The Elevation Grant Program

Addressing the root causes of violent crime.
Empowering communities.


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.

With supporting funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the grant program will distribute five times more money to community organizations than last year. The Elevation Grant Program will feature multiple grant rounds. The desired outcomes are the following: addressing the numerous root causes of violent crime, increasing resident-led solutions (community building), discovering new innovative efforts, investing in infrastructure development for grassroots organizations, and ensuring that qualitative metrics (hope, abundance, peace, resilience, and safe) are expressed and elevated.

The grant program plans to focus part of its investment pipeline on grassroots organizations, prioritizing those led by residents of the communities they serve. The program defines a grassroots organization as a resident-led organization/entity operating under community values, shared power and decision making, and supported by an organizational budget of up to $250,000.

Funds from ARPA supporting the grant program will involve federal requirements for eligible organizations. The federal requirements include the following:

  • Have an EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • Comply with the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200) and Subpart E – Cost Principles
  • Must be a 501c3 nonprofit/Tax-Exempt Number
  • Registered in SAM.GOV and maintained annually while administering grant funds.
  • In good standing with the State of Indiana
  • Provide a formulated detailed budget and budget narrative (use this template)
  • Quarterly Reporting- program, financial reporting, and monthly monitoring
  • Disclose if the organization has received federal funds in the past year.

Applications for the first round of funding open April 1, 2022, and close May 2, 2022.
VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT OF THIS PAGE AS A PDF

Multiple opportunities and events are available to help answer questions about the program, federal funding requirements, and assist in grant applications.

Learn more and register to attend those events


CRIME PREVENTION IS DEFINED AS

any effort that seeks to reduce initial or chronic interaction with criminal and/or juvenile legal systems and increase the safety of Indianapolis residents and their neighborhoods by reducing risk factors (factors that increase the likelihood of engaging with the juvenile or criminal legal system) or increasing protective factors (factors that decrease the impact of risk factors).

VIOLENT CRIME IS DEFINED AS

any crime carried out in a violent manner, including but not limited to violent acts carried out with a gun.


2022 GRANT FUNDING ALLOCATION

The Elevation Grant Program will have two rounds of funding. Total allocation for round one is $5,500,000, and allocation for round two is $8,450,000.

If funds remain from round one, they will be available for allocation in round two.

  • Thriving Neighborhoods: ($1,395,000) will be available to grassroots organizations performing resident-led solutions that are shorter-term crime prevention, crime reduction, and other community outreach & mobilization activities. Funds for Thriving Neighborhoods will be in each round of 2022.
  • Empowered Youth & Young Adult: ($2,052,497) will be available to community-based organizations performing longer-term crime prevention activities, including activities for young people in Marion County who have been identified as at high risk for violence and who may or may not be connected to the legal system. Funds not fully allocated in round one will be available in round two.
  • Restoration & Resilience: ($2,052,497) will be available to community-based organizations, not limited to addressing trauma, providing therapeutic supports, healing, and reducing the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Funds not fully allocated in round one will be available in round two.
  • Intervention: ($3,527,497) will be available to community-based organizations performing longer-term crime intervention activities, including reentry services, neighborhood engagement, and activities for youth and adults in Marion County who are currently or at risk of interacting with the criminal legal system. Funds allocated in round two.
  • Violence Reduction: ($3,527,497) will be available to community-based organizations able to target and support individuals who are at very high risk of being involved in gun violence with integrated, evidence-based outreach activities/crisis intervention, violence interruption, cognitive behavioral therapy, family-based programming. Funds allocated in round two.

PRIORITIES FOR ROUND ONE

The grant program will give priority (through an equity framework) to organizations that clearly demonstrate immediate intentionality around violence reduction and support programs using evidence-based violence reduction programming or promising strategies that, in addition, elevate the assets, aspirations, hope, and improve the safety of neighborhoods impacted by violence:

  • Are place-based efforts designed to promote neighborhood safety and reduce or prevent crime in a specific geographical area as defined by a neighborhood and/or community.
  • Led by engaged and mobilized residents and community leaders.
  • Focus their efforts on providing supportive services (such as employment, education, mentoring, recreation, mental health supports, and family support services) to youth and young adults who face unique challenges and may have a higher likelihood of community disengagement without the proper intervention strategies.
  • Partner with public agencies in collaboration (The Office of Public Health & Safety, the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, law enforcement, courts, probation, and parole) to help prevent crime in our community.

Geographic Restriction: Marion County

Interest Areas: Thriving Neighborhoods, Empowered Youth/Young Adult, and Restoration & Resilience (see explanation below)

Priority Population: Individuals meeting the criteria below:

  • Black/Latinx males between the ages of 18-35.
  • Individuals most at-risk of violent victimization or perpetration of violent acts (previously shot/known gun activity, close friend/family member shot in last 12 months), referring to pro-social & supported grassroots and community-based organizations.
  • Individuals with multiple interactions with the criminal legal system and unemployed, underemployed, and/or without a high school diploma or HSE/GED.

Grant award range: $20,000 – $250,000

Grant funds must be expended between July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

Organizations may apply to multiple program interest areas.

Organizations that are start-ups and/or pilot programs may be considered for infrastructure development support.

Organizations must be a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization or a public entity partnering with a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as a fiscal sponsor.

Considering being a Fiscal Sponsor:

  • Organizations too small to manage the financial reporting requirements internally or groups/individuals without a 501(c)(3) may need a fiscal sponsor.
  • The fiscal sponsor must be another 501(c)(3) nonprofit that must adhere to all applicable grant rules and regulations. Any misuse of federal funds becomes the sole responsibility of the fiscal sponsor.
  • If two or more agencies partner to pursue a grant, the Federal government acknowledges one agency as the fiscal sponsor (lead). The fiscal sponsor receives the funds and ensures that the funds are spent in accordance with the rules and regulations.
  • A written agreement between the two organizations should be established prior to applying for the funds. Example of fiscal sponsorship agreement

2022 GRANTS PROGRAM INTEREST AREAS FOR ROUND ONE

THRIVING NEIGHBORHOODS
Place-based efforts are designed to support neighborhoods that promote safety, strengthen social networks among residents and reduce or prevent crime in a specific geographical area as defined by a neighborhood and/or community and led by engaged residents and community leaders. Organizations applying for support in this area must be able to measure how efforts have increased residents’ safety and awareness in a particular area through resident surveys, increased crime reporting, or using crime statistics. These efforts may include:

  • a focus on sustained efforts to engage residents and community over time to increase social bonds and decrease crime within specific neighborhoods, zip codes, or other geographical areas (i.e., crime watch, block parties, bystander safety workshops and trainings, resource fairs, anti-violence messaging campaigns, etc.)
  • a focus on building community partnerships with public systems (law enforcement, court systems, prosecutor’s office, and corrections) within a specific geographical area to help reduce criminal activity by assisting with solving crimes, increasing crime reporting, or providing information to help prevent the occurrence of a crime (i.e., reentry resource fairs for families & community, driver’s license reinstatement fairs, engage in truth and reconciliation process to increase public trust, etc.)
  • a focus on improving physical assets and spaces within a neighborhood that has the potential of improving resident safety and/or deterring criminal behavior and/or activity. (i.e., physical design and beautification to promote a sense of ownership and decrease stigmatization of an undesirable area)

EMPOWERED YOUTH & YOUNG ADULT
These programs focus their efforts on providing supportive services (such as employment, education, mentoring, recreation, and family support services) to youth and young adults who face unique challenges and may have a higher likelihood of community disengagement without the proper intervention strategies. Organizations applying in this area should be able to demonstrate the impact of services and the ability to improve current conditions of program participants. A formal mentorship component should include regular meetings (at least three to four times a month) of sufficient duration (six to twelve months)Priorities for organizations that provide services to both youth and the parent/guardians.

This effort may include a focus to increase protective factors and develop resiliency skills of specifically targeted youth and adult populations, including education, employment, and housing services:

  • Youth (12-16) including those in foster care, struggling academically, suspended or expelled from school multiple times, truant, or known to be affiliated with gang activity.
  • Opportunity Youth (16-24)also known as disengaged youth, are out of school, not enlisted, and not working, often resulting from systematic barriers to jobs and education.
  • Young Adults (24-30) who face unique social-economic or social-emotional challenges, e.g., chronic unemployment, suffering from a substance use disorder, and/or trauma.

RESTORATION & RESILIENCE
Providing appropriate community-based social-emotional development opportunities, mental health supports, conflict resolution skills for youth and young adults. Programs and/or services that promote healing centers, trauma response services, therapeutic models, and reduce the use of drugs and/or alcohol. (i.e., recovery café, mediation centers, yoga, cognitive-behavioral therapy, art therapy & artistic expression programming).


PERFORMANCE & METRICS

All applicants will 1) select a quantitative crime prevention performance measure from a pre-determined list and 2) select a quantitative program performance measure from a pre-determined list. Applicants will describe any qualitative data gathered and describe how quantitative and qualitative data points influence the program.

The available options for the quantitative crime prevention performance measure include:

  • Recidivism: With this option organizations track whether their clients are arrested and whether they are convicted of a new crime during the grant period
  • Violence Reduction: With this option organizations track the number of criminal homicides, official nonfatal incidents reports and referrals happening in the zip codes targeted by the program during the grant period

The available options for the quantitative program performance measure include:

  • Earnings
  • Employment Retention
  • Education & Training
  • Housing Stability
  • Mental Health Stability
  • Substance Use Stability
  • Community Building
  • Violence Reduction – Adults: Arrests and Violent Injury Prevention
  • Violence Reduction – Youth: Suspensions and Expulsions
  • Youth Attitudes and Skill Development

GRANTEE REQUIREMENTS

All grantees are required to prioritize service for clients of the City of Indianapolis’ Gun Violence Reduction Strategy and the Fellowship program.  [See attached Indianapolis Gun Violence Reduction Strategy Chart]

Additionally, all grantees are required to attend the following:

  • Orientation
  • Trainings
  • Collaborative learning exchanges
  • Events in respective IMPD districts
  • Youth-serving organizations must join and attend meetings for the Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition
  • Organizations serving the reentry population must join and attend meetings for the Marion County Reentry Coalition
  • Additionally, all grantees must participate in the evaluation process, monthly monitoring, provide quarterly face-to-face check-in reports, and attend a face-to-face mid-year check-in

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in withholding of grant funds and impact consideration for future Elevation Grant Program funding opportunities.


ELEVATION GRANT PROGRAM TIMELINE

IMPORTANT DATE

ACTION

April 1, 2022  Application window opens. Submit applications here.
May 2, 2022  Completed applications must be submitted by noon.
June 30, 2022  Grantee notification.
July 1, 2022  Grant period begins.
July 7, 2022 Grant initial payment.
Week of July 22, 2022  Grantee orientation meeting.
October 3, 2022 Face-to-face check-in deadline & Progress Report Due.
January 16-20, 2023 Mid-year grantee check-in.
February 16, 2023 Grant final payment.
April 3, 2023 Face-to-face check-in deadline & Progress Report Due.
June 1, 2023 Grant cycle period ends.
June 30, 2023 Final grant reports due.

 

CRITERIA USED TO REVIEW APPLICATIONS & SCORING RUBRIC

The Indianapolis Foundation’s Equity Framework will provide the overarching filter in the grant review process in the foundation’s effort to promote and advance equity in our community.

The applications will be evaluated against the priorities of the grant fund program and against the criteria review domains listed below. Grant application review and funding recommendations are provided by the full department of The Indianapolis Foundation’s community leadership grant officers (with diverse subject-matter expertise) and approved by The Indianapolis Foundation board. Each application review will receive a written score, based on the rubric established below. The Indianapolis Foundation staff will compile the scores for each applicant and shall create a preliminary score ranking of applicants for the grant program.

 

DOMAINS WILL NOT CONSIDER FUNDING

(0-1 points)

HESITANT TO CONSIDER FUNDING

(2 – 3 points)

WILL CONSIDER FUNDING

(4 – 5 points)

Alignment with The Indianapolis Foundation’s mission and focus on opportunity, equity, and inclusion Proposed work does not align with the mission, has no focus on opportunity, equity, and inclusion (OEI), and does not address eliminating inequities and disparities. Proposed work mentions aspects of OEI, and eliminating inequities and disparities, but does not provide details on how this is implemented. Proposed work is in direct alignment with mission, has a clear focus on OEI, and clearly addresses eliminating inequities and disparities.
Outreach, Direct Service and/or Case Management Proposed work does not provide any evidence-based interventions and has no focus on outreach and/or engagement strategies, direct services nor intensive case management (or other affiliated interventions). Proposed work mentions some aspect of evidence-based interventions, outreach, direct service, and or case management but does not provide details on implementation. Proposed work provides evidence-based interventions and has a clear focus on outreach, direct service provision, and/ or case management.

Collaborative Approach

Demonstrate the ability to partner with other public agencies and/or not-for-profit organizations to support crime prevention and/or reduction efforts. Provide a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for each collaborating partner.

Critical project partner is missing from the project plans, or at least one collaborative partner’s contribution to the project is unclear. No MOUs provided. Proposal shows some indication of appropriate collaborative partners. Applicant has provided MOUs for some partners, but not all. Proposal includes a well-defined plan identifying appropriate collaborative partners, each of which adds value to the program. Applicant has provided MOUs for all partners.

Statement of the problem and alignment with Elevation Grant Program Priority

Address specific priority areas of the Elevation Grant Program (as outlined above).

Applicant does not adequately state the problem; no evidence-based justification for the project—little or no discussion of connection between proposed project and Violent Crime Prevention Grants Program priorities. The applicant does not include a clear statement of work to be completed or make a compelling case. Discussion of connection between proposed project and Violent Crime Prevention Grants Program priorities is vague or incomplete. The applicant fails to make a compelling case. Applicant clearly states the problem and provides a strong rationale for grant funding, clearly explaining activities and outcomes. There is a clear connection between the proposed project and Violent Crime Prevention Grants Program priorities. The significance of the proposed activities is clear and well defined.

Infrastructure DevelopmentProject Design, and Implementation

Demonstrate the ability to achieve program outcomes that reduce risk factors and/or enhance protective factors.

Project design is vague and not clearly linked to project goals. Project is not innovative. Organization does not demonstrate capacity to achieve program outcomes that reduce risk factors and/or enhance protective factors. Adequate project design with procedures and activities is defined, but project is unclear, lacks innovation, and is not clearly linked to project goals. Organization demonstrates little to moderate capacity to achieve program outcomes that reduce risk factors and/or enhance protective factors. Strong and innovative project design with procedures and activities that are well defined, fully explained, and link to project goals. Organization demonstrates great capacity to achieve program outcomes that reduce risk factors and/or enhance protective factors.

Data-Driven

Demonstrate the ability and/or a plan to collect program performance and impact data

Proposal does not include any methods to assess participants, evaluate the project, and does not incorporate feedback to improve programming. Proposal includes at least one method to assess participants or evaluate the project and has a good plan for data collection, receives feedback from program participants, but does not have a clear plan to incorporate it to inform program design and delivery. Proposal includes a solid data collection plan, and a variety of methods to assess participants, elevate and celebrate individual and community agency, benchmark success, challenges, and discoverable.

Data plan reflects continuous feedback and incorporation of information from community, stakeholders, and program participants to evaluate the project and inform program design and delivery.

Financial Management and budget

Demonstrate the ability to account for grant funding and leverage other financial and/or in-kind support from other community partnerships.

Key expenses are neither described nor justified. The method for arriving at budgeted expense categories/ amounts is not provided. Some expenses are described and justified. The method for arriving at budgeted expense categories/amounts is unclear or requires inference. Key expenses are fully described and justified. The method for arriving at budgeted expense categories/amounts is clearly explained. Budget is directly connected to project description, goals, and timetable. Budget demonstrates commitment to money flowing to the hands of program participants and other residents that are asked to assist with program implementation.

 

In addition to these criteria, the review will also take into consideration:

  • governance
  • financial health
  • project concept
  • expected impact
  • sustainability

The final award decision may consider additional discretionary factors, including but not limited to geographic balance, racial equity, strategic priorities, past performance under prior awards, and available funding.


WHAT THE ELEVATION GRANT PROGRAM DOES NOT FUND

  • organizations that are NOT tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) Public Charity of the Internal Revenue Code
  • grants or payments to individuals
  • projects aimed at promoting a particular religion or construction projects for religious institutions. Religious organizations may apply but not require their clients to be a member of their church or conform to their beliefs.
  • operating, program and construction costs at schools, universities and private academies unless there is significant opportunity for community use or collaboration
  • organizations or projects that discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation
  • political campaigns or direct lobbying efforts by 501(c)(3) organizations
  • post-events, after-the-fact situations or debt retirement
  • medical, scientific or academic research
  • publications, films, audiovisual and media materials, programs produced for artistic purposes or produced for resale
  • travel for bands, sports teams, classes and similar groups
  • annual appeals, galas or membership contributions
  • fundraising events such as golf tournaments, walk-a-thons and fashion shows

BEFORE YOU APPLY, CHECK ON THE FOLLOWING:

  1. SAMS.gov: validates entity uniqueness for US government tracking of grantees, suppliers, contractors and other recipients of federal assistance.In order to receive Elevation Grant funds, you much have an active registration in SAMS.gov
      • Register an entity or have a UEI (renew every year; registration is free)
        • Unity Entity Identifier (UEI)
          • If you are already registered in SAM.gov, you have a UEI
          • If you are not registered in SAM.gov, you need to request a UEI
            • You will need:
              • Legal Business Name
              • Physical Address for Organization
              • Create a SAM.gov account
              • Point of contact
              • Entity bank information
              • Taxpayer Identification Number (ie. EIN)
              • Make sure that your organization is publicly searchable
      • Watch for (applies to registrations:
          1. Select: “I only want to apply for federal assistance opportunities, like grants, loans, and other financial assistance”
          2. CAGE Code will be given during the process if you do not have one
          3. You are no longer required to have a DUNS number to register in SAM.gov
  1. Confirm Tax-Exempt Status: The online search tool allows you to search for an organization’s tax-exempt status and filings in the following database
  2. Make sure your organization is current with annual report filings – verify that here
  3. Download and complete the formulated detailed budget. Once downloaded and completed, please attach the budget and budget narrative to the documentation section of your application.

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Access the online application. The Indianapolis Foundation requires all applicants to use our online grants management system.
  2. Complete the organization profile
  3. Complete the application

Hector Morales Hernandez, grants coordinator at CICF, will provide office hours to assist with the online grant system. All office hours will be available by zoom:

  • Monday, April 4 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Link to Zoom (Meeting ID 863 5587 8813)
  • Tuesday, April 12 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Link to Zoom  (Meeting ID: 845 7751 4204)
  • Thursday, April 28 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Link to Zoom (Meeting ID: 825 1863 8583)
  • Friday, April 29 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Link to Zoom (Meeting ID: 841 7119 8799)

The online grant system, SmartSimple, user guide will be uploaded on April 8.

Multiple opportunities and events are available to help answer questions about the program, federal funding requirements, and assist in grant applications.

Learn more and register to attend those events