April 1, 2020
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment Makes Additional Grants to Help Indiana Communities Respond to Pandemic


INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment has approved $33.5 million in new grants to help Indiana communities respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The support consists of a $30 million grant to Indiana United Ways (IUW), which will rapidly distribute these resources primarily through its statewide network of local United Ways to help meet needs in Hoosier communities, and a $3.5 million grant to United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) to help meet needs in the five counties it serves outside Marion County.

Indiana United Ways
The $30 million grant to IUW will help address needs in the 86 Indiana counties not served by UWCI, which serves Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion and Morgan Counties. IUW will allocate funds for each of the 86 counties on a per capita basis through a network of more than 50 United Ways and United Funds and other local organizations, as necessary, including community foundations. These grantees will collaborate with and provide funds to a variety of other local organizations to help meet needs in the communities they serve. Grant funds will supplement and enhance the social services network and provide individuals and families food and housing assistance, emergency childcare for the families of healthcare workers and first responders, and other essential services.

“The COVID-19 crisis is affecting every community in Indiana,” said Ronni Kloth, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “Indiana United Ways will work quickly to get grant funds to local organizations around the state that are well-positioned to help meet the needs of their neighbors. We hope these resources will encourage and support these organizations in this critically important work.”

United Way of Central Indiana
On March 13, the Endowment made a $15 million grant to UWCI to help create the Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund (C-CERF) to support organizations working in Marion County, as well as Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Morgan counties. Given the significant needs emerging in Marion County with nearly half of the state’s confirmed cases of the coronavirus, a substantial part of C-CERF may be required for Marion County. To support the relief efforts of organizations working in the other five counties UWCI serves, the Endowment has approved an additional $3.5 million grant to UWCI specifically to be used in those counties.

“The needs in Marion County are growing dramatically each day,” Kloth added. “With this grant, we want to make sure that the other counties United Way of Central Indiana serves have additional resources to meet their own rapidly growing needs.”

About Indiana United Ways
Indiana United Ways (IUW) is a statewide organization that helps local United Ways thrive through leveraging resources, offering capacity building services, coordinating shared services, finding collaborative ways to partner within the United Way network and across Indiana. IUW and its more than 50 members fight for health, education and financial stability for every individual in every community. Contact Maureen Noe, president and CEO,

About United Way of Central Indiana
United Way of Central Indiana is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers and partners who fight for the health, education, financial stability, health and basic needs of every person in every community. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a coalition of community funders launched an initial $16.5 million Central Indiana Community Economic Relief Fund (C-CERF) to support human services organizations during the crisis. The fund was launched with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., Central Indiana Community Foundation (through the Glick Fund and The Indianapolis Foundation), Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and United Way of Central Indiana. For updates about C-CERF, visit Contact Jessica DiSanto,

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. 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 the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.