Program aims to address root causes of violent crime, empower neighborhoods
Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett and The Indianapolis Foundation announced applications for the Elevation Grant Program will open April 1 at ElevationGrant.org. The Elevation Grant Program (previously known as the Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program) will invest $45 million in neighborhoods over the next three years to address root causes of violent crime in Indianapolis
Funding for the 2022 grant program was passed unanimously by the City-County Council last year. Powered by American Rescue Plan funding for pandemic relief, the Elevation Grant Program will invest nearly five times more in crime reduction efforts than in previous years.
“We must elevate grassroot organizations and provide holistic support to sustain and empower the incredible work these residents have been doing—and will continue to do—to change our community.”
The program defines crime prevention as “any effort that seeks to reduce initial or chronic interaction with criminal and/or juvenile justice systems and increase the safety of Indianapolis residents and their neighborhoods by reducing risk factors or increasing protective factors.”
The 2022 funding for the program will be split into multiple grant rounds, with each one focusing on addressing the numerous root causes of violent crime. That includes resident-led community building, equitable access to mental health supports, and development opportunities for youth. The $5.5 million first round of funding aims to empower grassroots organizations currently doing change-making work in their neighborhoods, coupled with programs committed to addressing violent crime’s root causes. The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, will administer these grants.
“We know that a neighborhood has no better advocate than the neighbors themselves,” said Mayor Hogsett. “That’s why the City and the Indianapolis Foundation want to make sure that as many qualifying organizations as possible apply for these grants, to amplify the good work already being done by groups across Marion County.”
From the beginning of the program’s evolution, leadership from the Indianapolis Foundation committed to community engagement and discovery, listening directly to Indianapolis residents. The name Elevation reflects this engagement, as the program commits to uplifting and empowering those who know Indianapolis neighborhoods the best.
The grant program plans to focus part of its investment pipeline on grassroots organizations, with a priority to those that are led by residents of the communities they serve. The program defines a grassroots organization as
In particular, the program has a strong focus on infrastructure development to build up organizations and develop processes for increased capacity and long-term success.
“Infrastructure development is crucial to lasting success,” said Alicia Collins, director of community leadership at The Indianapolis Foundation. “We must elevate grassroot organizations and provide holistic support to sustain and empower the incredible work these residents have been doing—and will continue to do—to change our community. For generations, our city’s neighborhoods most impacted by violence have also been impacted by systemic disinvestment. This program will work towards addressing the result of that while also re-investing and elevating these communities’ futures—investing into their safety, opportunities, hopes, and joy.”
The Indianapolis Foundation will host multiple information sessions prior to the applications opening. These sessions will allow individuals to learn more about the program, eligibility, and provide information on general grants concepts such as budgeting and reporting. Additionally, the foundation will offer multiple grant preparation clinics. These clinics will allow potential applicants to receive tailored guidance to assist in the application process. To learn more about the Elevation Grant Program, funding eligibility, and to attend any of the upcoming information sessions or grant preparation clinics, visit ElevationGrant.org.
Applications will open on April 1, and the deadline is May 2. Learn more and apply here.