East Central Illinois Theme and Strategy Announced
After ten months of planning, the Lumpkin Family Foundation has endorsed a new theme – Land, Health, Community – for its work in East Central Illinois.
Expected to carry us forward for the next several years, the words Land, Health, Community, and the connections between them, will guide our attention in the region. The Foundation is not adopting a new mission but digging more deeply into parts of it where we believe we have the best opportunities to make a real, lasting difference, especially given the rural nature of our communities.
Frankly, it was a struggle, said Foundation chair Tina Duncan. We want to have impact and the challenges across ALL areas of our mission are huge. We did extensive research that included conversations with community leaders, and we looked internally at our own strengths before matching those to the opportunities for impact in the communities we care about.
We plan three actions to support our new theme:
First, we will seek to increase communication and collaboration among people and organizations who share an interest in holistic community health described by The Foundation’s vision for Land, Health Community. We will convene people and facilitate conversations leading to action. For example, a recent discussion process in Mattoon, Illinois will result in the construction of a park in that community in 2015.
Our objective in this work is finding and supporting the things that help make healthy choices easy. We will work toward developing more specific and measurable goals in collaboration with community partners as this work unfolds.
Second, we will welcome grant proposals from organizations working in communities across East Central Illinois through the Lumpkin Family Fund that:
- Promote personal health through widespread availability and consumption of healthy, affordable food;
- Grow the local agricultural economy, sustaining and creating new viable farm and farm-related businesses;
- Develop, promote and scale innovative green practices that add productive value to farms while protecting the land for future generations; and,
- Encourage community engagement and collaboration, policy development and research around agriculture and rural development.
Click here for more information on our upcoming Spring 2015 grant cycle.
Finally, the third action we will take is one focused solely on Coles County. Here in our base of operations, we will invite grant proposals that: create a culture of movement through physical activity, especially outdoors; protect the land and conserve the beauty of our natural landscape; and encourage organizations, businesses and residents to become leaders in the green economy. These proposals will be received outside our normal grantmaking cycles so please contact us with your ideas.
We will be reaching out to the community in various ways over the coming months but we welcome your thoughts and questions until we do.