Timeline

The Community Foundation has been characterized by strong growth and unprecedented generosity.

2022

  • In January, the total number of free COVID Care Kits provided to Macon County individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began reached 2,600 with the distribution of 500 more kits. The kits were created and distributed in memory of the late Dani Rubin Kater. Funding for the new kits came from an emergency grant.

2021

  • Young Leaders In Action (YLIA) named winner of state-wide Governor’s Cup.
  • Tony Holly named Director of Strategic Grantmaking.
  • Reached $53 million in assets.
  • More than $5.3 million awarded in scholarships and grants in 2021; this meant more than $38 million total has been awarded since CFMC was founded in 2000.
  • In December alone, donor giving and the power of endowment allowed CFMC to grant a total of $926,514.07 to 158 organizations.
  • CFMC was one of only 13 community foundations nationwide selected to participate in the ABFE and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation national racial equity training.
  • $234,000 in CommunityWorks grants awarded to nine area nonprofits.
  • Partnered with United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois to establish Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for Macon County, a literacy program for area children.
  • $131,500 awarded in higher education scholarships.
  • $100,000 awarded in Impact100 grants.
  • Racial Equity Fund surpasses $30,000 in awarded grants.
  • More than $12,000 in total Microgrants awarded to 11 Macon County Legacy member organizations.
  • Fourteen new charitable funds established.
  • Workforce Development grant establishes Michael T. Carrigan Solidarity Scholarship.
  • First 14 Adult Scholarship program recipients announced; five for fall semester 2021 and nine for spring semester 2022. Total of $24,000 awarded.
  • Donors fulfilled 36 community wish list items requested by Macon County Legacy nonprofit members -- from books to a bus and more!
  • First-ever Rapid Response grants from the Equity and Inclusion Endowed Fund awarded to five Macon County educators to support classroom inclusion and equity. Total awarded $2,500; $500 each.
  • Recognized 13 area residents and a local healthcare center with 2021 Do Something Great Awards.
  • Received the Mission Impact Award from Richland Community College Foundation.
  • Received a Milestone plaque from the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce in recognition and appreciation of CFMC's 20+ years of service.
  • Kara Demirjian named CFMC board chair in July.
  • Temethia Joyner named YLIA facilitator.

2020

  • Provided more than $389,000 in COVID-19 emergency response funding to Macon County front-line service and advocacy organizations
  • Provided food for hundreds of local families during COVID-19 pandemic by partnering on three Community Food Box Days with United Way, Neuhoff Media, United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois, Crossing Healthcare and Central Illinois Foodbank

  • $150,000 in CommunityWorks grants awarded to benefit almost 15 community programs

  • Announced the Dani Rubin Kater Memorial Fund to provide free COVID Care Kits to Macon County individuals who tested positive for COVID-19

  • Launched Adult Scholarship program

  • $100,000 in total Impact100 grants awarded to 8 local organizations

  • To celebrate our community and to mark the Foundation’s 20th anniversary, gifted an interactive butterfly mural display at the Decatur Civic Center through partnership with the Center, Decatur Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Decatur Area Arts Council.

  • Reached $42 million in assets

  • Candra Reed named office manager

  • Launched new, updated website designed by Jones + Thomas.

  • Presented 2020 Do Something Great Awards, adding recognition of COVID-19 heroes

2019

  • Launched Impact100 and awarded grants to 11 organizations from a total of $100K
  • Received bequest of more than $786,600 from the estate of Robert and Bev Ketenbrink.
  • Moved office to fourth floor of One Main Place
  • Launched Young Leaders in Action
  • Hired Chasity Casey as donor services associate

2018

  • Reached $38 million in assets
  • Surpassed $25 million in grants given
  • Natalie Beck named third President & CEO of The Community Foundation

2017

  • Ended year with more than $36 million in assets
  • Launched an enhanced donor portal
  • Received $500,000 bequest from the Norma Augustine estate to establish the Lynn D. Augustine Memorial Scholarship.

“The Foundation was not directly involved with either donation. Rather, this level of generosity indicated that people were thinking of The Community Foundation as an option in their estate plans; it’s become a dependable and desirable tool for philanthropy and estate planning.”

Wegi Stewart, regarding the Augustine Scholarship

2016

  • Hit the $20M mark in grants awarded
  • Surpassed 300 funds
  • Erin Reed rejoined the work of the Education Coalition

2014

  • Launched online donor portal
  • Gather. Give. Share (youth philanthropy group) was created
  • Kathy Carter named scholarship coordinator
  • Marked 15th anniversary of CFMC by breaking $30M in assets

2013

  • Launched online scholarship application portal
  • Ended the year with more than $27.5 million in assets
  • Beautify Decatur
  • Vietnam Area Vets

2011

  • Champions for Children

“Decatur’s tradition of generosity stretches back to the Community Chest in the 1930s, which was the precursor to the United Way. Decatur has always been characterized by a strong legacy of corporate leadership and philanthropy. People here give back.”

Lucy Murphy, executive director at The Community Foundation, June 2000

2010

  • Grand Victoria Foundation Matching Challenge Grant was completed.
  • The Community Foundation ended 2010 with over $21M in assets.
  • Louise “Wegi” Ferry Stewart named the Foundation’s new president on July 6, 2010.

About Wegi
When Wegi became president of The Community Foundation in 2010, she had been involved in the Decatur community working in the nonprofit and government arenas for 20 years. For three years, she served as executive director of the Richland Community College Foundation where she led the first major gifts campaign in that Foundation’s history. She served as senior development officer for the Decatur Memorial Hospital Foundation from 1999 to 2007, and prior to that was president of the Community Investment Corporation of Decatur, Inc., and director of the Dove, Inc. Homeward Bound Supportive Housing Program.

Wegi has chaired the boards of directors of the Decatur Family YMCA and Heritage Behavior Health Center, and was president of the Rotary Club of Decatur in 2002. She served on the Decatur Public Building Commission. She holds a bachelor's degree in government from Georgetown University. She lives in Decatur with her husband, David Stewart, and has three grown children.

The Foundation Board of Directors introduced Wegi Stewart and thanked Lucy Murphy for her service at the Foundation’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration held June 9, 2010, at the Decatur Area Arts Council.

2009

  • In response to a final challenge from Grand Victoria, local donor Dr. Charles D. Perkinson made the first $1 million gift from an individual to The Community Foundation. This gift and its Grand Victoria match, along with a significant number of small and large gifts over a three-year period more than doubled the size of the Foundation’s permanent endowment. This spring the total assets in the Foundation topped $14,000,000.
  • The Community Foundation of Decatur/Macon County currently manages over 150 charitable funds. Nearly $1 million in grants were awarded to nonprofit organizations and local projects in 2009.
  • The past 10 years were a decade characterized by strong growth and unprecedented generosity.

“I can’t wait to see the Foundation reach the next level. The Foundation’s success will keep building on itself — which is exactly what Decatur deserves.”

Lucy Murphy, 2009 president

2008

The Foundation qualified for a third phase of the Grand Victoria Foundation Communityworks Challenge and received from that organization a $1 million gift to support both its Operating Endowment and the Communityworks Fund.

2007

Community Foundation Board member and JL Hubbard Insurance and Bonds President Kevin Breheny spearheaded a Leaders Fund campaign to raise funds that established the Decatur Area Education Coalition — a group of educators and community leaders committed to a systemic, community-wide, and sustained approach to improving academic achievement. Thanks to Breheny’s initiative, 14 community residents pledged a total of $1 million, which was matched by Archer Daniels Midland Co. Also in 2007, the Foundation was one of the first in Illinois to receive certification from the Council on Foundations.

2006

The Community Foundation successfully secured $225,000 in gifts through the Communityworks Challenge campaign, which was matched dollar-for-dollar by the Grand Victoria Foundation of Chicago. The Foundation had accumulated $4.4M in permanent assets.

2005

Donors helped direct the Community Foundation’s mission by requesting opportunities for charitable giving that would reap particularly high pay off. Specifically, they targeted early childhood education as an area of community need and, following a study on children in poverty in Decatur, created a source of financial support to address solutions. Their effort launched the highly successful Kindergarten Readiness Program.

2004

Capacity of the Foundation was significantly increased with the addition of Finance Director Missy Batman. “Missy’s background and expertise in finance and investor relations helped make our funds profitable for investors,” Murphy says. “The Foundation now had the resources to distribute earnings through grants, to realize strong investment earnings, and to extend tax benefits to donors who gave appreciated stock.” Missy has become the Foundation’s VP of Operations and Finance. In June of 2004 The Community Foundation became the first occupant of offices in the Madden Arts Center operated by the Decatur Area Arts Council.

2003

The Community Foundation became one of only 18 Illinois foundations to be accepted into the multi-million dollar CommunityWorks program of the Grand Victoria Foundation — a multi-year partnership with the opportunity to secure funds for important community initiatives, and to bolster the Foundation's impact, leverage and flexibility in serving Decatur.

2002

Community Foundation funds stood at 28 and, after two years that often saw Murphy tackling bookkeeping tasks on Sunday, Marilyn Metzger joined the team as a part-time business manager. “We shared a desk and computer at first,” Murphy recalls, “but it was great to have her help and know-how.” Founding Board Chairman Denny Lohnes retired and Larry Haab took over board leadership. A $1 million challenge grant from Archer Daniels Midland — which was successfully matched by the Community Foundation — propelled the Foundation to seven-figures, provided valuable public relations benefits, and brought the total number of funds to 40 by the end of 2003.

2001

The Community Foundation spearheaded a study to examine the wills of all who died that year in Macon County in order to calculate the total number and percentage of testamentary charitable gifts. Conclusions from this study led to formation of the Legacy Society, a joint effort among the Community Foundation, Millikin University and Decatur Memorial Hospital. The Legacy Society is now a group of 60 local nonprofit organizations and professional firms in Decatur and Macon County that work together to encourage people from all walks of life to give to charity in their wills or estate plans.


“Our first donation came from Mayor Terry Howley who said that since he wasn’t running for re-election, he’d donate his campaign war chest!”

Lucy Murphy, 2000 president

June 2000

  • After a two-year feasibility study — during which time the fledgling foundation operated within the United Way — the decision was made to form a comprehensive community trust to benefit a range of area agencies, and to establish it as an entity separate from United Way.
  • The first donation was from Mayor Terry Howley. Also stepping up were Dale Arnold of Hickory Point Bank, who pledged to match any deposit; National City Bank, which made a significant gift for endowment; and local philanthropist Darrell Beck, whose support, Murphy says, gave the new Foundation credibility.
  • The Community Foundation originally operated from a rent-free room in the basement of the United Way building at 160 E. Main for the first three years of its existence. Four local corporations stepped up to share the Foundation’s remaining expenses — Archer Daniels Midland, Caterpillar, A.E. Staley Mfg., and Firestone.
  • The Community Foundation ended its first year with seven separate permanent funds and $70,000 in the bank.

Interested in learning more?

Call us to get access to our deep community connections and expertise to strategize and cultivate your philanthropic passions and legacy.