first financial foundation

The First Financial Foundation was created in 2017 to support programs and organizations that enhance and develop the communities in which we do business. As your local bank, we’re your neighbors, and we want to partner with the communities we serve to help them grow and prosper.

We particularly focus on low-income communities, prioritizing: neighborhood development | workforce development and education | culture and the arts

Safe Passage

The First Financial Foundation recently provided $25,000 to Safe Passage for shelter improvements in Batesville, Indiana. 

Prosperity Indiana

Prosperity Indiana received a grant of $45,000 to support their Assets & Opportunities Network, empowering individuals throughout the state of Indiana through affordable housing, financial empowerment, and access to bank services.

Now accepting 2023 grant applications. Ready to apply?

Eligible 501c3 organizations that demonstrate community impact for majority low- and moderate-income people or places, or small business development, are within the Bank’s footprint, and generally have the characteristics of stable financial resources, community-focused missions, and strong and diverse leadership teams can apply for grant funds. Please review our funding priorities on this page before submitting. To be considered for a First Financial Foundation grant, in the maximum amount of $20,000, complete an application between May 1-31, 2023.*
*This grant campaign will consist of $400,000 in total awards. Funds will be divided in accordance with market share and all applications will be reviewed. Incomplete applications, prior year grant awardees who do not have an impact report completed by May 31 for prior year grant awards, and/or those applications that do not meet the Foundation’s funding priorities will be declined. Consideration of approval is based on organization’s eligibility, prior year funding history, complete grant application (including required documentation & request being no more than the $20,000 maximum), and being within the Bank’s budget. Grant selections will be communicated the week of July 24, 2023.

Funding priorities

To ensure the Foundation’s contributions have a significant and measurable impact, we’ve established three priorities. The Board of Directors carefully evaluates grant requests using these priorities and will continuously evaluate the impact of its contributions in alignment with its goals.

Neighborhood development

The Foundation supports organizations focused on community and neighborhood development, particularly ones that:

  • Create affordable housing opportunities for low- to moderate-income individuals
  • Enhance the areas in which those opportunities are created
  • Provide support services to help individuals maintain their homes

We support organizations that help stabilize communities, eliminate blight, and attract and retain businesses and residents. Examples that meet this priority include:

  • Affordable housing initiatives, particularly those focused on vulnerable populations
  • Homebuyer education programs
  • Foreclosure prevention programs
  • Neighborhood revitalization projects
  • Programs that increase homeownership opportunities

Workforce development and education

The Foundation supports organizations that develop and implement programs to enhance financial literacy, with an emphasis on educating youth, first-time home-buyers, economically disadvantaged persons, and others who have struggled with financial concepts. We favor projects focused on improving the public’s ability to achieve personal and household financial well-being. We also support organizations that advocate for diversity and inclusion, including those that foster an understanding of it as a dynamic strategy for success.

Examples of organizations that meet this priority include:

  • Organizations that build skills in savings, budgeting, and expense management
  • Educational programs regarding credit score improvement
  • Connect individuals with the necessary tools to achieve financial goals or provide job skills training and education
  • Improve education or provide training for individuals or support a diverse and inclusive society
  • Provide forums and resources for other organizations to become more inclusive

Culture and the arts

First Financial Foundation supports community arts and cultural programs that provide economic opportunity and contribute to the vitality and livability of communities. We invest in arts and cultural organizations that deliver quality, accessible and engaging programs, as well as increasing the diversity of voices reflected in the community.

Examples of organizations that meet this priority include:

  • Organizations that promote the arts, including music, theatre, and more, through education
  • Support for the development of current and future artists, performing arts, music, dance, visual arts programs, local art events, arts education, and graphic arts programming
  • Promote cultural arts programs for the economic development of communities through arts and cultural industries

Grant guidelines

First Financial Foundation looks for successful applicants to generally have the following characteristics:

Stable financial resources

Community-focused mission

Strong and diverse leadership team

Eligible funding applicants

  • Applicants must be a not-for-profit organization recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service
  • Applicants must be located in or serving residents of a county located within First Financial Bank’s assessment areas
  • Applicants must be in good standing with First Financial Bank and any grant reporting requirements of the Bank and the Foundation

Ineligible funding applicants

  • Organizations without 501(c)(3) status
  • Organizations/programs that are not aligned with the Foundation’s mission
  • Organizations located in or benefit residents outside First Financial Bank’s assessment areas
  • Organizations that discriminate or deny service on the basis of race, gender, culture, sexual orientation/identity, religion, age, disability, or any other factors that are protected by law
  • Private foundations
  • Requests for political or religious purposes, including lobbying
  • Military organizations
  • Service club activities
  • Sports, athletic events, or athletic programs
  • Requests to benefit a specific student or individual (such as trips, banks, choirs, tours, and internships)
  • Endowments, capital, or building campaigns
  • Funding for travel and related expenses for any organization
  • Sponsorships, fundraisers, telethons, marathons, benefits, galas, golf tournaments, or similar events
  • Feasibility studies
  • Animal welfare organizations


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