawmakers and urge that they protect and promote charitable giving incentives through the federal tax code. Senator Joe Donnelly may be reached by email at www.donnelly.senate.gov/contact/email-joe or by phone at 202-224-4814. Senator Todd Young may be reached by email at www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd or by phone at 202-224-5623.

Your actions can make a difference.


President & CEO Dan Davis of the Community Foundation of Jackson County writes a monthly column. The Foundation is at 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

History Center grant

Trish Butt of the Community Foundation of Jackson County presents a grant check to Billy Day, president of the Jackson County History Center, on Wednesday at the Ball Museum in Brownstown. The grant will help provide new windows, replacing those like the one behind the JCHC members gathered here, and insulation at the museum.

Did you know the History Center also benefits from an endowed fund at the Foundation? You, too, can contribute to the Jackson County History Center Fund and assist the center forever. For information, call 812-523-4483.

Donor-advised grant aids arts center

The Everett V. and Maria Moritz Fund of the Community Foundation of Jackson County recently awarded a $1,000 grant to the Southern Indiana Center the Arts.

The grant will benefit a current capital drive under way by the Arts Center, 2001 N. Ewing St., Seymour.

The grant was recommended by fund adviser Fred Moritz, owner of Union Hardware in Seymour. The Moritz Fund is one of 15 donor-advised funds administered by the Foundation. It was established in August 1997 by Fred’s father, Everett.

“It appears the Arts Center, a valuable and important asset in our community, is in need of support right now, and this sort of thing is exactly why the fund was established,” Moritz said. “Our family wants to be of help in our community.”

Like all endowed funds at the Foundation, the Moritz Fund produces grant dollars based on the Foundation’s investment returns and annual grant rate, which is determined by the Board of Directors.

Advisers of donor-advised funds make recommendations for grants to the Foundation staff, which then conducts due diligence work to ensure the grants are awarded to organizations that meet Internal Revenue Service regulations, Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis said.

The Foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities, and scholarship administration. It also administers qualified temporary funds.

The Foundation 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 150 funds with assets of more than $11 million.

Among those funds are the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts Fund, an endowed designated fund. Anyone can make donations to the Arts Fund through the Foundation.

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 president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

 ABOVE: Mike Pfaffenberger of Seymour transfers soybeans last autumn from his combine to a trailer during the 2015 fall harvest. D&B Pfaffenberger & Sons Grain donated soybeans last year to the Community Foundation through the Gift of Grain program.


Gift of Grain returns

Opportunity to benefit community

By DAN DAVIS / President & CEO

Farmers are transferring bushels and bushels of corn and beans from field to farm to grain buyers, food processors and eventually to our grocers and our kitchen tables.

They hope this growing season has been a good one, producing a good yield. The Community Foundation of Jackson County hopes so, too, for the benefit of our farmers and our community in general.

That’s because farmers and the agri-business sector represent a strong, vibrant part of our economy and community. Many of our friends and neighbors are employed directly or indirectly by farming and the businesses that help keep them operating.

Each harvest season, the Foundation makes a tool available to area farmers to help support the community -- the Giving a Gift of Grain program.

Participating in the Gift of Grain program is simple and can take place at participating elevators – Premier Ag in Brownstown and Cortland, Bundy Brothers at Medora, Rose Acre Farms at Cortland and Tampico Grain near Crothersville.

Farmers’ gifts can benefit the area’s agricultural community through grants to programs such as 4-H and scholarship funds such as the Premier Companies/Bob Myers Scholarship and the Jackson County Veterinary Scholarship.

They can also benefit the Fall Grant Cycle with gifts to unrestricted funds. D&B Pfaffenberger & Sons Grain of Seymour have done just that the last several years with donations to the Foundation’s Community Fund.

Donald Schnitker of Cortland plans to again make a Gift of Grain to the Foundation this year. It will be directed to the Orville and Mary Schnitker Memorial Endowment, which was started in December 2016 by Schnitker and his siblings, Lois Bryden and Lora Willey, to honor their parents.

“Even years where the farm economy is struggling, we as farmers still have much to be thankful for and should be proud to share our blessings with the community where we live,” Schnitker said of his plans.

A farmer’s grain donations also count as votes in the Head-To-Head: Green vs. Red contest. The good folks at Wright Implement and Jacobi Sales in Seymour have again teamed with us to promote the contest, parking equipment head-to-head in the Foundation parking lot.

For information about the Giving a Gift of Grain program, or its companion program, Giving a Gift Livestock, contact the Community Foundation of Jackson County at 812-523-4483, or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org. We’ll be happy to work with you as you harvest your crops and sow the seeds to help us grow better tomorrows.

The Foundation also invites tractor enthusiasts to stand up and vote – with their donations -- for their favorite implements in the Head to Head: Green vs. Red competition this fall.

A $25 donation entitles the donor to cast one vote for their favorite equipment line. A $100 donation entitles the donor to five votes. You can vote in our office or online by going to cfjacksoncounty.org and clicking on the Donate Now button. You can also place donations in red and green donation canisters at Jacobi Sales and Wright Implement.

Just one more thing – let’s be careful out there as those combines, grain trucks and trailers make their way, often slowly, along area roads as farmers hustle to bring in their harvest.


Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the Foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.


Les Gilkey tutors Seymour Middle School students in this 2012 file photo from The Tribune.


Donations aid Gilkey Music Fund

Memorial donations to the Les Gilkey Music Fund will benefit Seymour Middle School band students for years to come and honor the late Leslie “Les” Gilkey.

 Gilkey, 102, died June 29. He had tutored thousands of middle school band students for nearly 30 years before ending that volunteer service in 2015, just days before turning 100 years of age.

The Les Gilkey Music Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Jackson County in May 2012. The endowed fund uses earnings to help pay instrument purchases and rental fees for students who wouldn’t be able to participate in band otherwise because of the cost.

Over the years, Gilkey, a retired music teacher, helped pay those fees out of his own pocket so students could stay in band.

Donations to the fund may be mailed to the Foundation at Post Office Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274, or made through PayPal on the Foundation’s website, www.cfjacksoncounty.org. If donating through PayPal, please send the Foundation an email letting us know that the donation is for the Les Gilkey Music Fund.

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 president@cfjacksoncounty.org.


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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

Priscilla Wischmeier - Chair
Andy Royalty - Vice Chair
Mike Fleetwood - Treasurer
Dennis Wayman - Secretary
Susan Bevers
Patricia Butt
Ron Harrison
Monica Hartung
Thomas J. Lantz
Gary Meyer
Gary Myers
Susan Nehrt
Darrell Persinger
Vicki Johnson Poynter
Ron Sibert
Marvin Veatch
Tony Wesner
Ann Windley
Bruce Wynn


Dan Davis
President & CEO

Sue Smith
Vice President

Cindy Rinehart

Lori Miller
Development Associate

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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 info@cfjacksoncounty.org.