The Indianapolis Foundation

Equity is economic opportunity.
Equity is justice.
Equity benefits us all.

As we work towards building a stronger Indianapolis community for all, we are guided by our mission and our strategic plan. The Indianapolis Foundation has aligned its leadership, partnerships and investments our five community leadership initiatives:

  • Economic Mobility
  • Criminal Justice Reform & Violence Reduction
  • Family Stabilization
  • Neighborhood Empowerment & Placemaking
  • Dismantling Systemic Racism

Learn more about our plan for Marion County.

Our Mission

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.

Our Programs & Partnerships

Neighborhood Empowerment Pathways is a three-year, $3 million partnership with Cummins, Inc. and the City of Indianapolis led by The Indianapolis Foundation to sustain grassroots not-for-profits that are closest to the community’s assets and challenges and uniquely positioned through their proximity to supply solutions and seize opportunities.

The central goal of the three-year initiative is to honor and support the agency and assets of Black and Brown residents and neighborhoods in Indianapolis. The initiative has four strategic paths to empowering neighborhoods and their residents:

  • Community organizing
  • Resident leadership
  • Non-for-profit infrastructure development
  • Community Investment

Learn more about Neighborhood Empowerment Pathways.

The Elevation Grant Program (previously known as the Violent Crime Prevention Grant Program) is a partnership between The City of Indianapolis and The Indianapolis Foundation. The program will invest $45 million in neighborhoods over the next three years (2022, 2023, and 2024) to address the root causes of violent crime in Indianapolis through a comprehensive approach, including neighborhood empowerment and community building.

Learn more about the Elevation Grant Program.

The Movement of 10,000 (MVMT10K) is a digital platform advancing racial equity through learning, behavior change, action and engagement created by The Indianapolis Foundation.  Participants will engage in racial equity work, commit to anti-racist actions and make works of equity a life’s practice.

Learn more about the Movement of 10,000.

The Indianapolis Foundation offers multiple opportunities for individuals and companies to attend racial equity workshops—presented by the Racial Equity Institute (REI)—at no cost. REI ais an alliance of trainers, organizers and institution leaders who have devoted themselves to the work of creating racially equitable organizations and systems.

Learn more about the upcoming opportunities.

The Library Fund was established by a donor to support projects and activities that increase literacy, information literacy and information access for Marion County residents. Eligible libraries include the Indianapolis Public Library; libraries at IUPUI, Marian University, and University of Indianapolis; and any high school library in Marion County. The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund has three primary grant programs—Competitive Grants, Media Center Enhancement Grants, and Minde Browning Professional Development Fund Grants.

Learn more about The Library Fund.

Indy Summer Youth Programs are supported through the Summer Youth Program Fund, a collaboration between The Indianapolis Foundation and eight other funders in Marion County. 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. 

Our History

The Indianapolis Foundation was one of the very first community foundations in the United States. It was created by Fletcher Savings and Trust Company president Evans Woolen and two other banks in 1916, received its first gift in 1920, and made its first grant in 1924. In the years and decades that followed, The Indianapolis Foundation became a force for good in the community as it sought to achieve the goal articulated by its first executive director, Eugene Foster: “To help in making Indianapolis not the biggest city, but rather, the best city in the land.”

In 1997, The Indianapolis Foundation partnered with Hamilton County Community Foundation—then known as Legacy Fund—to form Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). While CICF is a strategic and synergistic partnership, The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County Community Foundation continue to serve the unique needs of their individual communities.

The Indianapolis Foundation’s six publicly appointed board of directors work with staff to identify and seize opportunities to improve the quality of life in Marion County by taking on challenging issues, seeking and supporting innovative solutions and collaborating with community partners and donors on various projects and initiatives to transform our community for the better.

Learn more about how The Indianapolis Foundation is impacting our community and driving equitable change.

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