September 25, 2023
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Grants Will Help Strengthen Indiana Youth Organizations


Indianapolis – Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved grants to 187 organizations through its competitive initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana (SYPI). The aim of the initiative is to help youth-serving organizations working throughout the state improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of young people, ages five through 18.

The grants, which total more than $85 million, range from $16,870 to $1 million and will help a wide variety of organizations across Indiana. Many focus their efforts in a single town, county or city. Others serve youth in multiple Indiana communities or youth across a region in the state.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,” said Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. The Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

Organizations receiving these grants offer a wide array of programs and services to youth. These include foster care placement, youth employment, college preparation, STEM education, art therapy, health and wellness activities, grief counseling, leadership and character development, outdoor education, tutoring, mentoring and before- and after-school enrichment. See the grants list here.

Many of the organizations will use their grants to address challenges facing particular groups of young people that are a special focus of the SYPI initiative: young people who are in low-income households; who are members of communities of color; who are from immigrant families; who lack adult supervision; or who have been exposed to trauma or other adverse childhood experiences.

Grant-funded projects will work to:

  • Improve existing programs or develop new ones to reach more youth and remove barriers to their participation.
  • Refurbish their buildings or outdoor program spaces or upgrade computers and other technology and equipment to better serve youth.
  • Strengthen access to mental health and behavioral health services, which organizations noted was a significant need throughout the state.
  • Provide youth with improved leadership development and civic engagement opportunities.
  • Build organizational capacity by focusing on strategic planning and improved fundraising.
  • Hire more staff and attract and retain staff with professional development and increased compensation in light of a competitive labor market.

Most of the organizations receiving SYPI grants are independent entities whose work with youth is a primary or major focus of their missions. The initiative builds on work the Endowment supported in 2022 through grants made to nine national youth-serving organizations to expand and enhance the work of their  Indiana affiliates or chapters. SYPI reflects the Endowment’s longstanding interest in helping foster the healthy development of Indiana youth by supporting community-based organizations that complement what young people learn and experience in school and at home.

About Lilly Endowment
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, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.