Jan. 8, 2020
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Grants to Strengthen Sustainability of Agencies that Serve Children and Youth in Central Indiana


Indianapolis – Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved $54.7 million in grants to 13 Indianapolis-based organizations that serve children and youth to help them strengthen their long-term financial sustainability plans.

Twelve of the organizations provide a variety of services that support children, teenagers and young adults and their families across the community. One organization is a multi-service, neighborhood-based community center with a significant focus on young people.

The grants are designed to help the organizations build stronger financial futures and resiliency so they can have a lasting impact on those they serve. The amount of each grant – which varies depending on the annual operating budget of each organization, the number of individuals each organization serves and other factors ­– ranges from $1 million to $7.5 million.

Grant funds will be used to help organizations implement a variety of approaches to enhance their long-term sustainability, including:

  • Establishing endowments to provide financial resources for the long term
  • Updating technology and facilities to enhance services and operations, including improving energy efficiencies
  • Strengthening staff and volunteer recruitment, training and retention
  • Improving communications, marketing and fundraising efforts to better engage donors, volunteers and other supporters.

The grants are in addition to the Endowment’s regular support for youth-serving organizations and reflect the Endowment’s long-standing commitment to assist charitable organizations in helping children and youth in our community reach their full potential.

These organizations provide a variety of programs that build positive futures for  children and youth through life skills training, career exploration, high-impact mentoring, camp experiences and character development. Two organizations are committed to advocacy for young people receiving child welfare services and for children and families involved with the juvenile justice or family court system. One organization supports children and youth as an important part of its neighborhood-based community service programs.

“These organizations work every day to help children and young people navigate the path to becoming thoughtful, caring individuals who are prepared for work and able to lead fulfilling lives,” said Ronni Kloth, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “It is a privilege to help them build their capacity to thrive for years to come.”

The organizations are undercapitalized for the scope and volume of services they are called upon to provide.

“We hope that the sustainability grants will build resiliency so that these organizations can better weather unexpected and adverse funding changes,” Kloth said.

These grants do not replace the need for ongoing operating funds, which are essential for the organizations to meet the day-to-day needs of the children, young adults and others whom they serve. The Endowment hopes that these grants inspire others to support the important services the organizations provide every day.

This is the fifth group of grants the Endowment has made since 2015 to bolster the long-term sustainability plans of charitable organizations based in central Indiana. Through this effort the Endowment has made grants totaling $382.7 million to 62 organizations.

The following 13 organizations are receiving the latest financial sustainability grants:

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion, and it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.