Indy Summer Youth Programs

Indy Summer Youth Programs are supported through the Summer Youth Program Fund, a collaboration between The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate, and 10 funders in Marion County. For summer 2021, the fund awarded $2,967,239 to support 198 programs, with an average grant size of $14,986. Since 1995, the funding collaborative has awarded more than $52 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 organizations ranging from 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.; Christel DeHaan Family Foundation; City of Indianapolis DMD; Indiana University Health; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; The Clowes Fund Inc.; The Indianapolis Foundation; Arthur Dean Family Foundation; and The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund

grantmaking Timeline

Important date
action/ deadline
Aug. 30, 2021  Application window opens. Begin and submit applications here
Oct. 22, 2021  Completed applications must be submitted by 12 p.m.
Jan. 31, 2021  Grantee notification
May – Aug. 2022 Summer Youth Programs take place
Sept. 30, 2022 Final reports for 2022 programs due


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. Representatives of all ten funders review all of the program grant applications and make decisions according to their priorities; grant-seekers submit one application to reach ten funders. 

The Lilly Endowment Inc., makes special grants available for modest capital equipment purchases and projects. The Endowment expects to award 25 to 30 such grants of up to $30,000 each. To be eligible, applicants must have received an ISYP program grant in two out of the last three years (2019, 2020 and/or 2021) and apply for and receive a program grant in 2022. There is a separate application for capital grants that is submitted directly to LEI. See the How to Apply section, below, for more information.  


  • To apply for program grants, access the online application in CICF’s Smart Simple portal. 
  • Instructions for how to apply for capital grants from The Lilly Endowment, Inc., can be downloaded here.
    • The document also includes the cover sheet that must be submitted along with the request.
    • Please note that the application for 2022 capital grants must be emailed to LEI no later than noon on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.  

More information for grant-seekers, including each funder’s priority areas, a recording of the 2022 orientation, and more can be found on the Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) website. 

Families can visit in the spring for information about available summer programs and how to enroll.