In 2003, the Grand Victoria Foundation began work to fulfill its vision that Illinois communities can be great places to live and work. One goal was to strengthen local philanthropy in towns and cities across the state. Its Communityworks initiative (2003-2011) built a network of strong community foundations with capable leadership, adequate resources, engaged local partners, and a strategic commitment to creating place-based solutions to local problems. Grand Victoria Foundation invested substantial human and financial resources to build the capacity of the foundations, acting on its belief that the best way to achieve results at scale is to start at scale and dedicate appropriate resources to succeed.

The process of participating in this initiative required, understandably,  an enormous amount of staff time in order to comply with all the requirements. And, in fact, only thirteen Illinois community foundations succeeded in receiving the maximum contribution available. At the time this opportunity came along, the Community Foundation of McLean County (later IPCF) was still in its infancy with one full-time staff person who was juggling multiple priorities in getting the new Foundation on firm footing. It became apparent that CFMC would be unable to complete the work required to receive the full amount of funding available. However, the Grand Victoria Foundation provided seed money for an endowment, which remains today, to support early childhood education, preservation of natural lands and waterways, and workforce development programs.
If your interests lie in the areas mentioned above, please consider a gift to the Communityworks Endowment so that IPCF may increase grants to vital programs that support these concerns.