Letter from the President and Board Chairman

CELEBRATING EACH MILESTONE

Navigating where we are going means we have to understand where we have been and where we are at the moment.

In 1989, our founders envisioned the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and the various ways it might serve this community, but they had no way of truly knowing what lay ahead.

Because of the generosity of our founders and others, including Lilly Endowment Inc., the Community Foundation began having an impact.

The legacy gift of Guy David Gundlach’s estate changed the Community Foundation and required a new map and new approaches to inspiring good in Elkhart County. A thoughtful, strategic approach to build a sustainable model has helped guide our efforts for nearly a decade.

The Community Foundation’s assets are now more than $400 million, a figure our founders may have had a difficult time imagining in the late 1980s. We are again assessing where we are and how we map our future as stewards of these resources.

The calendar year of 2020 was scary and challenging, but our staff and volunteers, including board and committee members, focused on how to do what is right for Elkhart County. Those capable people, along with the great staff members and volunteers of our local nonprofit community, came together with our generous donors to meet community needs.

It is a privilege to be at the center of so much philanthropy and generosity in Elkhart County. That is a role we cherish and look forward to expanding as we continue to grow together.

The Community Foundation brings together people around their common interests. It is humbling to be part of processes to forge public/private partnerships and build consensus as people engage the community.

We are deeply humbled by and grateful for all the ways generous people use the Community Foundation to accomplish their philanthropic goals.  As you review the foundation’s financial performance in this annual report, we believe you will be pleased to note CFEC received a total of $25.4 million in gifts in the Fiscal Year 2020-21. We are also delighted to report CFEC’s investment portfolio produced an annual return of 29.8 percent. The foundation’s investment performance over the last few years has ranked among the top decile of our peer endowments.

Because of our community’s generosity and strong investment returns, we were able to distribute $23.4 million in grants.

We are envisioning our future — one in which we believe you will be pleased to note CFEC received a total of $25.4 million in gifts in the Fiscal Year 2020-21. We are also delighted to report CFEC’s investment portfolio produced an annual return of 29.8 percent. The foundation’s investment performance over the last few years has ranked among the top decile of our peer endowments.

Because of our community’s generosity and strong investment returns, we were able to distribute $23.4 million in grants.

We are envisioning our future — one in which we continue to inspire generosity, assist donors with their philanthropic efforts, encourage volunteerism, and walk alongside nonprofits meeting needs in our community. That future is exciting and full of unending possibilities.

Much lies ahead of us. We are grateful to be on this journey with you.

Warmly,