The Crusader Newspaper Group

Grant opportunities urged for Gary businesses

By Giavonni Nickson

Business development and growth in Gary are among Mayor Freeman-Wilson’s plans to strengthen the city’s fiscal position in the coming year. The opportunity for businesses and organizations in Lake County to enhance their economic base by applying for financial grants is being offered by the Legacy Foundation.

As a leading philanthropic partner serving Lake County, IN for more than 25 years, the Legacy Foundation builds community equity and supports business development by connecting people with grant resources from $2,000- $25,000.

The Legacy Foundation helps donors plan how to invest and manage their charitable assets, provides organizational grants, offers student scholarships, collaborates with leaders to enhance the quality of life for residents, and allocates resources to ensure organizations operate effectively.

On March 11, 2019, during the Gary Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Legacy Foundation Vice President Kelly Anoe and Community Engagement Coordinator Maranda Fishback discussed engagement programs that promise economic opportunity in Lake County for businesses and organizations seeking financial grants. Anoe and Fishback encourage organizations serving Lake County to review funding options and submit applications.

Transform Lake County Grant

Legacy Foundation’s donors support Transform Lake County grants through the Lake County Community Fund (LCCF). Transform Lake County grants are intended to strengthen and empower nonprofits, neighborhoods, and residents in Lake County with grants from $2,000-$25,000. Applications are open twice a year on April 1 and October 1.

Informed and Engaged Urban Communities Grant

The Knight Foundation Fund at Legacy Foundation supports innovative investment to attract, retain, and harness talent that expands opportunity by increasing entrepreneurship and economic mobility.

Gary shares Legacy’s vision of support for entrepreneurs through programs like the Gary Microenterprise Initiative. GMI helps entrepreneurs put their ideas into action within a 12-week new business development program and provides fundamental training for entrepreneurs across business industries. Legacy gives priority to projects that promote downtown revitalization as demonstrated by a reduction in blight to create a more vibrant and livable downtown.

Blight elimination and prevention are essential to Gary residents’ health, safety, and welfare.

Gary’s Love Your Block (LYB) grant program works to eliminate blight by allocating resources to beautify neighborhoods in collaboration with city government officials and residents.

Legacy’s Informed and Engaged Urban Communities Grant allocates funds to projects that leverage existing resources and momentum to impact downtown Gary by building on assets, improving public spaces, and supporting civic engagement. Grants range from $2,000-$25,000.


RiseNWI is Legacy Foundation’s civic engagement program that aims to educate and motivate residents to become active civic participants in their community through training, resources and networking opportunities. RiseNWI projects include Lake County Candidate Surveys on, a partnership with the League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area, providing voters an overview of each candidate before visiting the polls. These resources are invaluable as residents prepare for the Lake County’s May 7 municipal primary election.

On the Table

Legacy Foundation is one of 10 community foundations across the U.S. replicating the On the Table initiative with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This year, On the Table will take place September 25-26. In September 2018, nearly 3,000 residents participated in On the Table conversations across Lake County.

Support for On the Table is one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to help cities attract and keep talented people to create a culture of civic engagement.

This spring, Legacy Foundation invites residents to take part in an On the Table Focus Group for a series of in-depth conversations with a facilitator and industry experts. Focus group participants will develop an action plan to address jobs and workforce development, public safety, transportation, and youth identified issues.

Youth Philanthropy Service Learning Grant Legacy has 10 $500 awards available for youth

to implement a hands-on service project in Lake County, either within the classroom or outside of school with adult supervision.

Sponsorship  Grant

Sponsorship Awards grants up to $2,000 to nonprofit organizations for charitable events that are open to the public and held in Lake County, IN.

2020 Census – Lake County Complete County Committee

Legacy Foundation and Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton will launch a Lake County Complete Count Committee to increase awareness and participation of the 2020 Census. Legacy will conduct a call out for resident participation in sub committees on education, youth, faith, media, business, and “Hard to Count” communities.

For a full listing of grant opportunities, along with guidelines and requirements, visit For questions regarding grant opportunities, contact Kelly Anoe at [email protected].

Giavonni Nickson

Giavonni is a passionate freelance writer native of Gary IN. She covers business, politics, and community schools for the Chicago/Gary Crusader.

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