Taking action for a strong future in rural Clinton County


By Amanda Willimack, Executive Director

What if there was a way for you to strengthen your community forever?

In our rural communities, the population may be small – but the generosity is large. Every day, we help one another in our neighborhoods, our churches, our kitchens, and on Main Street. Now, we can channel these small-town values into a fund that will make a difference for generations to come.  

Your charitable plans might include your family, your church or your favorite nonprofit. By giving to the LincolnWay Community Foundation, you can also include a gift to support your community’s future. The Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to improve quality of life for everyone who lives here through grantmaking, collaborating with local leaders, and building endowment funds. 

Our community’s long-term well-being is at the heart of our work. Our family of endowment funds are invested permanently, and the earnings provide annual funding for organizations to make a positive impact. We depend on these funds to make grants that address pressing needs and important opportunities in our community — even as they change over time.

The Forever LincolnWay Fund is an endowment that’s already addressing the most urgent local needs. From quality education to city park improvements, our grantmaking impacts quality of life in every community in rural Clinton County. Still, there are unmet needs. That’s why we’re working to capture a $100,000 matching challenge through the Smalltown Dreams Initiative, building the endowment so that we can respond to more of the worthy requests we receive. We need your help to raise dollars and meet this match. 

“In rural Clinton County, we’re working to capture that match so that our community is prepared for whatever challenges arise next year, 10 years from now, and generations down the road,” says Susan Haack, Foundation board member. “Empowering community members to dream big, we envision the endowment will provide funding to do things like revive Main Streets, restore historical sites, increase access to health services, embrace and promote our wealth of natural resources; and overall, create vibrant LincolnWay area where people want to return.” 

Since World War II, Americans have created, invested and multiplied unprecedented private wealth. Much of this wealth is currently invested in family homes and farms, retirement accounts, and other appreciated assets. In Clinton County, $9.3 billion is expected to transfer from one generation to the next through probate estates in the next 30 years. Most will go to heirs (and taxes), but you can preserve a portion as your legacy for the community’s future. We’re here to help you create that legacy, both for your family and for your community. 

Retaining a small percentage of the transfer of wealth for philanthropy is a historic opportunity for strengthening Clinton County.  If just 5% of that expected transfer is invested in an endowment, $19 million (figuring a 4.25% payout) could be available annually for projects that strengthen our communities. Designating 5% of your estate to the Forever LincolnWay fund is a simple way to help the small-town values you live every day last forever. 

By working with our expert team to plan your charitable giving to the Community Foundation, you can help ensure a strong future for our county. Contact us today to learn how you can establish a fund or make a gift that impacts your community.