The Indianapolis Foundation Receives $250,000 Grant from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative

Grant will expand Neighborhood Empowerment Pathways’ infrastructure development programming

The Indianapolis Foundation received a $250,000 grant in the second round of funding from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI). The grant award will support organizations participating in the not-for-profit infrastructure development portion of the foundation’s Neighborhood Empowerment Pathways program.

The grant from IAAQLI makes possible an expansion of the infrastructure development programming to include mini grants and an increase in consulting support. Currently, the program provides a robust series of technical assistance, professional development trainings, and relationship-building opportunities to fortify what is typically described as “capacity building.” This award intends to increase sustainability for grassroots organizations. The $250,000 will allow The Indianapolis Foundation to assess the needs and direct grants to program participants for infrastructure projects, tools and resources on an ongoing basis.

“Although still early in its development, we believe this program is filling the gaps of support pushed on BIPOC not-for-profits and entities, who are doing the work every day.”

—Pamela Ross, vice president of community leadership and equitable initiatives at The Indianapolis Foundation.

The Neighborhood Empowerment Pathways program was launched in 2022, co-designed with The Indianapolis Foundation, Partec Consulting, resident leaders, community organizers and previous grantee organizations. Initial program investors include Cummins, Inc. and The City of Indianapolis. The central goal of the initiative is to honor and support the agency and assets of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) residents and neighborhoods in Indianapolis. It prioritizes BIPOC-led grassroots organizations with yearly operating budgets of $250,000 or less. The initiative has four strategic paths to empowering neighborhoods and residents: community organizing, resident leadership, not-for-profit infrastructure development and community investment.

The Indianapolis Urban League (IUL), in partnership with the African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) and a variety of organizations, implemented the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI). Funded through a $100 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the IAAQLI is mobilizing African American resources while also building collaborations and partnerships to elevate the quality of life of African Americans in Indianapolis and Marion County.

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