The Leadership Fund is named for Barbara A. Burt. For more than thirty years, Mrs. Burt demonstrated outstanding commitment to and leadership of Allen County charitable and philanthropic organizations.

Mrs. Burt served as Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Community Foundation (now Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne). Under her leadership, FWCF was selected as one of the first Lilly Endowment GIFT recipients and she successfully raised the required match. She was responsible for significant growth in the organization, including the creation of two supporting organizations and the addition of 30 restricted funds.

From 1995 to 2001, Mrs. Burt served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foellinger Foundation, one of the ten largest foundations in Indiana. She was significantly involved in every aspect of the Foundation’s investment, financial, grantmaking and policy operations. In 2001, Mrs. Burt assumed the position of the Chairman of the Board of the Foellinger Foundation.

In addition to her professional roles with Fort Wayne Community Foundation and Foellinger Foundation, she provided her time and talent to other community organizations. She was a member of Junior League and served as its board president. She was a member of the YWCA Board of Directors and served as its chairman. She was one of the first women invited to join Fort Wayne Quest Club and served as its president.  Barbara also provided a decade of leadership to the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance (now Indiana Philanthropy Alliance).

To celebrate the contributions Barbara Burt made to the leadership of nonprofit organizations, both public charities and private philanthropy, the Foellinger Foundation Board of Directors established the Barbara Burt Leadership Fund.  

What is the purpose of the Fund?

The purpose of the Fund is to:

  • Encourage exceptional nonprofit board governance;
  • Support adaptive thinking within nonprofit organizations; and
  • Promote exchanges about best leadership styles and practices within nonprofit organizations

Who may request funding?

Any Allen County 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides direct programming and is in good standing with the IRS may apply for full or partial funding for up to three current board members to participate in an educational opportunity specifically designed to meet one of the three purposes of the Fund. All educational opportunities must be directly related to the leadership of nonprofit organizations. The board member may use these funds to attend or access conferences, workshops or webinars. Conferences and workshops must be located within the continental United States.

Organizations may only submit one request for one board member per calendar year. Applications that indicate partial commitment of funds from the individual or organization will receive priority consideration. Requests must be received no later than 30 days before the start date of a conference or webinar. Submission deadlines may be modified in unusual circumstances; however, if the timeframe is too short, Fund Advisors may not be available to make a decision.

What are the requirements once funds are received?

  • The person(s) who participates in the educational opportunity must formally report to their organization’s board within three months and provide a written summary to the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and to the Foellinger Foundation.
  • The person(s) who participates in the educational opportunity must agree that, if requested, he/she will provide a written report based on questions of what was learned. The participant(s) may also be asked to share their experience on a community panel with other nonprofit leaders.
  • The person(s) who attends the educational opportunity must remain on the organization’s board of directors a minimum of 12 months after completion. If the person(s) leaves the board, the organization must notify Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and Foellinger Foundation. The organization then must return funds expended for the educational opportunity unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances.
  • Organizations may only submit one request per calendar year. Applications that indicate partial commitment of funds from the individual or organization will receive priority consideration.

How does the organization apply?

If you have additional questions or you would like to speak to someone directly please contact:

Christine Meek
Director of Programs, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne

260-969-3318
cmeek@cfgfw.org