Our Story

Mission Statement

The Henry County Community Foundation, Inc. is a public trust which secures funds for sustainable philanthropic purposes.  Our mission is to:

  • help where the needs are the greatest, and the benefits to the community and its citizens are most substantial;
  • provide public-spirited donors a vehicle for using their gifts in the best possible way now and in the future as conditions inevitably change; and
  • provide excellent stewardship of those gifts which it receives.

About the Foundation

Founded in 1985 as a resource and steward in philanthropy, the Foundation manages nearly $50 million in charitable assets and 540 individual funds – each of which supports the unique charitable intent of the donor who established the fund. There is no minimum donation to an established Fund for a cause you care about. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $24 million in grants and scholarships and is a National Standards certified community foundation.

As a Community Foundation, the Henry County Community Foundation addresses the broad needs in Henry County which include, but are not limited to, the following five categories:

  • Health & Medical – to include the support of hospitals, rehabilitation centers, not-for-profit health and medical-related programs including safety and wellness and recreational programs;
  • Social Services – to include the support of human service organizations, programs for children and youth, and services to the aged;
  • Education – to include support for programs in preschool, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education, scholarships, and special education programs;
  • Cultural Affairs – to include the support of programs and facilities which are designed to establish a diversified county cultural program that offers widespread opportunities for participation and appreciation; and
  • Civic Affairs – to include the support of programs and facilities related to criminal justice, community development, employment, citizens’ involvement, leadership training, and other community activities

Historical Timeline


New Castle/Henry County Community Foundation Incorporated began on March 15, 1985


  • First scholarship established by the family and friends of Derek Clark
  • First membership drive held with over 200 donors


  • Lilly Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) challenge Phase 1 announced
  • Joan Stairs hired as Part Time Executive Director


  • Completed first Lily challenge, requested more match money
  • Received project match grant to open Art Association of Henry County


Changed name to the Henry County Community Foundation


Joan Stairs retires and Herb Bunch is hired as Executive Director


  • Completed Lilly GIFT Phase 1
  • Lilly GIFT Phase II announced
  • Assets reach $6,444,632


  • Completed Lilly GIFT Phase II
  • Lilly GIFT Phase III announced
  • First TASC (Teens About Serving the County) meeting held


  • Lilly GIFT Phase III completed
  • First Lilly Endowment Scholarship awarded
  • Assets reach $9,258,515


  • Moved to 700 S. Memorial Drive, New Castle
  • Assets reach $13,851,311
  • Lily GIFT Phase IV begins


  • Donors grew to 2000
  • Phase IV completed
  • Herb Bunch retires, Duke Hamm hired as Executive Director


  • Lilly GIFT Phase V announced
  • Community Grants over $230,000 awarded


  • Lily GIFT Phase V completed
  • 328 new donors
  • Assets reach $14,753,048


  • Assets reach $18.9 million
  • Lilly GIFT Phase V completed


Duke Hamm resigns, Jerry Schaeffer is hired as Executive Director


  • Lilly grant for CAPE program
  • Lilly SRD match started
  • Assets reach $24,338,131


  • First Women’s Tea held
  • Assets reach $27,507,925
  • National Standards Certification


  • New branding and website
  • Grant for infrastructure on 400 S


  • First part of SRD met—raising $600,000 for Unrestricted Fund for Community Grants
  • Recession reduces assets to $21,902,076


  • $604,596 made in grants
  • Assets reach $25,984,642
  • Jerry Schaeffer announces retirement


  • Celebrate 25th Anniversary
  • Beverly Matthews hired as Executive Director/President


First Judy Melton Award presented to Herb Bunch


HCCF partnered with Henry County Hospital Foundation and 6 couples to grant Medical Wing to new Henry County Ivy Tech campus


  • First Women’s Grantmaking Gala
  • Assets $33,863,395


Lilly GIFT VI announced


  • Completed Lily GIFT VI raised $541,382 for Unrestricted Fund for Community Grants
  • 476 Funds
  • 5,903 Donors
  • Celebrated 30th Anniversary with a $50,000 grant to early childhood education in Henry County


  • Assets reach $33,208,282
  •  Indiana celebrated their Bicentennial, The Foundation granted $13,168 to be a part of the “Bison-tennial Project” and the 104-acre addition to the Smith Creistler state dedicated Nature Preserve in Henry County
  • Began working with investment manager Prime Buchholz


  • Match Day was held July 19, 2017 and $249,000 was raised, combined with $100,000 grant from the Choose Henry Flex Fund to benefit 10 local nonprofits
  • Record number of 2,181 gifts totaling $3,174,657
  • Accountant Lynda Jackson retires after 18 years of service


  • Lilly Endowment Inc announced of GIFT VII
  • Several large Legacy gifts from estates broke all records, at $1,766,494
  • The Henry County Expo Center construction began with the help of a $300,000 grant from the Foundation


  • The GIFT VII matching phase was completed
  • New Castle, Knightstown and Henry County was named a regional finalist to be selected a “Stellar Community” through Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs
  • Beverly Matthews announced her retirement


  • Beverly Matthews retires as Executive Director, and Vickie Rhodes retires as Executive Assistant
  • Jennifer Fox is hired as the President/Executive Director
  • Assets reached $47,700,000 despite COVID-19
  • The Board of Directors met the matching requirements to receive the $100,000 Board Engagement Grant from GIFT VII
  • GIFT VII provided $100,000 in an Implementation Grant to assist in the HCCF partnership with the Early Childhood Initiative in Henry County


  • Jennifer Fox assumed the role of President/Executive Director
  • Amber Estelle joined the team as the Communication and Donor Engagement Manager. Elizabeth Bailey took on the position of Administrative Assistant. Tara Jacobi was brought on as the Office Manager and Accounting Clerk. Rachel Snavely served as the Lilly intern for the summer and fall semesters.
  • Through the spring, fall, and TASC grant cycles a total of $493,412.17 was granted out of the Choose Henry Flex Fund to support local programs and organizations. The scholarships awarded in 2021 came to a total amount of $501,610.90.
  • Assets reached $55,000,000.