What is a Community Foundation?


A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people in a local area. It enables people with charitable interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about – immediately or through their will or estate plan. Donors can give to an existing fund or establish a charitable fund at the community foundation by contributing a variety of assets. Those assets are then carefully invested by the foundation. The earnings are used to benefit the community through grants. Gifts to the foundation will continue to grow and earn resources for the community in perpetuity.

How does the Community Foundation meet community needs through its grant-making?


Over the past 18 years, the Harrison County Community Foundation and Supporting Organization have awarded over $76 million in grants and scholarships from our unrestricted funds as well as our over 200 endowment funds. Grants from the unrestricted fund are made through a competitive process twice a year to help non-profit organizations provide needed services in arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services and so on. The amount available to be awarded is based on an annual spending policy. Grant-making from scholarship and designated endowment funds are made according to a set spending policy and awards are approved in accordance with the endowment fund agreement.

How do donors use the Community Foundation to direct their giving?


The Harrison County Community Foundation serves donors as a flexible mechanism to carry out their specific charitable interests.  Donors may establish a named grant-making fund with a minimum of $5,000 or they may make a gift in any amount to any existing fund of the Community Foundation.

How are funds invested?


The Finance and Investment Committee of the Board of Directors determines the investment policy of funds established with the Harrison County Community Foundation.  This policy is highly diversified using a reliable, reputable custodian and manager of the portfolios.

Who makes the final decision about grants?


The Harrison County Community Foundation is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors that provide for a diverse representation of our community that includes geographic residency within Harrison County, professional background, ethnicity, gender, special skills and education.  They make the final decision on all grant awards.

Who has led the Community Foundation?


Kevin Burch currently serves as Board Chair.  Steven A. Gilliland has served as the Executive Director since 1999 and President & CEO since 2012.  Past Board Presidents include Gordon Pendleton, 1996-2001, 2003-2004;  Carl Uesseler, 2002;  Jane Kraft, 2005-2006, Brian Churchill, 2007-2008, Paul Beckort, 2009-2010, Joel Voyles 2010-2011, Pam Bennett Martin 2011-2012, Jason Copperwaite 2012-2013, Heather Clunie 2013-2014, and Chad Coffman 2014-2015.