The Community Foundation of DeKalb County (Indiana) was the recipient of a $5M CAPE grant (Community Alliances to Promote Education) awarded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. in 2001. The purpose of this grant award was to raise the low level of education attainment in the county. The grant-funded project came to a close in 2008.
Foundation board members chose to respond by gathering a representative group of 20 DeKalb County community leaders and asking for responses to the question, “what is the most compelling social issue in DeKalb County that the community foundation could address?”
Following several hours of meetings, the group agreed that continuing work on raising the level of educational attainment county-wide would do the most to address the increasing poverty and economic decline that had already begun in DeKalb County.
In January 2009, community members, including cross-sector representatives from business, government, education, early childhood, healthcare, agriculture, and professional and social services, agreed on the shared community vision:
Working together through continuous learning to improve
the quality of life for all in DeKalb County.