On July 30th, The Community Foundation of Boone County (CFBC) announced $150,000 in immediate distribution grants to Boone County School Corporations. CFBC is proud of our local schools and honored to support them to keep our children, teachers, and all school staff healthy and safe as they reopen. Each of the three Boone County School Corporations – Lebanon, Western Boone, and Zionsville – received a $50,000 grant to assist in their reopening efforts.

Schools are facing a number of unknown financial changes and challenges, and will continue to do so in the coming months. These grants provide immediate relief to the school corporations and demonstrate the focus of CFBC to make an impact and difference in our Boone County communities through collaborations and partnerships.

“One of the advantages of philanthropy through a Community Foundation is the ability to provide flexible and responsive funding to address the ever changing needs in the community”, said Jodi Gietl, President & CEO for the Community Foundation of Boone County. “One of the best ways we can help our entire county right now is to help our schools.”

Between the three schools, over 12,000 K-12 Boone County youth, 19% of the total Boone County population, begin school August 10-13, 2020.

CFBC connected with the 3 Boone County Superintendents to identify their current needs with regard to reopening plans. Results included ongoing sanitation supplies and costs to keep buildings clean (including supplies, equipment, & additional employee hours to clean each day), support for teachers having to modify teaching methods, fees associated with providing remote learning, costs to provide hotspots to students with reliable internet, and water bottle fill machines due to fountains being shut down.

On Thursday, CFBC Board Members, Staff, and Boone County Commissioners arrived at each school administrative office to announce and award the surprise, unexpected grants. During the check presentations, the school administrators were overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion for the support. “There is nothing more important than our children”, said Tom Santelli, Boone County Commissioner. “What a powerful and simply amazing contribution! Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this.”

Lebanon Superintendent, Dr. Milleman – “There is so much to do. We appreciate being able to partner with the community to help our students and the safeness of our schools.”

When looking at how the foundation should focus grant making for the rest of the 2020 year, the CFBC Board of Directors and Staff evaluated and discussed several focus areas and approaches. As a result, CFBC is proud to launch a community-wide grant program to meet the broad, increased needs in Boone County caused by COVID-19, as a continuation of rapid response grants to address local needs. The initiative includes multiple components, with the school grants being the first piece. Details on the second piece to come later in August, so stay tuned!

Unrestricted in nature, CFBC granted the funds to the Boone County Schools to be used as they see fit for the safe opening of their schools.  These generous grants are made possible thanks to the Boone County Community Impact Fund, Jay Martin Underprivileged Children’s Fund, and the CFBC COVID-19 Response Fund.

To date, the Community Foundation of Boone County has granted over $220,000 to Boone County nonprofit organizations and schools working to support residents, families, and communities impacted by the pandemic. CFBC is currently in a matching gift campaign with Lilly Endowment, Inc., which will add $2 million to our permanent funds – which translates to more grants awarded out to the community every year. We have $110,000 left to raise by September 2021. Gifts made to our Boone County Community Impact Fund are tripled through this matching opportunity. Gifts of $100 become $300, $1,000 become $3,000, $5,000 become $15,000. To join this campaign, give online at or contact us today!

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