Indianapolis Foundation and its Library Fund Awards $2.8 Million to Community Partners

The Indianapolis Foundation and the Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund have awarded $2.8 million in grants and investments to 46 Marion County nonprofits, libraries, projects and initiatives in the first of two grant cycles in 2024. Grantees include both long-established and newer nonprofit organizations and grassroots groups with the lived experience, know-how and community connectivity to drive equitable outcomes for residents. To learn more about The Indianapolis Foundation’s grant opportunities and The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, please visit our website.

A spotlight on some organizations receiving funding include:

Side Hustle Economy: This first-time Indianapolis Foundation grantee works to help increase racial and economic equity by empowering entrepreneurs to tell their story and connect to the services they need to grow their business. “Side hustlers” are part-time entrepreneurs and full-time employees who are passionate about their business or brand, but often lack the necessary support to make a full-time commitment. Side Hustles recognizes entrepreneurship as a primary mechanism to achieve generational wealth and close the racial wealth gap. This grant will help Side Hustle scale its mission by bringing on additional project staff. Learn more here.

Earth Charter Indiana: The Indianapolis Foundation has supported Earth Charter Indiana since 2021. Its mission is to inspire and advance sustainable, just and peaceful living in Indiana by promoting environmental equity, respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and democracy, non-violence and peace. Earth Charter Indiana works at the intersectionality of these issues and engages in multifaceted approaches ranging from educational programs for youth to advocacy for policy changes at the state level. Youth empowerment is at the heart of their work. This grant will fund 10-20 Indiana K-12 school gardens in underserved communities, as well as provide 10-20 educators with stipends to ensure they are adequately supported as project leads of the school gardens. It will also support direct engagement with 150 students who live within communities that have been historically disenfranchised. Learn more here.

Indianapolis Public Library Foundation’s Immigrant & Refugee Support programs: This grant supports multiple programs at the public library aimed at literacy and community building for the immigrant and refugee population including, Pathway to Literacy, a weekly in-person language and numeracy instruction; Conversation Circle, where English language learners and Spanish language learners meet weekly to talk about local issues and practice language skills; World Language Book Club, a Spanish speaking book club; World Language Computer Classes where participants learn computer literacy; and a Bilingual Financial Literacy Class to assist adults in learning how to build their financial future. All programs are led by facilitators with expertise, language skills, and knowledge of best practices to support our immigrant and refugee residents. These programs are supported by the Immigrant Welcome Center and held at library branches in proximity to immigrant communities to ensure programs are accessible. Learn more here.

Following is a list of all midyear Indianapolis Foundation grant recipients:

Grantee OrganizationAmount AwardedPurpose
Arte Mexicano En Indiana$30,000Building the Mexican and Latin/o/e/x Arts Community for Everyone’s Benefit
Brooke’s Place for Grieving People$25,000Community-based Grief Support for Children & Families
Castleton United Methodist Church – Still Waters Adult Day Center$40,000Still Waters Operational Support
Center for Victim & Human Rights$30,000Crime Victim Rights Program
Community Alliance of the Far Eastside$40,000Investing in the Far Eastside
Earth Charter Indiana$40,000Thriving Schools Challenge
Education United for Indy$30,000RISE UNITED
Exodus Refugee Immigration$35,000Operating Support
Family & Community Partners Resources Inc.$35,000FCPR Healthy Equitable Family Stability
Freewheelin’ Community Bikes$40,000Green Apron/Earn-a-Bike Program
Greater Indianapolis Literacy League (Indy Reads)$35,000Empowering Voices: Indy Reads’ Inclusive Vision for Literacy Equity
Groundwork Indy$50,000Green Team & GroundCorp Leadership Application
Iibada Dancers, Inc.$35,000Dare to Dance School Support
Inclusivity Institute$35,000Level Up Lending
Indiana Diaper Bank$38,000Equipment for Community Growth
Indiana Humanities$15,000INcommon Grants & Wilma Gibbs Moore Fellowships
Indiana Latino Institute$25,000ILI Education Program
Indianapolis Chess Club & Scholastic Center$15,000Expanding IPS Chess Clubs
Indianapolis Music Cooperative$20,000Fueling Naptown’s Cultural Renaissance
Indy Convergence Inc.$25,000Capacity Building Support
Iron Sharpens Iron W.A.S.T., Inc.$15,000Iron Sharpens Iron
Lafayette Square Coalition Inc.$50,000International Marketplace Coalition
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)$40,000Seed Capital for Latino-owned small businesses
Martin Center, Inc.$40,000Sickle Cell Program Support
Mentoring Womens Network Foundation Inc.$30,000Mentorship Empowers: Driving Community Impact by Investing in Women
Morning Light, Inc.$50,000Equitable Housing & Care at The Abbie Hunt Bryce Home
National Kidney Foundation of Indiana$20,000Health Screenings, Nutrition Education, and Emergency Relief
New Beginnings Church, Inc.$50,000Childcare Expansion Initiative
New Harmony Project Inc.$25,000PlayFest Indy
Overdose Lifeline Inc.$30,000MACRO-B Booster to Reduce Structural Racism & Overdose Deaths
Roots International$40,000Southside USCT Heritage Preservation Training Program
Sagamore Institute, Inc.$40,000Indy Black Business Impact Network
Side Hustle Economy$35,000$3 & A Dream Incubation Program
Sustainable Connexions International Inc.$41,500General Operating Support
Teach Indy$25,000Elevating the Profession for Teachers: Improving Outcomes for Students
The Ross Foundation$35,000Capacity Building
Urban Musical Theatre$25,000Operating Support

Following is a list of Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund grant recipients:

OrganizationAmount AwardedPurpose
IUPUI University Library$98,000Building the Central Indiana Wikipedia Partnership
IUPUI University Library$50,000Keep Reading Jags
Perry Township Education Foundation$3,000Building Bridges Through Reading
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation$17,600Adult Summer Reading Program
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation$55,000Meet the Artists
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation$550,000Marion County Internet Library
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation$25,000Encyclopedia of Indianapolis
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation$37,000Immigrant & Refugee Support Programs
Media Center Enhancement Grants$250,000Media Center Enhancement Grants for Marion County high schools


The Indianapolis Foundation’s mission is 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.

“Grantmaking is one of the primary ways we fulfill our mission,” said Lorenzo Esters, Indianapolis Foundation president. “The relationship between the Foundation and our grantees is not transactional, however. It’s built through mutual respect and understanding. Our grant funding is directed to both support a grantee’s mission and the Foundation’s overall regional goal to advance racial equity and create meaningful economic opportunity for all.”

“The Foundation uses research, data and experience to support and scale innovative strategies that combine fresh ideas with information from the community. We focus on identifying opportunities to support grantees that will be able to demonstrate measurable progress in support of our shared goals,” said Drew Black, vice president of Grantmaking. This work is led by the Foundation’s newly established role of Director of Evaluation and Learning Shaila Mulholland.

Applications for the Indianapolis Foundation’s second and final competitive grant round of 2024 will open on Monday, July 15 with a submission deadline of 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 30. The application can be accessed through at Smart Simple grants portal, beginning July 15. Awardees will be announced in December.

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