The Indianapolis Foundation Awards $1.1 Million in Grants

Funding for criminal justice reform, dismantling systemic racism, among others

The Indianapolis Foundation board of directors has approved grants for Marion County not-for-profit organizations totaling $1,100,700.

The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation, has focused competitive and strategic grant-making to align with its five community leadership initiatives for Marion County: family stabilization, economic mobility, criminal justice reform, neighborhood empowerment and placemaking, and dismantling systemic racism. Additional grants were made from the foundation’s field of interest funds created by donors who wish to support a specific cause in perpetuity beyond their life.

During this grant round, The Indianapolis Foundation invested $401,000 into 13 specific programs and initiatives that align with the strategic plan and leadership initiatives for Marion County. These include:

  • Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana will receive $50,000 to support the expansion of “Positive School Discipline Institute,” a six-day training for schools with high suspension rates aimed to reform school discipline and increase understanding of the juvenile justice system with the goal of Marion County schools to funnel students to opportunity and growth, not the criminal justice system.
  • The Bail Project will receive $50,000 for its new Marion County office. The Bail Project operates a national revolving bail fund that posts bail for people, from pretrial detention, who can’t afford it and offers additional wraparound services.
  • Marion County Reentry Coalition will receive $50,000 to support its effort to engage criminal justice partners, community and faith-based agencies, policy makers, businesses and community leaders to implement strategies that ensure that people with a history of incarceration can be successful.
  • Faith in Indiana will receive $50,000 to support scaling up a community organizing and advocacy campaign that addresses gun violence and mass incarceration in Indianapolis while promoting racial equity.
  • Kheprw Institute will receive $20,000 to expand its Equity Fellowship program and convene community groups for education and critical dialogue about building an equitable community. These programs help build social capital and identify ways to collectively synergize actions to improve quality of life for communities of color.
  • Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee will receive $35,000 to support the Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network’s 25th anniversary as well as to fulfill its goal to foster positive relationships among diverse populations and respond to racially and culturally charged issues in the Indianapolis community.
  • Kennedy King Memorial Initiative will receive $15,000 to transform the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park campus into a center for people, institutions and community partners can engage in bold dialogue and action.
  • City of Indianapolis will receive $25,000 to fund racial equity training through Government Alliance on Race and Equity. Training focuses on the role of government in creating racial equity.
  • Indiana Repertory Theatre will receive $25,000 to support the “INclusion Series,” multiple plays that feature work by underrepresented theatre artists and addresses social issues and their universal implications. A discussion about race, culture and belonging will follow the plays.
  • UNITE Indy will receive $7,000 for its community outreach and engagement efforts with urban churches, ministries and other charities with a web-based information system that highlights the needs and opportunities of the community.
  • Startup Accelerator will receive $24,000 for a 12-month pilot program, a partnership between Startup Accelerator and PitchFeast Corporation, that will provide resources and technical support to launch and support 50 under-represented entrepreneurs.
  • Prosperity Indiana will receive $35,000 for its “Opportunity Starts at Home” campaign, which seeks to educate both housing and non-housing groups about the need to expand affordable housing and formalize data management systems to measure progress.
  • Newfields will receive $15,000 for “At the Crossroads,” an inaugural, locally sourced, neighborhood meal and community-generated art installation for Riverside, Crown Hill, Butler Tarkington, Mapleton Fall Creek and Meridian Kessler residents.

An additional $493,000 was awarded to 20 not-for-profit organizations that aligned with the strategic plan or demonstrated extreme or critical need in Marion County through a competitive grant process. These grants are made possible with over 100 years of donations from generous donations to the unrestricted Endowment for Indianapolis.

Field of interest funds with The Indianapolis Foundation awarded an additional $221,700 to nine organizations. These field of interest funds are created by donors who wish to support a specific organization or cause beyond their lifetime and stewarded by The Indianapolis Foundation in fulfilling the donor’s intent. The following field of interest funds provided support: Evans Woollen Fund for Fine Arts, Pauline K. Stein Fund, Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund, James Proctor Fund for Aged Men and Women, John and Isabelle Romine Fund for Children, John Harrison Brown and Robert Burse.

The Indianapolis Foundation has aligned its application process with its strategic plan and community leadership initiatives. Grant applications for 2020 funding open Nov. 1, 2019.


The Indianapolis Foundation, founded in 1916, is a public charity and an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). As Indiana’s oldest and largest community foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation aims to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. It awards approximately $7 million annually to support current and future community needs and is governed by a board of six publicly-appointed directors. Learn more about The Indianapolis Foundation.

Project Title
Award Amount
Funding Source
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Implementation of “No Place for Hate” initiative in Indianapolis $25,000 Endowment
Arts Council of Indianapolis General operating support and community engagement $35,000 Endowment
Black Nurses Association of Indianapolis “Youth Advocates for Anti-bullying Reality” program $5,000 Endowment
Brooke’s Place for Grieving Young People Expansion of “BP8,” a peer-based grief outreach program $10,000 Endowment
Communities in Schools, Indiana Expansion of student support program to four Central Indiana schools $45,000 Endowment
DREAM Alive, Inc. General operating support and capacity building for youth mentoring program $25,000 Endowment
GenderNexus “Reach” program support bringing transgender, nonbinary and binary communities together $10,000 Endowment
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana Hispanic Opportunity Initiative $25,000 Endowment
Groundwork Indy Youth leadership program expansion $35,000 Endowment
Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (Prosperity Indiana) “Opportunity Starts at Home” campaign in Indiana $15,000 Endowment
Indiana Center for Prevention of Youth Abuse and Suicide “Protecting Indianapolis Children from Abuse and Neglect Through Education” program support $10,000 Endowment
Indiana Performing Arts Centre Operating support for productions focused on African American heritage and experience $10,000 Endowment
Indiana University Foundation Community Corps Program at O’Neill SPEA School of Public and Environmental Affairs $25,000 Endowment
Indiana Youth Group, Inc. Basic Needs program and Anti-racism training $50,000 Endowment
Indy Public Safety Foundation Program support for “Providing Equitable Access to First Responder Careers for Under-Appreciated Youth” $40,000 Endowment
Joseph Maley Foundation District-wide disABILITY Awareness program at IPS $15,000 Endowment
Leadership Indianapolis Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council $20,000 Endowment
LifeSmart Youth, Inc. (formerly Social Health Association) “TEACH” (Tween Education and Access to Community Health) initiative support $20,000 Endowment
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Great Places: increasing neighborhood partnerships and advocacy to increase opportunities for economic mobility $50,000 Endowment
Shepherd Community, Inc. Development of the Near Eastside Immigration Center $25,000 Endowment
The Cabin Counseling & Resource Center, Inc. Clinical Outcome Initiative and data management software $11,000 Endowment
Assistance League of Indianapolis Operation School Bell- school supplies for IPS students $14,500 Field of Interest Fund
Brookside Community Development Corporation Staffing for its Brookside Community Play program $20,000 Field of Interest Fund
CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions Establishment of a satellite office in midtown $50,000 Field of Interest Fund
Gennesaret Free Clinic, Inc. Breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women; reducing racial disparities in poor health outcomes $14,200 Field of Interest Fund
Indianapolis Contemporary Operating and program support for professional artists and exhibitions $20,000 Field of Interest Fund
Indianapolis Opera Operating support for 45th season $30,000 Field of Interest Fund
Joy’s House Organizational restructuring and strategic planning $30,000 Field of Interest Fund
Mozel Sanders Foundation, Inc. Mozel Sanders Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner $15,000 Field of Interest Fund
Second Helpings Hunger Relief program-food rescue, staff and transportation $40,000 Field of Interest ($28k) Endowment ($12k)
  Total: $   699,700




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