These awards acknowledge a few of LISC’s especially heroic and longstanding supporters. Thanks also go to an overwhelming assortment of other companies, institutions, and public figures, without whom LISC would never have celebrated a fifth anniversary, much less a 25th.
The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is among LISC’s all-time largest grant-makers and is its largest foundation lender. This award recognizes Rockefeller’s dedication to American communities, to social justice and equal opportunity, and to the power of citizen leadership. Those values led the foundation, in the late 1980s, to spearhead the creation of Living Cities, a funding collaborative that has raised and invested over $500 million for community development and to this day remains the gold standard for foundations, businesses, and government working together in any field.
State Farm Insurance Companies
In 2000, State Farm Insurance Companies invested $25 million in LISC to support community economic development. Eight million dollars was an outright grant; $17 million was a low-interest loan. Three years later, the company made a second $8 million, three-year grant. The impact of these investments on LISC’s economic development work has been dramatic. State Farm’s support has made economic development a fundamental component of LISC’s mission. LISC’s relationship with State Farm goes far beyond financial support. More than a dozen State Farm employees are members of LISC local advisory committees around the country.
The Honorable Christopher "Kit" Bond
The third Partnership award is for a leading partner in the public sector who has helped create national policy and programs that benefit local communities. For nearly 20 years, Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond has been an ally for community development nationwide. Now in his third term, Senator Bond chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee that is responsible for funding many of the programs that community organizations rely on the most. A prime example of that is a program he created in 1997, called Section 4, which provides $30 million a year specifically to strengthen the organizational capacity of locally-based groups, to help them manage better, produce more, and be more accountable to their communities.