Our Story

Mission Statement

The Henry County Community Foundation, Inc. is a public trust which secures permanent funds for 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 over $52 million in charitable assets and nearly 563 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 $23.3 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