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The Legacy of Lottie Ellis
9/22/2015

Lottie Ellis lived her entire life in Danville, Kentucky. When she died in 1999 at the age of 91, she made a gift to Danville and Boyle County that will live forever. 

Ms. Ellis, a former bookkeeper, lived a quiet, simple life. For the last ten years of her life, she was unable to leave her home. An avid reader, Ms. Ellis looked forward to weekly visits from the Boyle County Library’s book mobile.

Few were aware that she had inherited an estate valued at $4 million from her long-time friend, T. Yates Hudson, Jr.

Ms. Ellis’ intention was to use her wealth for the good of Danville and Boyle County. In her will, she directed that her estate be used to establish two permanent endowment funds at Blue Grass Community Foundation: the Hudson-Ellis Scholarship Fund the Hudson-Ellis Discretionary Fund.

The Scholarship Fund makes educational awards to Boyle County students.

The Discretionary Fund makes annual competitive grants to Boyle County nonprofits. In accordance with Ms. Ellis’s wishes, an advisory board composed of Boyle County residents reviews grant applications and recommends awards.

To date, the Hudson-Ellis Scholarship Fund has awarded over $234,125 in scholarships and the Hudson-Ellis Discretionary Fund has awarded over $860,000 in grants. The largest grant to date, $45,000, was presented to the Danville Library to renovate and re-name the Lottie Ellis Bookmobile.

As Lottie Ellis did, you too, can leave a legacy to the causes and community you care about. Blue Grass Community Foundation works with donors of all sizes across Central and Eastern Kentucky to help them realize their charitable dreams.  The Community Foundation is happy to assist with your charitable planned giving needs free of charge. Contact Halee Cunningham (halee@bgcf.org) or call 859-225-3343 



Hudson-Ellis Grantmaking Program Awards $7,000 to Community Arts Center
9/22/2015

In 2014, the Hudson-Ellis Competitive Grant-making Program at Blue Grass Community Foundation awarded Danville’s Community Arts Center $7,000 to support its Way off the Walls (WOW) project. WOW allows young people to engage in the arts through a curriculum of hands-on activities designed to accompany the Community Arts Center’s visual exhibits.

Through the WOW project, 37 different hands-on activities were developed to accompany the center’s exhibits throughout the year. These activities included holiday-themed events, a youth arts showcase, interactive quilting exercises, collage workshops and more.

 “This grant has caused us to fundamentally re-examine our approach to exhibits, and the results have been outstanding,” said the center’s executive director, Mary Beth Touchstone. “The Way off the Walls project has energized the entire organization.”

This year, the Hudson-Ellis Fund awarded the center a $4,760 grant for the Discovery Lab to house rotating and interactive arts activities.

Originally constructed in 1909 as a U.S. Post office, the Community Arts Center was refurbished in 2004. It is now part of Danville’s rich and vibrant arts district, providing the community with innovative arts programs. Hudson-Ellis Discretionary Grants are made possible through the generosity of Lottie B. Ellis and John F. and Lena H. Joyner, who established funds through bequests at Blue Grass Community Foundation. To date, the Hudson-Ellis Fund has provided more than $860,000 in grants to Boyle County nonprofits. Because this fund is endowed, it will continue to provide support for Boyle County in perpetuity.

To learn about establishing a fund to benefit your community, contact  Allison Lankford at alankford@bgcf.org  859-225-3343

 

Blue Grass Community Foundation ranked the fifth most active community foundation grantmaker in the U.S.
9/22/2015

Blue Grass Community Foundation was ranked the fifth most active community foundation grantmaker in the U.S. in 2014, according to a recent national report by CF Insights. CF Insights operates under the auspices of the Foundation Center, a nonprofit that is a leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.

The report, Benchmarking Beyond Asset Size: the Top 100 Lists, considers attributes of community foundations that go well beyond asset values.

CF Insights calculated rate of grantmaking by dividing a foundation’s total grants by its total assets. In 2014, Blue Gras Community Foundation’s grant distribution rate was an impressive 26 percent, well ahead of many community foundations that have over ten times the amount of assets.

“We are thrilled but not completely surprised to learn that the Community Foundation is among the top five community foundations nationally when it comes to making grants for community good,” said Lisa Adkins, President/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation. “Our mission is to invest in our communities through catalytic grantmaking and strategic community leadership. Bottom line, our donors are extraordinarily generous. And we are committed to being good stewards for the funds our donors entrust to us.” 

Last year, Blue Grass Community Foundation awarded over $16 million in grants. The overwhelming majority benefited nonprofits in Central Kentucky.

In addition to grantmaking, Blue Grass Community Foundation has made other significant strides in growing charitable giving in the region. In the last four years, contributions to funds at the Community Foundation have grown by 494%.

“At the Community Foundation, we are committed to building endowments, which are permanent charitable resources,” said Adkins. “Seventy-three percent of all funds at the Community Foundation are endowed and so will continue to provide perpetual support for our communities. This includes The Fund for Greater Lexington, an endowed fund dedicated to providing support for exciting, innovative projects in Lexington for generations to come. We invite everyone who wants to make Lexington even better to contribute to the Fund for Greater Lexington at bgcf.org.”

 

Hudson-Ellis Funds at Blue Grass Community Foundation Award over $89,000 to Organizations Serving Boyle County
9/22/2015

Hudson-Ellis Funds at Blue Grass Community Foundation Award Over $89,000 to Organizations Serving Boyle County

Blue Grass Community Foundation recently awarded over $89,000 in grants to 17 charitable organizations for projects that will improve the quality of life for citizens in Boyle County. Organizations serving Boyle County applied for funding through the Hudson-Ellis Competitive Grantmaking Program, which is made possible by the generosity of Lottie B. Ellis, John F. Joyner and Lena H. Joyner, whose bequests established endowments at Blue Grass Community Foundation.

“At the Community Foundation, we are committed to building endowments, which are permanent charitable resources,” said Lisa Adkins, president and CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation. “To date, the Hudson-Ellis Fund has provided over $860,000, while the Joyner Fund has provided over $18,000 in grants to Boyle County nonprofits. Because both of these funds are endowed, they will continue to provide perpetual support for Boyle County.”

A complete list of 2015 grant recipients appears below.

Arts Commission of Danville-Boyle County, Youth Art Fair and Fun with Art Workshop.

Assisting Deaf Adults to Participate Totally, to purchase office equipment and supplies.

Boyle County Schools Board of Education, to purchase industry-standard equipment in the Boyle County High School culinary lab.

CASA of the Bluegrass, to train 17 additional volunteers who will advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Boyle County Family Court system.

Community Arts Center, for the Discovery Lab to house rotating and interactive arts activities.

Danville Library, to purchase the new Lottie Ellis Bookmobile.

Danville Schools Education Foundation, to purchase 10 Chrome books for third-  to fifth-grade classrooms.

Danville/Boyle County Happy Feet Equals Learning Feet, to purchase 200 pairs of shoes and socks for underprivileged children.

Danville-Boyle County Humane Society, to purchase equipment for the grooming facility at the new animal adoption center.

Family Services Association of Boyle County, for emergency housing assistance for residents of Boyle County.

Great American Brass Band Festival, to extend current Brass in American Jazz programming in Boyle County and Danville Independent Schools.

Heart of Kentucky United Way, for the Gladys Project, to help adults who are raising infants learn to read and interact with their children to prepare them for preschool or kindergarten.

Heritage Hospice, for Sarah’s Heart Bereavement Camp for grief outreach to children in Boyle County.

Kentucky School for the Deaf Charitable Foundation, to provide access to Makerspace tools that allow for hands-on exploration and participatory learning.

Presbyterian Church of Danville, the Soups on Us hunger project to deliver meals to individuals in Danville and Junction City.

Special Persons Advocacy Network (SPAN), 2016 Camp Hope.

Wilderness Trace Child Development Center, to purchase a sensory play kit designed to engage special-needs students.

Donor Profile: Dr. Ronald Saykaly
9/22/2015

Dr. Ron Saykaly credits his father with teaching him life’s most significant lesson: the importance of giving back. “My father always told me that I had the ability to make a difference,” he says, “but that it was my responsibility to develop those abilities.”

For many years, Dr. Saykaly was a highly respected physician at the University of Kentucky in the field of rheumatology. In addition to treating patients, conducting research and teaching the next generation of physicians, Dr. Saykaly also volunteered in clinics for low-income rheumatoid arthritis patients.

“So many people have helped me in my life,” Dr. Saykaly says. “I knew I could never repay them, so I decided to pay the debt forward.” He consulted with a trusted financial advisor about the best way to do just that. His advisor recommended Blue Grass Community Foundation.  

“The Community Foundation is perfect for me,” he says. “An endowment fund at the Foundation allows me to support the projects I care about, in perpetuity--without the expense of setting up a private foundation. The staff is sensitive and caring. At the Community Foundation, I’m not just another fund—I’m an individual.”

To date, Dr. Saykaly has established four funds at the Community Foundation including the Saykaly-Garbulinska Composer in Residence Fund in memory of his late wife, concert pianist Teresa Garbulinska. Dr. Saykaly has also made plans to leave a generous bequest to the Civic Leadership Fund, which makes it possible for the Community Foundation to continue its work far into the future.

“Physicians must earn their patients’ trust in order to be effective,” says Dr. Saykaly. “The Community Foundation has certainly earned mine. The Foundation’s administration of my legacy is essential to me since I have no offspring to carry out my intentions. I know I can trust the Community Foundation to pay it forward on my behalf--long after I’m gone.”

Contact Allison Lankford (alankford@bgcf.org) or Halee Cunningham (halee@bgcf.org) or call 859-225-3343.What kind of legacy would you like to leave? The Community Foundation is happy to assist with your charitable planned giving needs free of charge.

  

Together, We Can Leave a Valuable Legacy
9/22/2015

At the Community Foundation, we believe that the power and passion of philanthropy leads to stronger, better communities for us all—not just for today, but for generations to come.

That’s why the Community Foundation is especially committed to building endowments for the communities we serve.

Endowments are permanently held assets that provide perpetual support for charitable causes. Typically, about five percent of these permanently held assets are granted back into the community, year after year.

A mere five percent doesn’t sound like much. But let’s look at the numbers.

A Transfer of Wealth study conducted in 2010 shows that within the next five years in Fayette County alone, donors will leave $6.3 billion to their heirs. And there is no guarantee that this wealth will stay in Kentucky.

But what if we and our friends and neighbors made a plan to leave just five percent of our wealth to permanent charitable endowments for the benefit of our community? Five percent of $6.3 billion equals $315 million. And five percent of that equals $16 million in new money that would be available, year after year, to support local causes. Just imagine what we could accomplish, together, with an extra $16 million, every year!

In addition, donors who give to endowments held at qualified community foundations (like Blue Grass Community Foundation) may be eligible for an attractive state tax credit. 

You don’t have to be rich to establish an endowment. You just have to care, passionately, about the future. To learn how to leave a legacy for those who will come after, contact Allison Lankford at alankford@bgcf.org or 859-225-3343 

Spark Versailles
9/22/2015

During one amazing weekend in mid-April, the small, quiet town of Versailles rocked— thanks to Spark Versailles, a joyful, lively festival featuring live music, local food and more.

Community fun for all

The festival drew more than 7,000 people — most of them young — from Woodford and surrounding counties. It also brought new energy and excitement to the sedate streets of the city’s downtown.

Most amazing of all, Spark Versailles was organized and carried out entirely by students from Woodford County High School. 

Students in Kyle Fanin’s Community Activism Class came up with the idea. Their goal, according to Adrian Teegarden, a high school senior in the class, was to create “a powerful, new force for downtown” to spark economic growth. And what better way than by sparking the interest of college students and young professionals with something fun — like a festival?

 No one thought they could pull it off.Coralee and the Townies

“I was skeptical at first,” Versailles’ Mayor Brian Traugott admitted. “I don’t think there’s ever been an event-planning situation like this before.” But after meeting with the class, Traugott said, “this is exactly what Versailles needs — the energy of these young people.”  

Students are already hard at work on an even bigger and better festival in 2016.

The Spark Versailles Festival was funded in part by a $2,000 grant from the Woodford County Community Fund, a component fund of Blue Grass Community Foundation, with a local board of advisors.

Community Funds are permanently endowed assets raised by local residents for the good of their community. Because they are endowed, community funds continue to provide support for their communities year after year, in perpetuity. 

Woodford County Advisory Board members are Sandi Bromagen, chair; Lori Garkovich; Joe Graviss; Aaron Hamilton; Helen Rentch; Ken Kerkhoff; Michelle Oxley and Ron Wallace.

Blue Grass Community Foundation is always available to work with communities that want to make a positive difference for today and tomorrow in their region. Contact Allison Lankford at alankford@bgcf.org or 859-225-3343 to begin making your vision for your hometown a reality.

To learn more about the Woodford County Community Fund and other Community Funds at the Community Foundation, go to https://bgcf.org/woodfordcounty or contact Jane Higgins at jhiggins@bgcf.org 859.721.2349


 

BGCF Listed as Top 5 "100 Most Active Grantmakers"
7/20/2015

Blue Grass Community Foundation was recently named one of cfinsights.org's "100 Most Active Grantmakers" among all Community Foundations in the United States! BGCF is listed as number five.

Check out the full report here.

Foundation awards more than $89,000 to Boyle organizations
7/16/2015

Blue Grass Community Foundation recently awarded more $89,000 in grants to 17 charitable organizations for projects that will improve the quality of life for citizens in Boyle County.

Organizations serving Boyle County applied for funding through the Hudson-Ellis Competitive Grantmaking Program, which is made possible by the generosity of Lottie B. Ellis, John F. Joyner and Lena H. Joyner, whose bequests established endowments at the foundation.

To date, the Hudson-Ellis Fund has provided more than $860,000 while the Joyner Fund has provided more than $18,000 in grants to Boyle County nonprofits. Because both of these funds are endowed, they will continue to provide perpetual support for Boyle County, the foundation said in a press release.

See more via Central Kentucky News

The Nest Center for Women, Children & Families receives a $10,000 grant from Blue Grass Community Foundation to launch new literature-enriched curriculum for kids
5/4/2015

The Nest Center for Women, Children & Families has been providing free childcare for low-income families in Lexington since 1977. Their services include drop-in emergency childcare with long-term childcare options. The Nest is located at 530 North Limestone.

In 2012, The Childcare Awareness Report stated that the average income in Kentucky for a single mother was $18,735 per year, and that the average cost of childcare for an infant was $6,594 per year. The Nest has recognized this disparity and has been providing a service to these struggling parents. In 2014, the Nest provided more than 247,000 hours of childcare for 162 children from 125 families.

Of the families served by The Nest, 60 percent were single parents, 77 percent had an income of less than $19,999, and 60 percent had no more than a high school education.

In 2014, Blue Grass Community Foundation awarded The Nest a grant of $10,000 to fund scholarships to its childcare program. The Nest anticipates that the grant will allow them to serve 150 more children.

The $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation will also be used to implement a literature-based curriculum that will prepare children for kindergarten and instill a love of reading and books. The program will also allow families to participate in activities related to their child’s education, such as a Family Night, classroom activities, or parent/teacher conferences that will encourage literacy and reading in the home. The award from the Community Foundation will allow The Nest to purchase the books and materials necessary to bring the program to life. 

To apply for a 2015 Early Childhood and Family Literacy Grant, click here.

Earn substantial Kentucky state tax credits for supporting the causes you care about. Deadlines are fast approaching. Don’t miss out!
5/4/2015

There has never been a better time to support the causes you’re passionate about—and to receive significant Kentucky state tax benefits for doing so. Don’t miss the deadline to receive them!

Thanks to the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit, businesses and individuals may be eligible to receive generous state tax credits—up to 20 percent—for gifts to endowed charitable funds at qualified Kentucky community foundations. Blue Grass Community Foundation is approved to receive these gifts.

Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are taken off a donor’s tax bill dollar for dollar. A gift of $5,000 can eliminate a $1,000 state tax liability. A gift of $50,000 or more can eliminate a $10,000 state tax liability. This is in addition to your federal charitable tax deduction. And the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit can be carried forward for up to five years.

But the deadline for donors to take advantage of the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit is fast approaching. The Kentucky state legislature has approved a total of $500,000 in tax credits for this fiscal year. To be in the running to receive them, you must apply by July 1, 2015.

How?

  • First, you must obtain preliminary approval of your gift by filling out and submitting a form to the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
  • Second, after you receive preliminary approval from the Kentucky Department of Revenue, you must submit it to Blue Grass Community Foundation.
  • Third, within 30 days of receiving the approval letter from the Kentucky Department of Revenue, you must make your contribution to an endowment fund at Blue Grass Community Foundation.
  • Fourth, within 10 days of making your gift, the Community Foundation will send proof of your gift to the Kentucky Department of Revenue. And then you’ll receive a letter of final approval to include with your 2015 Kentucky state tax return.

Or you could let Blue Grass Community handle all the paperwork for you. Call us at 859-225-3343 and let us know that you’d like to make a gift that qualifies for the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit. We’ll take care of the rest.

Don’t delay. These tax credits go fast!

This year, the Kentucky Department of Revenue guarantees that allapplications submitted to the Kentucky Department of Revenue between July 1 and July 7 will receive a prorated portion of the Endow Kentucky State tax credit.

Blue Grass Community Foundation will make sure that your application is filed by the deadline of July 1, 2015, so that a significant portion of your donation qualifies to receive a prorated share of the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit on your Kentucky 2015 state tax return.  

Whether it’s supporting an existing endowment at Blue Grass Community Foundation or creating one of your own, we can help, every step of the way.

Don’t miss out on receiving considerable Kentucky state tax benefits just for supporting the causes you’re passionate about.

Have a cause you’re passionate about and aren’t sure which nonprofits best fulfill their mission to support that cause? Check out GoodGiving.net. You’ll find portraits and user-friendly, easy-to-read financials of 350-plus Kentucky nonprofits committed to making our community a better place.

To learn more about taking advantage of the Endow Kentucky Tax credit, to establish an endowment of your own, or to support an existing one, contact Lisa Adkins, President/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation at ladkins@bgcf.org or 859-225-3343. We’re here to help.

In Lexington, Kentucky, Blue Grass Community Foundation serves as liaison between grassroots movements and national funders
5/4/2015

Lexington, Kentucky, is a mid-sized city with a small-town feel. We’re home to a vibrant arts scene and an impressive array of talented artists. Inspiring, thought-provoking works of art created by local artists are prominently on display throughout the city.

But not in all parts of our city.

Like all cities, Lexington is also home to under-resourced communities. In addition to the challenges these communities face every day, they also endure a distressed environment.

Yet these same communities are also home to forward-thinking entrepreneurs and community activists with great ideas about how to revitalize their own neighborhoods.

Blue Grass Community Foundation reached out to local community groups to help identify projects that would have real, lasting value. Together, we worked even harder to come up with goals, outcomes, timelines and line-item budgets. We believe that the key to success is a clear, cohesive plan, and—no surprise—funding.

We regularly form partnerships and serve as the lead applicant for much-needed dollars from funders whose mission aligns with the project at hand. We appeal to local donors and the city, state, and federal governments.

We also appeal to private funders, including a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, for an especially promising project: The North Limestone Cultural Plan, for the benefit of the most racially diverse neighborhood in Lexington.

In August 2014, the NEA notified the Community Foundation that we had been awarded a $75,000 Our Town matching grant—one of only 66 applicants out of 275 to receive one.

Our Town grants recognize that excellent public art helps build stronger communities. But Lexington’s Our Town grant will do more than deliver outstanding public art. It will also develop a plan to ensure equitable access to art and public spaces. And it will involve the entire North Limestone community.

The real credit goes to our community partner, the North Limestone Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that promotes economic development, housing, and cultural programming in the North Limestone neighborhood.

“The North Limestone Cultural Plan will unite residents, businesses, arts organizations, schools, and city government to form a cohesive vision for arts, culture and public space in our community,” said Richard Young, executive director of the NoLi CDC. “We plan to work with our community through public forums to ensure that this plan is rooted in its values.”

The planning process will engage residents to form an assessment of public space needs, recommendations for public art programming, and strategies to eliminate access barriers to cultural assets. Over the next few months, NoLi CDC will host over 50 public walks with community stakeholders to gather information regarding public space and access to cultural assets. “For the first time on a wide and focused neighborhood scale, we have the opportunity to dive into the complex issues within our community’s past, present, and future,” said Young.

Other partners include LexArts, the city of Lexington, and the University of Kentucky.

Best of all, the Our Town grant builds on another successful partnership between the Community Foundation and the NoLi CDC—a $425,000 ArtsPlace America grant awarded in 2013 to create an affordable home ownership and equity program for artists in the North Limestone neighborhood.

Community foundations are uniquely positioned to act as a liaison between grassroots community groups with a vision and national funders with the capital to turn vision into reality. At Blue Grass Community Foundation, we’re committed to partnering with the communities we serve. We believe the most crucial elements for success are great community partners—and a plan.

Other successful partnerships of Blue Grass Community Foundation include:

  • The Legacy Trail, a 12-mile bike/walking trail that connects Lexington’s urban core to some of the most scenic rural areas in the Bluegrass.
  • Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, an urban art park and trailhead to the Legacy Trail located in Lexington’s East End, a historic African-American community and home to Lexington’s most celebrated jockey, Isaac Murphy.
  • The Northside Water Tower Project, to design and create a mural on and landscaping around the water tower located in the North Limestone neighborhood.

Before

After

  • East End Mural Project, a mural designed by local residents on the façade of a formerly blighted grocery store in one of Lexington’s most diverse neighborhoods.


  • Art in Motion, for the design and construction of bus shelters featuring public art.

Blue Grass Community Foundation is accepting applications for Early Childhood Education and Literacy Grants
5/4/2015

Blue Grass Community Foundation is now accepting applications for grants to fund early childhood education and literacy projects. Charitable organizations serving Anderson, Bourbon, Fayette, Franklin, Harrison, Jessamine, Madison, Montgomery, Scott or Woodford counties are eligible to apply. Deadline to apply is 4 p.m., May 15. Nonprofits will be notified about the status of their request by August. Grants will range between $2,500 and $10,000.

Click here to see the full application.

All 501c3 organizations that wish to apply must have a complete, up-to-date GoodGiving.net portrait. GoodGiving.net is an online search engine that provides details about an organization’s programs, management, governance and financials in a clear, user-friendly format. To date, 350 Central and Eastern Kentucky nonprofits have established a GoodGiving.net portrait.

To learn how to create a portrait for your organization, contact bfischer@bgcf.org to register for an information session to be held Thursday, May 7, or Thursday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Blue Grass Community Foundation, 499 East High Street, Suite 112, Lexington. To explore GoodGiving.net, go to goodgiving.guidestar.org.

The Early Childhood Education and Literacy Grants are made possible by the MacAdam Early Childhood and Literacy Fund at the Community Foundation. To date, the MacAdam Fund has awarded over $365,000 to central Kentucky nonprofits.

In 2014, Early Childhood Education and Literacy Grants were awarded to 16 organizations for a total of $100,000. Below is a list of last year’s awards.

  • Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, for the Authors & Books for Kids program. 
  • Center for Family and Community Services, for a family literacy program and academic support. 
  • Child Development Center of the Bluegrass, to fill literacy backpacks with themed books for children with and without disabilities. 
  • Community Action Council, for the Learning to Read and Write as a Family program for culturally and linguistically diverse families in the Winburn neighborhood.
  • The Foster Care Council of Lexington, for tutoring services for at-risk foster children.
  • Hope's Wings, for a case manager to provide educational support groups for parents and to purchase books for mothers to read with their children.
  • Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc., for the Prime Time Family Reading Time program at the Madison County Public Library.
  • LexArts, to fund the Dream Big Story Books project, encouraging young students to write, illustrate, and present a story at the Arts Showcase Weekend. 
  • Lexington Children's Theatre, to launch an early childhood literacy and arts program with William Wells Brown Elementary School to tie in with the spring 2015 Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat performances.
  • Lexington Public Library Foundation, to fund professional performances for the Lexington Public Library's “Summer Reading Program.”
  • Living Arts & Science Center, for the Wonder on Wheels educational outreach program
  • Mentors & Meals, Infinite Campus Night, Read for Fun, Overnight at Life Adventure Center and World Book Night family literacy programs.  
  • The Nest Center for Women, Children & Families, for scholarships for The Nest’s childcare program and implementation of the Itty-Bitty Bookworm literature-based curriculum.
  • Parent and Family Enrichment Center, Inc., to support the Learn and Play program in both English and Spanish. 
  • Reading Camp, to support two Reading Camps in Fayette and Jessamine counties and incentives for a mini Reading Camp after-school program at Southern Elementary in Scott County.
  • Visually Impaired Preschool Services, to purchase five braillers, one iPad and supplemental funding for early intervention to children to help them establish pre-literacy skills.

Contact Kassie Branham at kbranham@bgcf.org or 859-225-3343 for any questions about the Early Childhood Education and Literacy Grants.

If you can read this, thank a teacher—with a Giving Card from Blue Grass Community Foundation
5/4/2015

Looking for the perfect gift for that special teacher in your student’s life? Blue Grass Community Foundation has the perfect solution—Giving Cards. 

These fun, colorful cards are much like retail gift cards, with one notable exception: The person receiving the Giving Card passes it on to the charity of his or her choice for redemption by any public charity in the United States. That includes schools and places of worship. 

Giving Cards are a cost-effective way to make charitable giving a part of every gift-giving occasion. And now, with the end of the school year fast approaching, they can be your way of saying thanks—uniquely and meaningfully, to your children’s teachers.

They’re also a wonderful way to introduce kids to the idea of giving back.

The person who purchases the Giving Card receives the charitable tax deduction. The person receiving the Giving Card gets the thanks from the charity he or she chooses to donate it to. And the charity that receives the Giving Card gets the support it needs to continue its good work.

Since the Community Foundation came up with this innovative alternative to traditional gift giving, thousands have been purchased and given to employees, clients, loved ones—and teachers.    

What better way to thank a teacher than with the gift of giving?

Check out the Giving Cards we’ve designed especially for teachers. And while you’re there, check out the dozens of other Giving Cards for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or just to say thinking of you.   

Giving Cards can also be customized for your own personal special occasions and are available in $25, $50, and $100 denominations.  

And don’t forget—Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We have Giving Cards that honor and celebrate Mom, too.

Giving Cards can be purchased online at bgcfgivingcards.org or by calling the Community Foundation at 859-225-3343.

Meet Arthur Salomon, Chair of Blue Grass Community Foundation’s Board of Directors
5/4/2015

Art Salomon is passionate about Lexington—and about giving back to the city that has been so good to him. 

When he was just out of high school, Art moved to Lexington from, as he puts it, “a little northern town in New York—Brooklyn.”

What inspired him to move here? “A girl,” he says, “Simone.” They’ve been married for 47 years.

When Art first arrived in Lexington, he had no clear idea about what his life’s work would—or should—be. He taught at the Kentucky Village Reformatory, which would later become Blackburn Correctional Complex. He enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University, where the dean of students quickly recognized his business acumen and advised him to consider a career in finance.

It was advice he took to heart. He went on to earn a master’s degree in business education at UK. After graduation, Art’s first job was as a life insurance agent.

In 1977, Art established Salomon & Company, a highly successful local financial planning business that offers a wide array of financial services to help others ensure successful futures of their own. Art’s commitment to integrity and understanding his client’s needs have been the pillars of Salomon & Company’s success.

“Lexington has been good to me,” Art says. “I wanted a way to give back to the place that has given so much to me. So one day I called Mira Ball and asked her to recommend a worthy board I might serve on.”

Mira Ball was the perfect person to ask. Mrs. Ball is well known for her generous support of community causes and for her service to local nonprofits. Without hesitation, she recommended Blue Grass Community Foundation. 

“I was looking for that one cause I could really believe in,” says Art. “And Blue Grass Community Foundation was it.”

That was 17 years ago. Since then, Art has been more than a generous supporter. He’s given his time and expertise. He’s served on committees, on the board, as chair of the finance committee, and now, like Mira Ball before him, as chair of its board of directors.

Also since then, Blue Grass Community Foundation has grown from $10 million in assets to over $76 million.  

“It’s important to give back,” says Art. “The Community Foundation makes it easy for me to give to the causes I already love. But it also makes me aware of even more causes I want to support. More, the Community Foundation has forged important relationships with national funders like the Knight Foundation, which have led to amazing community projects like the Legacy Trail. And, speaking as a financial advisor, the Community Foundation offers its donors attractive tax benefits for supporting causes that make Lexington a better place for us all. When my clients want to advance their philanthropy, I recommend the Community Foundation.  Blue Grass Community Foundation offers many innovative programs that make it possible for anyone to leave a legacy."

Bluegrass Double Dollars Video
4/20/2015

We are so thrilled to get started on the Bluegrass Double Dollars program! This program will allow SNAP recipients to double the amount of fruits and vegetables they can buy at Lexington Farmers’ Markets, Good Foods Coop and the Lexington Market East End. Watch our new video about the program!

 

Bluegrass Farm to Table gets grant to fund more local produce for low-income buyers
4/7/2015

 Bluegrass Farm to Table has been awarded a $47,250 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get more healthy fruits and vegetables into the hands of low-income residents.

Through the Bluegrass Double Dollars program, participants in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who make a qualifying purchase of $10 or more will get an additional token or voucher valued at up to $10 per transaction. The voucher can then be used toward the purchase of fresh, frozen or canned local fruits and vegetables, local herbs or local fruit and vegetable garden transplants through program partners, including the Lexington Farmers’ Market, Good Foods Co-op and Lexington Market East End.

“The goal of the Bluegrass Double Dollars program is to improve the affordability and accessibility of local fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers,” said Ashton Potter Wright, local food coordinator for Bluegrass Farm to Table, an agency established by Lexington’s office of economic development in 2014 to improve collaboration among stakeholders at all levels of the local food system.  “SNAP participants will have access to affordable local produce, and local family farms will benefit from increased sales.”

More Via Business Lexington

Small Farms and Low Income Families Benefit from This New Grant Program
4/1/2015

On April 1st, Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the recipients of $31.5 million in grants from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program. The FINI program was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. Grants have been awarded to local programs and at least one national network that’s designed to

1. Double the amount that SNAP recipients can buy at Farmers’ Markets (spend $10 for $20 worth of food) or other venues where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold, and

2. By so doing, support local farmers doing business at those markets

One of the highest-level grantees, the national Wholesome Wave network, will work across 17 states and D.C. to establish approximately 177 new venues for the program with its $3.77 million grant. In Berkeley, with its $3.7 million, the Ecology Center said it plans to link nearly 240,000 shoppers with the produce of 2,200 of the state’s small farms, stimulating almost $10 million in sales of fruits and vegetables. In Michigan the Fair Food Network received $5.2 million to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program.

Those three programs were in the small group receiving the largest level of funding, but programs in 26 states have been funded for up to four years, using funds from FY2014 and FY2015. The announcement says that the USDA will issue a separate request for applications in FY16, and later years.

More Via nonprofitquarterly.org

Bluegrass Farm to Table wins federal grant
4/1/2015

A new program in Lexington will soon make it easier for low-income residents to access healthy fruits and vegetables. Bluegrass Farm to Table, Central Kentucky’s economic development office focused on supporting local agriculture and nutritional health, today announced funding for Bluegrass Double Dollars through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Local food coordinator Ashton Potter Wright worked with the Blue Grass Community Foundation to secure the competitive grant. “The goal of the Bluegrass Double Dollars program is to improve the affordability and accessibility of local fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers, specifically participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” Wright said. “SNAP participants will have access to affordable local produce, and local family farms will benefit from increased sales.”

See more via Lexingtonky.gov

North Limestone group gets $550,000 grant to help turn bus station into public market
3/31/2015

The nonprofit North Limestone Community Development Corp. will get a $550,000 grant to help turn a former Greyhound bus station into a public market and local food hub focused on the surrounding neighborhood.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is announcing the grant Tuesday as part of its first Knight Cities Challenge.

The foundation split $5 million among 32 projects it thinks can attract talent, improve economic opportunity and increase civic engagement in 12 of the 26 cities where the Knight ­brothers once owned newspapers, ­including the Lexington Herald-Leader. Winners were chosen from 125 finalists culled from 7,000 proposals.

See more via Kentucky.com

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/03/31/3776814_north-limestone-group-gets-550000.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&rh=1#storylink=cp
Lexington to share in Knight Foundation grant to encourage people to walk
2/27/2015

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded a $182,000 grant to Lexington and San Jose, Calif., to fund pilot projects to encourage citizens to walk more.

The grant will encourage walking through way-finding signs for pedestrians and updated walking maps.

The new Walk Lexington program will also feature signs that tell people how easy it is to get from one spot to another such as "It's only two minutes to the library." The signs are used to help people realize that walking is often faster than driving.

See More Via Kentucky.com 


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/27/3718011_lexington-to-share-in-knight-foundation.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Merlene Davis: Women make educating Kenyan girls their mission
2/16/2015

Carolyn Witt Jones and Jo Robertson were only casual acquaintances before their mission trip to Kenya in 2011.

"Carolyn was going alone and I didn't know her very well," Robertson said. "I wanted to go on safari. So I said I will go with you if you will go on a safari with me."

Both women got what they wanted and more.

They spent a month in Ken ya visiting HIV orphanages and churches and returned with their hearts set on doing something to make the lives of women in Kenya better.

See More Via Kentucky.com


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/16/3697865_merlene-davis-women-make-educating.html?rh=1#storylink=
John and Donna Hall receive W.T. Young Lifetime Achievement Award
2/5/2015

The business community honored local philanthropic couple John and Donna Hall at the 2015 Commerce Lexington annual dinner Thursday with the W.T. Young Lifetime Achievement Award.

A 1955 graduate of Vanderbilt University and co-captain of the Commodore football team, John Hall began working at Ashland Inc. in 1957 as a chemical engineer. He spent 40 years at Ashland, retiring as chief executive officer in 1996 and chairman of the board the following year. Donna Hall earned a degree in secondary education from the University of Georgia in 1968.


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/05/3680002_john-and-donna-hall-receive-wt.html?rh=1#storylink=cp

The couple's causes and service span a wide range of interests, from the arts to business, education to health care, history and athletics.


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/05/3680002_john-and-donna-hall-receive-wt.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

See More Via Kentucky.com

Drumroll, please: Good Giving Guide Challenge raises more than $1.7 million for local non-profits
12/18/2014

The 2014 GoodGiving Guide Challenge – an annual campaign geared to increase year-end giving to local non-profits – wrapped up on Friday, December 12 with a total of $1,737,659 raised for 155 local nonprofits. The total was a result of individual donors and matching grants from local corporations and other organizations.

Organized by the Blue Grass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing (this magazine’s parent company), this year’s campaign “was an even greater success than the year before, with increased contributions and significantly more donors,” according to Lisa Adkins, president and CEO of the Blue Grass Community Foundation; this success was despite the fact that the campaign lasted only six weeks this year, compared to eight weeks in years past.

Adkins said that reducing the length of the challenge was an “experiment to see if we could accomplish the same amount of community participation, while reducing any burden on nonprofit participants and decrease the risk of donor fatigue.”

See More via Southsider Magazine

Soup and Bread Taste Like Love
12/12/2014

Is your bowl half empty or half full? It doesn’t matter. At least there is something in your vessel to eat. As I write, I reflect on the tens of thousands of people right here in Central Kentucky who looking into empty bowls. Yes, empty bowls. God’s Pantry Food Bank estimates that 300,000 of our neighbors are hungry. How can that be true in the most prosperous nation on the planet?

That disturbing statistic impels me to my favorite culinary event of the year in Winchester, the Empty Bowls fundraiser at First Presbyterian Church to benefit Clark County Community Services. Everything about the annual lunch is perfect, from ROTC kids in camouflage pointing you to a parking place to the little card with an italic blessing that is placed in your hand you as you walk out the door.

Your experience between those two bookends is as profound as it is tasty. The steps go like this – you walk into the entrance of church’s fellowship hall, hand over your $15 dollars and proceed to a table full of freshly kilned earthenware bowls of all shapes, sizes and colors. If you are persnickety about your décor, it is important that you look but don’t touch a bowl until one speaks to you. Whatever bowl you touch becomes yours to carry to the next station, where it is ladled full of vegetable soup out of a crockpot. You get a slice of rustic wheat bread and a spoon before you find a seat to slurp with friends in the crowded room.

See More via The Winchester Sun

Matthew Mitchell Sponsors $100,000 Buzzer Beater Challenge
12/12/2014

Matthew Mitchell, head coach of the UK Women’s Basketball team and his wife Jenna have announced that the Mitchell Family Foundation has pledged $100,000 in matching funds to the GoodGiving Guide Challenge.

Starting December 11 at noon, the Buzzer Beater Challenge will provide a $.50 on the dollar match on donations made to the Challenge at BGgives.org until the match pool is depleted or the Challenge ends. The 2014 Challenge runs from Nov. 3 to Dec. 12 and has already raised over $1 million for 155 Central and Eastern Kentucky charities. Join the Mitchells and be part of the Challenge.

Support our hard-working nonprofits at BGgives.org. About Blue Grass Community Foundation: Blue Grass Community Foundation is the region’s go-to source for giving and engagement. The Community Foundation was founded in 1967 as a public charity dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Central Kentucky. BGCF helps individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits connect their passions to the power of philanthropy. We aid in the establishment of charitable funds and endowments while also leading, convening, and facilitating on important community issues. To learn more about Blue Grass Community Foundation, visit www.bgcf.org or contact President/CEO Lisa Adkins at 859.225.3343.

Story via LEX18.com

Community Foundations Turn 100
12/10/2014

Community foundations in Kentucky and across the nation have been helping their communities since the first one was founded a century ago in Cleveland. The Blue Grass Community Foundation, the first in Kentucky, was started in Lexington in 1967.

The foundation's president, Lisa Adkins, said the mission is to grow charitable giving, "making philanthropy and giving a more dynamic, stronger part of our culture - sort of bringing that into everyday activity and really making giving acceptable to the entire community."

Adkins said the Blue Grass Community Foundation is the steward of $72 million in assets from 428 charitable funds. Those funds come from individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits in a variety of forms, including endowments and scholarships.

See More via Public News Service

Blue Grass Community Foundation Rewards Creative Teaching Ideas
12/1/2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014) – Blue Grass Community Foundation has awarded nearly $10,000 to eight schools through its Teacher Mini-Grants Program, which supports educators’ ideas for creative and interesting programs, projects and events that foster learning through special materials or additional classroom resources.


All teachers in Fayette County Public Schools were invited to apply. A committee of community volunteers considered each proposal’s potential to improve student achievement, number of students who would benefit, creativity of the project, potential for continuation and replication, and cost-effectiveness.

For instance, a grant enables Jennifer Nagle of Mary Todd Elementary to schedule an early childhood music teacher who is bilingual in English and Spanish to present music/reading programs for preschoolers who otherwise would not have access to music education.

See More via The Lane Report

Woodford Nonprofits to Participate in Challenge
11/16/2014

Woodford County Community Fund Offers $2k Youth Grant
11/13/2014

GoodGiving Guide Challenge Looking to Turn More Bankers’ Dollars into $8 on Thursday
11/11/2014

Last year the first Bankers’ Challenge associated with the GoodGiving Guide Challenge promised $.50 for each dollar given until the matching fund was exhausted, turning a $30,000 pool into $90,000.

But something different happened, according to GoodGiving Guide Challenge co-founder Chuck Creacy. “The way it worked out last year turned each of the $30,000 for the match into $8.65.”

A flood of giving ensured for last year’s challenge, as the total raised for the day climbed to $229,615, plus the $30,000 matching pool.

This year’s edition of the Bankers’ Challenge is slated for Thursday, but Creacy is hoping to add to the pool currently supported by Bank of the Bluegrass & Trust Co, Community Trust Bank, Kentucky Bank, Ohio Valley Financial Group and Traditional Bank.

See More via Business Lexington

'Bling for a Cause': Joe Rosenberg Jewelers' Way of Giving Back
11/6/2014

For shoppers at Joe Rosenberg Jewelers, purchases of that sparkling bracelet or ring will come with an added bonus on nine days through Dec. 6.

Store owners Joe and Ricki Rosenberg will donate all proceeds from those days to nine area nonprofits.

The fundraiser, called Bling for a Cause, launched at the store on Thursday as part of the GoodGiving Guide Challenge that raises funds for local charities.

"I think that we've always believed in giving back to the community and we have a lot of inventory and we thought it would be a nice way we could help," said Joe Rosenberg, whose family business opened in Lexington in 1896.

"We see this as an inaugural Bling for a Cause," he said. "We've had a lot of support for 118 years. And it's a pretty cool opportunity and we're excited to be part of it."

See More via Lexington Herald-Leader


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/11/06/3524812/bling-for-a-cause-is-joe-rosenberg.html?sp=/99/101/#storylink=cpy
GoodGiving Guide Challenge Nears $300k Mark in Second Day
11/4/2014

The fourth annual GoodGiving Guide Challenge was just shy of hitting the $300,000 mark a little more than 24 hours after its launch.

The Challenge, a partnership of Business Lexington parent company Smiley Pete Publishing and the Blue Grass Community Foundation raised $1,671,958 for 108 central Kentucky non-profits. This year’s campaign brings together 155 area non-profits with a $2 million goal. In its first year the challenge sought $100,000 and brought in $205,000, in year two it eclipsed its $400,000 goal by raising $586,000.

The first day was infused by a $75,000 kick off match granting $7,500 to the first 10 non-profits to raise $7,500 through 50 contributions of at least $25. 

See More via Business Lexington

Fayette board member wants to use late teacher's trust to help William Wells Brown Elementary
10/6/2014

Fayette County Public Schools board member Doug Barnett recommended Monday that a trust fund at issue in a state audit be used to help the Lexington elementary school with the lowest test scores in the state.

Money from the fund has been used most recently for educational loans to staff, loans to prevent financial hardship while traveling for professional development, and loans to obtain certifications, according to state Auditor Adam Edelen's recent examination. Edelen questioned whether the trust, established by a former teacher who died more than 50 years ago, was being used in accordance with its charter.

"Instead of using this as a travel-allowance program, I think this money should go back to the lowest-performing schools to provide more resources for those students," Barnett said at a board meeting to discuss the district's response to the audit.

See More via Lexington Herald-Leader


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/10/06/3467098_fayette-board-member-wants-to.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
In Lexington, KY, Blue Grass Community Foundation serves as liaison between grassroots movements and national funders
8/14/2014

Lexington, Kentucky, is a mid-sized city with a small-town feel. We’re home to a vibrant arts scene and an impressive array of talented artists. Inspiring, thought-provoking works of art created by our local artists are prominently on display throughout the city.

But not in all parts of our city.

Like all cities, Lexington is also home to blighted communities. In addition to the challenges these communities face every day, they also endure a physically distressed environment.

Yet these same communities are also home to forward-thinking entrepreneurs and community activists with great ideas about how to re-vitalize their own neighborhoods.

Blue Grass Community Foundation reached out to these innovative community groups to see how we could help bridge the gap between vision and realization. We believe that the key to success is a clear, cohesive plan, and—no surprise—funding.

See More via Council on Foundations

Lexington Selected for Arts-Based Community Development Investment
7/18/2014

Mayor Jim Gray announced that Blue Grass Community Foundation and North Limestone Community Development Corporation were awarded a $75,000 Our Town grant from the NEA.

“The area surrounding the North Limestone corridor is one of the most diverse parts of Lexington,” Gray said. “The Our Town grant will help develop the North Limestone Cultural Plan, bringing the community together to set priorities and develop strategies for improving access to public art and cultural programming.”

The North Limestone Cultural Plan will be the first master plan of its kind in Lexington. It will consist of:

  • Detailed cataloging of the North Limestone corridor’s arts and culture assets

  • Developing strategies to ensure equitable access to arts and cultural programming

  • Identifying the community’s strengths and weaknesses in its gathering spaces

  • Determining potential spaces for public art and community preferences for streetscapes and greenspaces

  • Gathering community input on public art programming

See More via SurfKY

Lexington's North Limestone neighborhood gets $75,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant
7/16/2014

Mayor Jim Gray announced Monday in front of the Loudoun House in Castlewood Park that Lexington's North Limestone neighborhood is the recipient of an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Blue Grass Community Foundation and North Limestone Community Development Corporation were awarded the $75,000 grant together.

"The area surrounding the North Limestone corridor is one of the most diverse parts of Lexington," Gray said. "The Our Town grant will develop the North Limestone Cultural Plan, bringing the community together to set priorities and develop strategies for improving access to public art and cultural programming."

See More via Lexington Herald-Leader

Rad more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/07/16/3339225/lexingtons-north-limestone-neighborhood.html?sp=/99/164/961/179/#storylink=c
North Limestone Group Awarded Grant Funding Cultural Plan
7/16/2014

 

Is North Lime the new Jefferson in Lexington?

The latest news out of the neighborhood comes courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts who has announced that it will be awarding a $75,000 Our Town grant to the Blue Grass Community Foundation and the North Limestone Community Development Corporation (NoLi CDC).

The money will go toward what is being described as a “a creative placemaking project aimed at enhancing quality of life and equitable access to arts and culture.”

More specifically, the grant will help fund the North Limestone Cultural Plan. This type of plan is a first for the city of Lexington but it will build off of the city’s 2009 Central Sector Small Area Plan and the North Limestone Sustainability Plan.

See More via Ace

Work begins on Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, a trailhead for the Legacy Trail
7/14/2014

A memorial for the most successful jockey of all time is officially under construction in Lexington’s East End neighborhood. Today, Mayor Jim Gray joined community leaders, representatives from Blue Grass Community Foundation and state officials in breaking ground at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden.
 

“This park, which was once the site of Isaac Murphy’s home, will honor the contributions of African-Americans in the horse racing industry,” Gray said. “The garden will serve as a beautiful gathering place, a showcase of public art and a starting point for Lexington’s marquee trail.”
 

Located at the intersection of Third Street and Midland Avenue, the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden is a trailhead for the Legacy Trail. The trail is a legacy project of the 2010 World Equestrian Games, attracting hundreds of visitors each year. Once completed, the 10-mile walking and biking trail will connect the East End with the Kentucky Horse Park, where Isaac Murphy is buried.

 

See More via KYForward

A memorial for the most successful jockey of all time is officially under construction in Lexington’s East End neighborhood
7/14/2014

 Mayor Jim Gray joined community leaders, representatives from Blue Grass Community Foundation and state officials in breaking ground at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden.

“This park, which was once the site of Isaac Murphy’s home, will honor the contributions of African-Americans in the horse racing industry,” Gray said. “The garden will serve as a beautiful gathering place, a showcase of public art and a starting point for Lexington’s marquee trail.”

Located at the intersection of Third Street and Midland Avenue, the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden is a trailhead for the Legacy Trail. The trail is a legacy project of the 2010 World Equestrian Games, attracting hundreds of visitors each year. Once completed, the 10-mile walking and biking trail will connect the East End with the Kentucky Horse Park, where Isaac Murphy is buried.

See More via SurfKY

Woodford Community Fund Launched June 12
7/3/2014

Community Fund Taking Grant Applications
4/11/2014

What started eight years ago as a good idea has become a reality with the Rowan County Community Fund (RCCF) now operational.

The RCCF has announced it is accepting applications from non-profit organizations in Rowan County for the distribution of its first $5,000 in grants.

The minimum grant will be $500.

The money to be distributed through a competitive process came to the RCCF as a bonus from the Appalachian Regional Commission for meeting a challenge goal of raising $10,000 to create a permanent endowment.

 See More via The Morehead News

UK approves $10 million donation for football practice facility
4/1/2014

The University of Kentucky is now in what it calls the "early schematic design phase" for the new football practice facility, but doesn't have any formal drawings in place yet.

However, the athletics department has hired an architect.

HNTB and Ross Tarrant Architects, the same team brought on to complete the $110 million Commonwealth Stadium renovations, has been hired to design the practice facility.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/04/01/3173775_uk-approves-10-million-donation.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

See More Via Kentuckysports.com

UK approves $10 million donation for football practice facility
4/1/2014

The University of Kentucky is now in what it calls the "early schematic design phase" for the new football practice facility, but doesn't have any formal drawings in place yet.

However, the athletics department has hired an architect.

HNTB and Ross Tarrant Architects, the same team brought on to complete the $110 million Commonwealth Stadium renovations, has been hired to design the practice facility.

Kentucky is in the process of selecting a construction manager, UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said.

The practice facility, which will connect to the Nutter Indoor Training Center and include new practice fields between that and Alumni Drive, has been estimated to cost $45 million.

At least $10 million of that is coming from the Blue Grass Community Foundation of Lexington on behalf of an anonymous donor.

That donation, which was part of the $23 million in private donations UK confirmed having raised last month, was approved by the University's Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

 See More via Lexington Herald-Leader


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/04/01/3173775/uk-approves-10-million-donation.html#storylink=c
Lexington soon will become Kentucky's second city with a local food coordinator
2/3/2014

Sarah Fritschner spent Thursday morning finishing preparations for a conference for local farmers.

Then she talked to the directors of a program in Madison, Wis., that gives vouchers for fresh, organic vegetables to consumers.

That was interrupted by a phone call. Someone needed 500 pounds of Kentucky sweet potatoes.

"So I dropped everything and I started making phone calls," Fritschner said.

As Louisville's Farm to Table coordinator, Fritschner is focused on making those connections between farmers and consumers — and growing a local food economy.

Lexington soon will become the second city in Kentucky with a local food coordinator.

It's long overdue, said Ouita Michel, one of Central Kentucky's most-acclaimed chefs and champion of buying foods grown and produced locally.

"Why should we ship our cattle to Indiana or Missouri for processing?" Michel said. "We can do that here. We need to strengthen our food infrastructure. It can be its own growth industry and add money to the economy. But it's also part of our culture and our history."

The Urban County Council approved the creation of the local food coordinator at Thursday's council meeting. The majority of the funding for Lexington's food program will come from a combination of local agriculture development money, private grants and $25,000 from the city. The total is more than $100,000. But not all of that will go toward salary. 

See More via Lexington Herald-Leader

GoodGiving Guide Challenge Grand Finale $100,000 Buzzer Beater Challenge
12/27/2013

Article via Lex18.com

Blue Grass Community Foundation is excited to announce that thanks to the generosity of Matthew and Jenna Mitchell's Mitchell Family Foundation at Blue Grass Community Foundation, the $100,000 Buzzer Beater Challenge will help the community close out the GoodGiving Guide Challenge like charitable champs!

"Jenna and I are extremely excited about the Challenge," said Matthew Mitchell, head coach of the University of Kentucky women's basketball team. "God has truly blessed us by bringing us to this community and allowing us to pursue causes we are passionate about. We are constantly inspired by individuals and organizations in this community who do so much for people. We hope the Challenge inspires people to donate to their favorite nonprofits and help make a difference in our community. No donation is too small or too big! Here's a chance to have your donation increased by half!"As the 2013 GoodGiving Guide Challenge moves closer to this year's final buzzer at 11:59pm, on Tuesday, December 31, the Mitchell's decided to throw down one final giving challenge destined for the record books. Tip-off for the Mitchell Family Foundation's $100,000 Buzzer Beater Challenge starts at noon, on Monday, December 30. The Mitchell Family Foundation will match individual donations made to nonprofits in this year's GoodGiving Guide Challenge at 50 cents on the dollar, up to $1,000 per donor (maximum match of $500 per donor, per nonprofit). Donors may make match-eligible contributions to as many nonprofits as they choose. Until the $100,000 match pool is exhausted, there is no limit on how many match dollars a nonprofit may earn.

"The Challenge is a wonderful way to get the whole community together in support of local causes," said Jenna Mitchell. "It's a great team effort that we're proud to be part of, and we encourage everyone who loves the Bluegrass to give to the nonprofits of their choice at goodgivigguide.net."

The GoodGiving Guide Challenge is a community-wide online giving campaign presented by Blue Grass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing. The Challenge runs from November 1 to December 31. Now in its eight week, the Challenge has already exceeded its goal of raising $1 million for 107 Central Kentucky nonprofits.

To learn about the 107 participating nonprofits and to make your secure gift, go to goodgivingguide.net.

Lottie Ellis Match Challenge will benefit Boyle agencies
11/27/2013

The Lottie Ellis Match Challenge, which begins 8 a.m. Monday, will provide $20,000 in matching challenge grants for Boyle County nonprofits participating in the Good Giving Guide Challenge. It offers a 50-cent match for every dollar raised up to $1,000 per donor, until the $20,000 pool is exhausted. 

This means a donor making a $50 contribution will earn a $25 Lottie Ellis match, which equals $75 for the nonprofit.

See more via Central Kentucky News

Restaurants join in GoodGiving challenge
11/6/2013

This holiday season, the GoodGiving Guide Challenge offers an easy way to help nonprofit organizations. The campaign, organized by Smiley Pete Publishing and the Blue Grass Community Foundation, runs through Dec. 31.

It is aimed at growing local giving by highlighting the work of local nonprofits and encouraging givers to donate in any amount to the cause of their choice.

Local businesses are donating a percentage of sales to the challenge, and the money will go to the grand finale match pool, in which nonprofits will be eligible to compete for prizes.

See More Via Kentucky.com


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/11/06/2915136/restaurants-join-in-goodgiving.html#storylink=cpy
Clark County non-profits to participate in fundraising challenge
10/31/2013

All non-profit organizations in Clark County will get a chance to bring in new funding from the Blue Grass Community Foundation with the help of local supporters.

The Bluegrass Heritage Museum will be taking part in the GoodGiving Guide Challenge this year, which set up as an online donation site where local supporters can log on and donate to their favorite organizations. The challenge is sponsored by the Clark County Community Foundation as well as the Blue Grass Community Foundation.

For every dollar donated from online supporters, the Clark County Community Foundation will match it up to $15,000. Each participating organization will have the opportunity to receive up to $30,000 in donations.

Sandy Stults, the director at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum, said this is the first year the museum and the other Clark County non-profits have participated in the GoodGiving Guide Challenge.

“For us, our goal is to use this challenge grant to get the word out to our supporters to go online and vote,” she said.

She also said themuseum will use the funds for new education programs as well as building maintenance.

According to a press release, the GoodGiving Guide Challenge is in its third year and is designed to engage the entire community. It also said the challenge will raise funds for 108 central Kentucky charities this year.

See More via Central Kentucky News

Local organizations participating in GoodGiving Guide Challenge
10/30/2013

Five Boyle County are particpating for the first time in the GoodGiving Guide challenge: Heritage Hospice, Inc., Kentucky School for the Deaf Charitable Foundation, KyADAPT, Sunrise Children's Services and Community Arts Center. The groups are inviting the public to come out for a launch party Friday at V the market. 

The GoodGiving Guide Challenge is a partnership between the Blue Grass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing to promote online charitable giving to local causes.These two organizations have lined up challenge grants to award bonus money to non-profits that raise the most donors and dollars, as well as dozens of gifts for individual donors. The Boyle County organizations are all sponsored in the challenge by a match grant from the Hudson-Ellis Foundation, which supports Boyle agencies. 

This is the third year for the challenge and there are 108 agencies involved. The Challenge continues through Dec. 31st, but the first 10 non-profits to raise $7,500 from 50 unique donors of $25 or more will recieve a $7,500 match. 

 See More via Central Kentucky News

GoodGiving Guide looks to raise $1 Million in two-month campaign
10/24/2013

In just their third campaign, organizers of the GoodGiving Guide have set a goal to raise $1 million for 108 area nonprofits when the campaign kicks off Friday at the West Sixth brewery.

After starting with a goal of $100,000 for the initial GoodGiving Guide two years ago, the joint project between Smiley Pete Publishing — parent company of Business Lexington — and the Blue Grass Community Foundation more than doubled those expectations. The initiative brought in $205,000 in its first year.

“The thing we loved when we first heard of this model was how it utilized all the tools we already knew in our business — that is, making publications, building websites, email marketing and social media. We do this work every day. With the fundraising expertise of the Blue Grass Community Foundation, we felt equipped to take on and succeed with such a project, ” said Smiley Pete Publishing co-owner Chuck Creacy.

See more visit Bizlex.com

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Email Us: info@bgcf.org  /  Call Us: 859.225.3343

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