Wabash had the opportunity to secure a significant grant to support the nonprofit ecosystem in Montgomery County and build lasting partnerships between its people, programs, and places. However, Wabash couldn’t conduct the necessary research alone. They needed an unbiased partner to put boots on the ground and talk to community members about their perceptions of the College and their quality of life. This research would identify areas where Wabash could collaborate with the community to build a brighter future for all. Recognizing this need, Wabash turned to Prolific, a firm with proven research capabilities.


Prolific began by immersing itself in the College’s community activity and aligned collective aspirations for expanded collaboration. After analyzing college and community transformation and small-town rejuvenation case studies, Prolific’s team interviewed over 50 community members. Interviewees included teachers, religious leaders, non-profit directors and volunteers,Wabash staff, and local elected officials. Prolific collaborated with bilingual Wabash students to ensure Spanish-speaking business owners and residents were represented in the research. After months of research, Prolific produced a comprehensive document, equipping Wabash with all the necessary data and nuanced insights to craft a compelling grant application.


Lilly Endowment’s College and Community Collaboration fund awarded Wabash College a $25 million grant, the largest foundation gift the College has received. With these funds, Wabash will impact future generations by:

  • Helping fund the Montgomery County Early Learning Center to provide high-quality childcare and education services in a county that was previously described as “a childcare desert.”
  • Constructing a new 38,000-square-foot Community Center to serve as a hub for events and collaboration between the college, nonprofits, and community stakeholders.
  • Establishing a Director and Assistant Director of Latino Partnerships and building a Latino Community Center to facilitate better support for Wabash’s growing Latino student population and the larger Latino community in and around Crawfordsville.
  • Providing Wabash Advancement personnel to spearhead efforts to restore the Nonprofit Learning Series to strengthen nonprofits from volunteer recruitment and training to fundraising and marketing.

“With a limited timeline, we knew Prolific could hit the ground running and be impartial and professional in a large series of interviews and focus groups. Prolific’s research uncovered things we didn’t necessarily want to hear, but we needed to know about them to address the problems. That research provided the backbone for a proposal that led to the largest grant in Wabash’s 192-year history.”

Jim Amidon, Chief of Staff & Director of Strategic Communications

Wabash received its largest foundation gift to date: a $25 million grant from Lilly Endowment's CCC fund.

Prolific is the growth firm. We help emerging organizations maximize their revenue, relevancy, and impact through strategy, performance, and capital.