The Clay County Genealogical Society was charged with a daunting task in 2009: To index all the birth and death records in Clay County.
Four of the organization's volunteers worked for several weeks, taking photos of record books, downloading them to discs and then indexing all the entries.
Fortunately, the Society didn't have to complete the project alone.
A grant from the Clay County Community Foundation helped bring the project to fruition.
The Genealogy Society, a non-profit organization, was able to further its mission of collecting, organizing and preserving materials in order for Clay County residents to trace family history. The Society's research is located in its library in Center Point.
Carolyn Branson, the Society's Board of Director's President, acknowledged the vast need that many non-profit organizations experience and how community collaboration is key.
"Non-profit organizations like ours would not be able to function without help in financing some of our needs for the organization," Branson said.
The Clay County Community Foundation awarded the grant to the Clay County Genealogical Society through the Fall 2009 competitive grants process. Many Clay County projects received full or partial funding through distributions from unrestricted endowment funds, or funds that can assist a variety of community programs.
The grant was supported through funding from the Albert and Freda Eder DeCoursey Community Fund.
The Clay County Community Fund supports numerous charitable projects, programs and organizations through the Community Foundation's competitive grant process.
Additionally, the Clay County Genealogical Society established an agency endowment fund at the foundation in 2004, when it received a substantial donation. The Society receives an annual distribution from the fund to support the organization's needs and special projects.
The Clay County Genealogical Society, which is led entirely by volunteers, continually adds resources to its library that help visitors research their family history.
It has more than 1,600 books, as well as a variety of photos, newspapers and other documents from Clay County and other Indiana counties.
Because the Society does not receive any government funding, the organization operates through donations, membership fees, research requests and selling books and maps. Branson said she appreciates the assistance of the local Community Foundation in supporting organizations in Clay County and beyond.
"The (Clay County) Community Foundation is doing a wonderful job helping organizations in (Clay County)," she said.
The Clay County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation.
To learn more about the Clay County Community Foundation's competitive grants process or endowments funds, log on to www.wvcf.com.