The Marshall County Community Foundation (MCCF) announced the Spring 2020 grant awards from Community Fundstotaling $127,141 and the Ralph C. Vonnegut Jr. Fund totaling $5,977 via phone and email to grant recipients.Due to COVID-19, no group in-person awards presentation took place this grant cycle. MCCF Board members instead delivered award signs to individual sites. Multi-year grants approved prior rounds were also issued with $30,000 from Community Funds and $10,000 from the Ralph C. Vonnegut Jr Fund.


Twice each year, nonprofit organizations are invited to submit funding requests for projects that improve the quality of life in Marshall County. MCCF Grants Committee members evaluate the proposals and conduct site visits during a competitive application process. The Spring 2020 Community Fund grant cycle took an unanticipated turn due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 that created a global health and economic crisis. The MCCF Board of Directors recognized the critical need to act with urgency to support the people and communities hit hardest by the impacts of COVID-19. Along with nearly 800 philanthropic organizations and Council on Foundation colleagues from across the country, MCCF pledged to contribute to community-based emergency response funds and other efforts to address the health and economic impact on those most affected by this pandemic.  
The first grants from unrestricted Community Funds at MCCF were awarded in 1995; since then the MCCF has awarded over $4.1 million in total grants from these funds alone. In addition to the MCCF Community Fund, several named unrestricted funds also support these competitive grant rounds. Named funds include the Barbara and Ralph Winters Community Fund, the Brian and Patricia Kitch Family Community Fund, the C & M Overmyer Unrestricted Endowment Fund, the First Merchants Bank Community Fund, the John and Kay Finlay Community Fund, the Philip and Sylvia Bieghler Community Fund, and the Paul and Carol Nye Community Fund

During a Match Madness event in March, a new named unrestricted fund was created and added to this list: the Eleanor and Randy Danielson Community Aesthetic Improvement Fund. All contributions to unrestricted funds only are currently eligible for a 2:1 GIFT VII match from Lilly Endowment Inc. When donors give to Community Funds or create new unrestricted endowment funds, they are joining a rich legacy of philanthropy and investing in the collective well-being of Marshall County. 
Community Fund Grants:  
Community Fund endowment funds are the most flexible and responsive of the Foundation’s funds in addressing current and emerging needs. Grants from unrestricted endowment funds typically support projects focusing on the arts, education, health and human services, recreation, and the environment.

  • All Things New: $1,000 to provide residential addiction recovery program with support for indigent care, purchase of program curriculum, resident education, and licensed counselor continuing education.
  • Bourbon Main Street Initiative:  $800 to install two benches for the downtown Bourbon square.
  • Bremen Girls Softball League:  $4,800 to repair the softball fields.
  • Crossing National Inc: $7,500 to fund the construction of updated, ADA compliant restrooms and funds for Direct Student Support.
  • David’s Courage:  $5,000 for COVID-19 assistance.
  • Drew’s Gift of Music:  $5,000 for refurbishing instruments for children in need.
  • Dustin’s Place, Inc: $9,000 in start-up costs to purchase accordion wall, printer, scanner, and projectors to facilitate peer-to-peer grief support.
  • Marshall County Neighborhood Center:  $16,277 for ADA compliance and safety and security upgrades.
  • Potawatomi Park: $4,800 to purchase a 7’ Woods BB8400X heavy duty rotary chopper.
  • United Way of Marshall County/Fund the Essentials: $40,834 to provide food, housing, and utility assistance to Marshall County families impacted by COVID-19 through the Marshall County Community Response and Recovery Fund. 

Ralph C. Vonnegut Jr. Grants:

The Ralph C. Vonnegut Jr. Fund was established to provide annual funding for environmental, educational, or recreational projects directly related to Lake Maxinkuckee. This grant cycle, $5,977 was awarded and presented toMaxinkuckee Adventure Sailing to enhance the safety of their public, low-cost learn-to-sail programs.  

Multi-year grants:

  • $30,000 from the Community Funds for Marshall County Crossroads Stellar projects (Culver biking/walking trails and Habitat for Humanity).
  • $10,000 from the Vonnegut Fund for the Marshall County Crossroads Stellar project for Culver biking/walking trails.

The Fall 2020 Community Fund grant application deadline is Monday, August 3, 2020, at 4:30 pm.The application may be found on the MCCF website:

Applicants must be organizations with 501(c)(3) IRS status or organizations with 501(c) IRS status whose request is charitable in nature for the following:

  • Start-up costs for new programs or the expansion of needed programs
  • One-time projects or needs

As with the Spring 2020 Community Fund grant cycle, special consideration will be given in the Fall 2020 grant cycle to applications directly related to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in Marshall County.