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 funders in Marion County. For summer 2022, the fund awarded $2,043,115 to support 207 programs, with an average grant size of $14,154. Since 1995, the funding collaborative has awarded more than $55 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 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 ten 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. Learn more about funder priorities. Funders collaborate in the allocations process to close as many gaps as possible. Most applicants receive some funding, and the majority of applicants in 2022 received 50% or more of their funding request.  

Aug. 15, 2022 at 9 a.m.Orientation for 2023 will take place from 9 - 11:30 am at the Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference Center (2820 N. Meridian Street). Learn more and RSVP here.
Aug. 22, 2022 at 8 a.m. Application window opens. Log in to Smart Simple to begin your application.
Oct. 21, 2022 at 12 p.m. Completed applications for 2023 funding must be submitted by 12pm.
Week of February 6-10, 2023 Applicants notified.
May – August 2023 Summer youth programs take place.
Friday, Sept. 30, 2023 Final reports for 2023 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. Learn more about funder priorities. Additional information about City of Indianapolis grantmaking criteria can be found here..

The Lilly Endowment Inc., makes special grants available for modest capital equipment purchases and projects. Eligibility, directions and application can be found here.


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. The Smart Simple 1o1 Guide includes a detailed overview of how to set up an account on the platform.

When the application opens in August, log in to Smart Simple and select the call for 2023 SYPF applications. You can save and return to your application as many times as necessary before the deadline. See the characteristics of a successful proposal.

Final Reporting