What is a community foundation?

Community foundations are tax exempt public charities that provide a variety of unique services to a particular geographic area. A community foundation has three special features:


Personalized Service

We make giving easy, flexible, and effective, accepting a wide variety of gifts and providing donors with the greatest flexibility. You can contribute cash, stocks, property, and bequests. You may establish an Unrestricted, Field of Interest, Designated or Donor Advised Fund in your name or in the name of a loved one. Your gift will gain maximum tax advantage.


Local Expertise

Our professional staff has an in-depth understanding of the issues, opportunities and resources that shape our community. We monitor all areas of community need – including human services, education, the environment, healthcare, the arts, and economic development. We can help you learn more about local agencies and programs that make a difference in areas you care about most.


Community Leadership

We invest in the long term and bring people and organizations together, convening diverse voices to address local issues and opportunities.


What do we do?

The Blue River Community Foundation serves Shelby County in the following ways:


We Assist NonProfit Organizations.

The Foundation works with other local nonprofit organizations in a number of ways. We help to connect donors to the organizations that serve the needs a donor wishes to support. We also administer funds that benefit nonprofits, provide workshops on topics that help nonprofits improve their operations to better meet their missions, share information about outside workshops and seminars, and provide networking opportunities.

We Administer Grants and Scholarships.

The Foundation awards grant money to nonprofit organizations that support our community in the areas of healthcare, education, arts and culture, civic areas, and social services. The Foundation has the flexibility to serve almost any charitable need our community may have – even those needs that will arise in the future that we cannot anticipate today.

The Foundation administers a scholarship program each year that awards over 160 scholarships for students who wish to pursue higher education.

We Connect Caring People with the Causes that Matter the Most to Them.

The grants and scholarships the Foundation awards are possible only through the generosity of people who care about Shelby County. The Foundation works with these donors to help them determine how to make gifts that will be the most beneficial to the charitable causes and organizations the donors care most about. The Foundation administers and manages donors’ gifts according to policies that comply with national standards set by the Council on Foundations. Donors can rest assured that their gifts – their investments in the community – will have lasting and meaningful impact.

We Provide a Forum for Community Convening.

Because the Foundation works closely with local nonprofits and with community leaders, we are well-informed of our community’s needs. We can help to convene members of the community around an issue, or we can act as a neutral facilitator for issues others might raise. We can provide a forum for residents to meet, discuss and share ideas about our community’s needs, strategize for meeting those needs, and develop a vision for our community’s future.


Your Community Foundation is always working to advance charitable activities, and to enhance the quality of life for all of Shelby County.

Blue River Community Foundation
54 W Broadway Street
Shelbyville, IN 46176

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