Our vision is to make central Indiana a nationally respected region for its ability to develop, attract and retain highly educated, creative, entrepreneurial and community-minded citizens, recognized for its superior support for those in need and admired for being a remarkable place to live.

Central Indiana Community Foundation’s Grantmaking Program invests in effective central Indiana not-for-profit organizations that promote a thriving community. Our competitive grants enable organizations to provide effective programs and respond to the needs of people in the neighborhoods and communities they serve.

We are committed to providing support to a diverse group of not-for-profit organizations that improve quality of life for residents in the region. As we seek to have a greater impact on our community, we are particularly interested in learning about ways in which not-for-profit organizations are addressing challenges that face their constituents.

We allocate funding in three ways:

  • Competitive grants
    CICF and its affiliates respond to ideas and proposals from the community, enabling organizations to provide effective programs.

  • Proactive grants
    These grants are designed to anticipate community needs on vital issues including Inspiring Places, Family Success and College Readiness.

  • Donor grants
    CICF has numerous donor-advised funds that enable the donors to engage in their own philanthropic goals. These funds do not invite unsolicited proposals; however, staff may ask organizations to submit information at a donor’s request.

What We Fund

We make grants to not-for-profit organizations whose work falls into one or more of these elements:

Quality of Life

  • Efforts that increase access to nutritious food.
  • Efforts that protect Children from abuse and neglect.
  • Efforts that increase access to health care services for low income and vulnerable populations.
  • Efforts that remove barriers to achieving economic self-sufficiency, such as lack of child care and transportation.
  • Efforts that increase life skills that leads to increased independence.


  • Efforts that improve student academic achievement and promote post-secondary access and success of low-income youth.
  • Efforts that provide job readiness, training, and educational opportunities that increase the wages and assets of low-skilled individuals.
  • Efforts that provide intensive curriculum-based arts education for students.

Vitality of the Community

  • Efforts that provide safe and affordable housing and support services for vulnerable populations.
  • Efforts and activities that increase safety of residents and their neighborhoods by reducing risk factors.
  • Efforts that improve physical spaces for community benefit.

Connectivity of Neighborhoods

  • Efforts and activities that increase the connectivity, vitality and attractiveness of neighborhoods and communities.
  • Efforts and activities that engage and involve neighborhood residents in community-building and community change.
  • Efforts and activities that provide opportunities for young people to become productive citizens.

Promote Community Assets

  • Efforts and activities that promote diversity awareness, understanding and appreciation for differences in our community.
  • Efforts that introduce and engage residents and visitors to the cultural amenities in the region.
  • Efforts that preserve existing natural spaces and resources. 

What We Don't Fund

The Central Indiana Community Foundation and its affiliate funds do not fund, through our Thriving Community Grantmaking Program:

  • Organizations that are NOT tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Multi-year grants
  • Grants to individuals
  • Projects aimed at promoting a particular religion or construction projects for religious institutions
  • Operating, program and construction costs at schools, universities and private academies unless there is significant opportunity for community use or collaboration 
  • Organizations or projects that discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation
  • Political campaigns or direct lobbying efforts by 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Post-event, after-the-fact situations or debt retirement
  • Medical, scientific or academic research
  • Publications, films, audiovisual and media materials, programs produced for artistic purposes or produced for resale
  • Travel for bands, sports teams, classes and similar groups
  • Annual appeals, galas or membership contributions
  • Fundraising events such as golf tournaments, walk-a-thons and fashion shows 

Apply for a grant.