Hoosier Energy’s Community Impact Fund aids organizations in Southern Indiana

Hoosier Energy strives to make helping communities and nonprofit organizations a priority within its territory, and the Community Impact Fund makes that possible.

“Each year, we receive dozens of requests from local non-profits and statewide non-profits and vet those against a strategy we have developed,” said Matt Randall, manager of government and community relations, who oversees the fund with the help of a four-person team.

With approximately $80,000 per year available in the Community Impact Fund, there are always plenty of viable candidates in a variety of categories. Those include community development, disaster relief, education and youth programs, employee engagement, local nonprofit support, and member-related initiatives, such as Project Indiana through Indiana Electric Cooperatives.

Last year’s sponsorships are a good example of the multiple ways the fund was able to meet needs — both expected and unexpected.

Early in 2023, tornados ripped through multiple communities in Hoosier Energy member cooperative territory. In response, the Community Impact Fund contributed to the Wabash Valley Foundation, which headed up the Help Sullivan Recover Fund. A grant to the CoBank Sharing Success program added $10,000 to help the recovery process in Sullivan County. The storms also brought a renewed focus to tornado sirens in Owen County, so assistance went to the Owen County Sirens Fund.

In addition to these pressing needs, the Community Impact Fund was also able to aid a disability-friendly playground upgrade at Shawswick Elementary School in Bedford and support a Mooresville Elementary School STEM club.

New opportunities are always welcome if they involve nonprofits, education, or industry-related (non-sports) youth programs, but the Community Impact Fund also supports some annual events.

Examples include the Friends of McCormick Creek State Park 5k, the Women Build event with Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, and the IBEW Local 1393 Fundraiser for the Fairbanks Burn Center.

In years when disaster relief doesn’t jump to the forefront, there are other worthy causes to support, such as the American Red Cross Home Fires program in 2022.

Hoosier Energy plans to maintain flexibility for the future, so more communities and non-profits can reap the benefits.