Summer Youth Program Fund

Indy Summer Youth Programs are supported through the Summer Youth Program Fund, a collaboration between The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate, and eight other funders in Marion County. For summer 2024, the fund awarded $3,909,595 to support 242 programs, with an average grant size of $16,155. Since 1995, the funding collaborative has awarded more than $58 million to support summer youth programs for Marion County youth.

Indy Summer Youth Programs focus on providing safe and positive experiences for children and teens, ages 4 to 24, at little or no cost to families. Grants support overnight programs, day programs, academic and artistic enrichment, and youth employment. Recipients represent religious congregations and area community centers to theaters and parks that offer sports, overnight camping, arts, community service, and tutoring. 

The Indianapolis Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc. manage its grantmaking and other activities. 

Funding partners include: Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation Inc.; Arthur Dean Family Foundation; City of Indianapolis DMD; Indiana University Health; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; The Clowes Fund Inc.; The Indianapolis Foundation; and The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund 


The Summer Youth Program Fund collaboration makes things simpler for grant-seekers, funders and grantees. Grant-seekers apply once to reach all nine funders; grantees submit one final report that all nine funders review. Applying through the Summer Youth Program Fund is an opportunity for organizations to elevate their programming to new funders, and saves the time of applying to each funder separately. 

Each funder makes its own funding decisions according to its priorities and notifies its grantees separately. Some programs receive grants from more than one funder. Funders collaborate in the allocations process to close as many gaps as possible. Most applicants receive some funding; the majority of applicants in 2024 received 50% or more of their funding request.  

Monday, Aug. 21, 2023 at 8 a.m. Application for 2024 funding opens.
Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.An orientation and optional grant clinic will take place in the morning at Ivy Tech Culinary & Conference Center. View the full agenda and RSVP.
Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 at noon Completed applications for 2024 funding must be submitted by 12pm.
Week of February 4-9, 2024 Applicants notified.
May – August 2024 Summer youth programs take place.
Monday, Sept. 30, 2024 Final reports for 2024 programs due by 5pm.


Two types of grants are available, program support and capital support.  

Program grants support summer programs for Marion County youth that provide safe spaces to study, read, learn, connect with friends, play sports, and engage in emotional and educational enrichment. Programs must be for the exclusive benefit of Marion County youth. Grants can support costs such as staffing, program materials, healthy meals and snacks, scholarships that keep programs free or low-cost, and more. Eligible organizations must be tax-exempt or have a fiscal sponsor.  This PDF overviews funder priorities and the elements of what makes a strong proposal. 

The Lilly Endowment Inc., makes special grants available for modest capital equipment purchases and projects. Criteria for 2025 will be posted over the summer. Please note that capital grant recipients must have received Summer Youth Program Fund grants in two of the last three years (in 2022, 2023, or 2024) and must also be a 2025 grant recipient. 


You will use CICF’s Smart Simple platform to submit a program grant application. If your organization does not have a Smart Simple account, you will first need to create one. If you already have a Smart Simple account, please make sure to update your organizational profile before starting your SYPF application. This How-To Guide includes a detailed overview of how to set up an account in Smart Simple.  

To help you with your application, we have created the following resources:

When the application opens in August, log in to Smart Simple and select the call for 2024 SYPF applications (see the short video for a walk-through of these steps). You can save and return to your application as many times as necessary before the deadline.  

To be notified of when the grant cycle is opening and closing, sign up here. 


  • Final reports for 2024 programs will be due Monday, September 30, 2024 at 5 p.m.
  • Final reports will be assigned and must be submitted in Smart Simple.
  • This video overviews how to access and complete your Summer Youth Program Fund final report in Smart Simple.
  • All grantees are required to sign and upload a document certifying that all information in the final report, including financial information, is complete. Download and sign the form here.
  • For technical assistance with accessing or using Smart Simple, contact All other questions should be sent to Leah Nahmias at