CICF works with many community leaders and organizations, and one of our greatest privileges is to work with our Angel Investors, a group of nearly 100 organizations, individuals and families. It’s their commitment to not only CICF, but also our community, that makes big dreams like these a reality. The belief that Central Indiana can be better for everyone who lives here inspires us all to never stop dreaming and doing.
college Readiness & Success
CICF led a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Enrollment Challenge in 2013-2014 school year to increase community and school awareness around applying for student financial aid, provide professional development for school staff, and to support families with on-time completion.
At the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, 70 percent of participating high schools saw an increase in students completing their FAFSA documents. As a result, the Commission for Higher Education is seeking CICF’s influence and support to bring national resources to Central Indiana from the National College Access Network.
The College Success Initiative was launched in 2012 to complement CICF’s College Readiness Initiative and to emphasize college persistence and completion. Less than 20 percent of students graduating from Marion County in 2007 went on to complete a postsecondary degree or certification in nine semesters.
As a result, The Indianapolis Foundation Community Scholars program was restricted in 2013 to specifically focus on increasing the on-time postsecondary completion rate of low-income Marion County students. The first three cohorts (2013-2015) have a 86 percent persistence rate and are on track to graduate on time.
COLLEGE SAVINGS INCREASES COMPLETION
CICF identified that establishing a culture of college aspiration is most effective early in a child’s life. For that reason, CICF convened other Central Indiana stakeholders to explore and implement Promise Indiana, a 529 college savings plan for children in kindergarten through third grade.
A child enrolled in Promise Indiana immediately receives seed funding and is eligible for matching support if their family or family friends contribute. Enrollment also provides students with college and career exploration, which is embedded in the classroom.
Marian University will serve as the first pilot program within Marion County as a result of CICF influence. Promise Indiana has committed to assign a dedicated staff person for Marion County. This position will be funded by CICF and USA Funds.
Low-income students who hold an account dedicated to education with a balance between $1-499 are 4-5 times more likely to graduate from college than similar youth without an account. Promise Indiana began in Wabash County and is currently in eight northern Indiana counties. Enrollment in 529 college savings plans in Wabash County has increased from three percent to 72 percent.
CICF partnered with the Institute for Working Families to research and advocate against the “Benefits Cliff” that occurs when a mere $.50 increase in hourly wages leads to termination of benefits. CICF supported The Institute’s work at the state level to make an administrative change that would allow households to keep childcare vouchers until they reach a self-sufficient income.
This change eliminates the biggest drop in resources and effectively keeps families out of poverty while they advance their careers. The bill helps provide about 400,000 kids access to quality childcare.
CICF facilitated 10 local funders to launch a regional chapter of the national Asset Funders Network (AFN) and better leverage dollars that will help families save and build assets. The national AFN provided a dedicated staff person to advance the local chapter.
In addition to CICF, funders include JPMorgan Chase, United Way of Central Indiana, The Clowes Fund, PNC Bank, Annie E. Casey Foundation, USA Funds, and others. A regional AFN will help leverage CICF’s Family Success investments in the community, and the Foundation can connect to a larger collective impact model to help families reach economic self-sufficiency.
CICF is leading a broad partnership of city department directors and civic leaders in creating The Bike and Pedestrian Connectivity Project; a vision of how Indianapolis can become the most connected community in the country.
This vision would build on The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick, as well as Indianapolis’ previous commitment to bike infrastructure. It would focus on connecting children and adults to schools, parks, existing trail systems, and other neighborhood assets and economic opportunities.
A CICF-led task force is exploring a system to integrate Indianapolis’ present and future transportation resources in a mobile app. The app would be customizable to each person’s transportation needs and integrate many forms of transportation.
The concept is to build upon and connect our first-class bike infrastructure, The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Indiana Pacers Bikeshare, Blue Indy, the future Red Line Bus Rapid Transit, and car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The various private van pools that reach specific clientele, including the disabled, would also be incorporated. Watch for more information on this innovative concept.
Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) recently celebrated The Fourth Annual ROWPort by recognizing the “Barth Bridge Destination Place” project, just south of Fountain Square. The Barth Bridge features a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Pleasant Run, an amphitheater, and interactive public art along the Pleasant Run Trail.
CICF co-founded ROW with Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. CICF received a $1.3 million grant from the Kresge Foundation. ROW continues to serve as a catalyst for neighborhood vibrancy and economic growth.
For more information about these projects or becoming an Angel Investor, contact Rob MacPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.631.6542 x199.