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By JoAnna Ness, Mar 19 2020 06:14PM

The Steuben County Community Foundation Board of Directors has designated $100,000 to activate the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund to begin addressing the rapidly developing situation in our community as a result of COVID-19. This nonpermanent fund will be used to mobilize grant dollars for community organizations affected by the virus, and SCCF is actively listening to local entities to understand current needs.

The Board approved an initial grant from this fund for $50,000 to Cameron Memorial Community Hospital as Cameron has taken the lead in addressing the immediate health challenges in Steuben County posed by this crisis. The board is regularly reassessing the changing community needs, and future grants will be deployed from this fund.

Community donors are encouraged to assist in this effort to support local nonprofits by donating to the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund. SCCF is open to collaborating with other funders and learning more about ways to make resources available to community needs. Contact the SCCF office at 260-665-6656, or email SCCF President and CEO Jennifer Danic at with questions.

Donations to the Steuben County Disaster Response Fund can be made online here, or you can mail a check to our office at 1701 N Wayne St, Angola, IN 46703.

By JoAnna Ness, Feb 24 2020 04:44PM

Cameron Memorial Community Hospital has been a staple nonprofit organization in Steuben County for almost 100 years. The Cameron Foundation was established to support the mission of the hospital and to provide resources that improve the community overall. The foundation’s mission is to, “Improve the quality of life for those we serve through relationships focused on health and wellness.” The Cameron Foundation makes an impact by focusing on areas that directly affect health and wellness needs in Steuben County. Some of these needs include state-of-the-art training and resources, expansion of hospital programs, services and community education, and continued advances in meeting the medical needs of the community. Krista Miller, Executive Director at the Cameron Foundation, attributes the ability to provide resources to the community to their excellent leadership and staff.

By JoAnna Ness, Feb 5 2020 07:34PM

Steuben County Community Foundation’s youth philanthropy group, FIST, wrapped up their January 2020 meeting to the sound of cheers from the 5th grade students who were learning about philanthropy. FIST (Forever Improving Steuben County Together) is a group of 8th-12th grade students from Hamilton, Angola, and Fremont schools. They meet monthly to organize service projects and provide grant funding to inspire the youth of Steuben County to give their time, talent, and treasure back to the community.

This year, FIST has focused on a new initiative to teach younger students throughout the county about philanthropy—with grant dollars attached to the learning process. From September through January, FIST taught 5th grade students at the six schools in Fremont, Angola, and Hamilton about nonprofits and talked about ways they could help their community. This was part of a program they call FLIP, which stands for Future Leaders in Philanthropy. FIST members led the younger students through a discussion about local nonprofits, and then provided a $250 grant that the students could direct to a nonprofit of their choice. Students also brainstormed ways they could make a difference without grant money, such as shoveling sidewalks in winter and helping a neighbor take out the trash. In return for their hard work to understand philanthropy, each school’s 5th grade class received a $250 grant to use for field trips, projects, or other needs. In total, FIST was able to share the fundamentals of philanthropy with almost 240 5th grade students in Steuben County.

By JoAnna Ness, Jan 15 2020 09:09PM

Change is coming to Steuben County Community Foundation grant guidelines, with the goal of helping local nonprofits continue to dream big. These changes were motivated by the results of facilitated discussions with the local nonprofit community. The SCCF board looked at national and regional community foundations to review their processes for grantmaking and identify updates that would resonate with the needs of Steuben County nonprofits.

After a year of strategic planning, the SCCF board of directors voted to approve the new guidelines, which will apply to all grantmaking at SCCF as of July 1, 2020. In addition to more detailed guidance on eligibility, a key change in the new guidelines is the addition of a new cycle called Impact Grants, which will offer multi-year support and larger investments in programs that are innovative, collaborative, and sustainable.

To prepare nonprofits for these changes, SCCF’s Spring 2020 Nonprofit Capacity Building series is focused on workshops that will improve their applications. Nonprofits who wish to apply for an Impact Grant must send a representative of their organization to at least two of the five workshops offered by SCCF from February through June. These guidelines will be presented along with special panelist discussions at SCCF’s first workshop of the series on February 12, 2020 from 11:30-1:30 at Club Z in Trine University’s MTI Center. Steuben County nonprofits are required to RSVP and lunch will be available. Additional workshop dates and RSVP links are available at

Grant guidelines can be downloaded on the SCCF website at

By JoAnna Ness, Dec 11 2019 06:39PM

Isabell Deem, an Angola High School senior, has been named as the Steuben County 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. Deem will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana, along with an annual $900 stipend for books and required equipment.

Lilly scholarships were first awarded in 1998, and over 4,400 scholarships have been awarded statewide, not including 143 that will be awarded during this round.

Deem, daughter of John Deem and Holly Meccia-Deem of Angola, plans to pursue a medical career with hopes to study chemistry or bio-chemistry at Indiana University, Purdue, or Butler University. In addition to playing golf at Angola High School, Deem is the president of FIST, president of Key Club, and serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council, National Honor Society, and Student Council.

A surprise announcement was given to Deem at Angola High School where she was surrounded by her family, friends, and high school administrators, as well as members from the Steuben County Community Foundation.

Isabell shared, “This scholarship grant won’t just stop with me, but it’ll be used to impact all the community members I work with in the future.”

The selection process for the Lilly scholarship is comprised of four different parts evaluated by a volunteer committee. The process is pre-approved by the Independent Colleges of Indiana prior to the applications becoming available. The committee reviewed and scored the 20 applications received (with names and all personal information omitted) and selected six finalists based on academic and extra-curricular achievements in Steuben County. These six students then participated in an impromptu essay, portfolio presentation and formal interview. The scores from these four components were added together to nominate a recipient and two alternates.

The nominated candidates are then recommended to the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) selection committee who audits the entire process and selects the scholarship recipient. The process of selection was followed as originally approved.

“Once again, there was an outstanding group of applicants from Steuben County. Our committee of volunteers did a fantastic job with the selection process and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication,” says SCCF Program Officer Jacqui Gentile. “We also would like to congratulate the other five finalists, Kayla Festermaker, Emily Land, Victoria Miller, Chase Soulliere, and Teryn Stanley, who will each receive a Circle of Friends scholarship from the Steuben County Community Foundation.”

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state. The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative whose primary purposes are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state. The Lilly Endowment has provided over $405 million dollars for tuition and book stipends to date. There were 143 scholarships awarded statewide in 2018; the number awarded in each county is based on the number of fulltime residents in each county. Steuben County was offered one award for 2020.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is one of 50 scholarships available through the Steuben County Community Foundation. Application materials for other 2020 community foundation scholarships are available on the foundation’s website: