Indiana and our region are in a race to attract top talent. Our competition, the other 8,000 communities around the country and those around the world that also have a similar goal.
Indiana was falling behind and leaders recognized several years ago a need to change our course and went out an studied the top performers around the country. What they found each time they asked was the important role quality of place played in attracting and retaining residents and in growing businesses. The Regional Cities program was born.
Fast forward a bit, and leaders across north-central Indiana came together with a plan of their own to combat the out-migration of residents, to grow our brand, and position the region for future growth opportunities. The State of Indiana, the local communities, and the private sector teamed up and now have over $700 million in improvements planned across three counties.
Those improvements are investments in physical improvements, with a wide variety of projects that range from buildings to trails. But that investment was only intended to be a catalyst and does not include the programming part or the dollars necessary to enhance other quality of place elements in a community like the arts, theater, symphony, parks, libraries, museums, or zoos. Those too are critical parts of our attraction efforts.
That’s where you come in. Local citizens will have an important opportunity to make a critical investment in the community that will have a lasting impact on the region. May 9 is Give Local SJC day.
In all, 67 charities are participating in the day, organizations that impact our community in areas like Arts and Culture; Camps, Parks and Recreation; Community Development; Education; as well as health and human services, youth development, animal welfare and aging.
Non-profits will seek to access $2.4 million in matching funds, generated by seed funding from the Judd Leighton Foundation as well as a number of other foundations and other supporters. 75% of contributions will go towards supporting current programming within the organizations; 25% of contributions go towards supporting the charity’s permanent endowment.
The opportunity to have your donation matched means your investment will go twice as far as normal.
A similar effort was undertaken in 2015. Donor’s voted with their dollars and showed how important many of these organizations are to the community. The generosity of the community was evident, as about $6.7 million was raised which was then distributed to the participating organizations.
You actually can schedule your gift now at www.GiveLocalSJC.org, or make sure you log-in on May 9 to donate. You can drop your check in the mail, but make sure it’s there by May 9. If you you’d rather do it in person, be sure to visit the Morris Performing Arts Center, Martin’s Supermarket at Ironwood and SR23, University Park Mall, or your local library May 9. WNDU will also have a phone bank set up on May to take your calls if you would like to pledge that way.
This year the Community Foundation is celebrating their 25th year. They describe their work as connecting people who care with causes that matter. Let them help you connect with those organizations that matter most to you and to our community, join your friends and neighbors for Give Local SJC Day on May 9. For more information, visit www.GiveLocalSJC.org