Success Story: Terre Haute Children's Museum
Museums are important community amenities that provide a valuable source of entertainment and education for families while contributing to the community’s strength. In 2009, the Wabash Valley rallied around the campaign to build a new Terre Haute Children’s Museum, whose grand opening the following year was eagerly anticipated. Keenly aware that the museum would need sustained funding to cover future operational costs, the Wabash Valley Community Foundation made the largest grant in its history, a $150,000 challenge grant, to build the museum’s operating endowment.
For three years, the Community Foundation matched $1 for every $2 added to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum Endowment Fund. When announcing the grant, David R. Bolk, the then-chair of the Community Foundation’s distribution committee, explained the challenge grant was provided to assist the museum in meeting its overall fundraising goal and was specially targeted to help the museum raise an operating endowment. The Community Foundation wanted to be involved in the museum’s capital campaign and structured the grant so it would have a major impact for the long term.
“Any agency serving our community needs a constant income, in good times and bad, to assure that it can continue to provide the services it is intended to provide,” said Dr. Mary Ann Carroll, former Wabash Valley Community Foundation board president. “That is where an endowment fund, with its continuing income, can be so important.”
An endowment fund within the Community Foundation was an excellent way for the community to support the future operations of the museum. Earlier this spring, nearly five years after the challenge grant ended, the Community Foundation granted over $16,000 from the endowment fund to be put towards operational expenses.
To learn more about the Terre Haute Children’s Museum Endowment Fund or to learn about creating an endowment fund for your favorite non-profit agency, please give us a call at 812-232-2234.