Jan. 4, 2021
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Grants totaling $17.2 million to meet emergency needs

as the COVID-19 pandemic continues


INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment has awarded a total of $17.2 million in grants to 38 organizations working to mitigate the adverse human and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Marion County. This brings the total support provided by Lilly Endowment for COVID-related needs since the pandemic began to nearly $208 million.

“As our community enters winter, COVID-19-related economic realities and other challenges continue to mount. The next few months are going to be profoundly difficult for many vulnerable people and for the organizations that work tirelessly to serve them,” said Ronni Kloth, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “We are pleased to support the efforts of these essential organizations to help more people in need.”

The grants will support four categories of nonprofit organizations:

  • Community and multi-service centers that provide comprehensive social services to individuals and families
  • Organizations that serve individuals experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence and their families, two highly vulnerable populations whose challenges have been intensified by the pandemic
  • African American churches and grassroots organizations that lead robust outreach efforts to help meet basic needs, especially for vulnerable African-American residents in high-poverty neighborhoods
  • Food banks working to address food insecurity.

Grant amounts were determined by several factors, including the size of the organizations’ operations and budgets and the scope and scale of services they have been called upon to deliver in response to the pandemic.

Community and multi-service centers ($10.475 million to 15 organizations)

These organizations offer a range of programs and support, such as food, childcare, counseling, job training, youth development, programs for seniors and health services. All have seen surges in demand for their offerings in recent months. In 2020, most played an essential role in disbursing more than $30 million through a City of Indianapolis rental assistance program made possible by federal CARES Act resources supplemented by Lilly Endowment grants. Organizations will use these grants to provide direct assistance to individuals and to support operating expenses, including increased and unexpected costs caused by the pandemic.

  • Christamore House ($400,000)
  • Community Alliance of the Far Eastside ($600,000)
  • Concord Center Association ($425,000)
  • Edna Martin Christian Center ($1 million)
  • Englewood Community Development Corporation ($600,000)
  • Fay Biccard Glick Community Center ($500,000)
  • Flanner House ($775,000)
  • Hawthorne Social Service Association ($525,000)
  • Indianapolis Urban League ($775,000)
  • John Boner Neighborhood Centers ($1.75 million)
  • La Plaza ($425,000)
  • Martin Luther King Multi Service Center ($450,000)
  • Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center ($725,000)
  • Shepherd Community ($1 million)
  • Southeast Community Services ($525,000)

Homelessness and Domestic Violence ($2.75 million to 13 organizations)

Eleven of these 13 organizations provide direct services to homeless individuals and survivors of domestic abuse. During the pandemic, these organizations have seen significant increases in demand for their services. At the same time, they have reduced headcounts in their shelters in order to practice social distancing; most have pivoted their services by offering alternative solutions for emergency care such as hotels and virtual case management. These solutions have increased operational expenses, including increased cleaning and staffing costs.

Grants will help offset these and other general operating expenses. Two of the organizations, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention and Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis, are key intermediary organizations that address homelessness and domestic violence issues, respectively. They will use their grants for special initiatives to help more individuals secure temporary and permanent housing.

  • Catholic Charities Indianapolis ($250,000)
  • Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention of Greater Indianapolis ($400,000)
  • Coburn Place ($250,000)
  • Damien Center ($100,000)
  • Dayspring Center ($100,000)
  • Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis ($100,000)
  • Families First Indiana ($250,000)
  • HealthNet ($100,000)
  • Horizon House ($100,000)
  • HVAF of Indiana ($100,000)
  • Julian Center ($250,000)
  • Volunteers of America ($250,000)
  • Wheeler Mission Ministries ($500,000)

Churches and Grassroots Organizations ($475,000 to eight organizations)

These organizations provide robust outreach to assist people in need, especially highly vulnerable African American residents in high-poverty neighborhoods. In recent months, these organizations have seen surges in demand for help, including requests for rental and food assistance. They will use grant funds to help more people meet their basic needs.

  • Eastern Star Church/Eastern Star Jewel Human Services Corporation ($75,000)
  • Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church ($50,000)
  • Kheprw Institute ($50,000)
  • Light of the World Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) ($75,000)
  • Mt. Carmel Baptist Church ($75,000)
  • Mt. Zion Baptist Church ($50,000)
  • New Direction Baptist Church ($75,000)
  • Ross Foundation ($25,000)

Food Assistance ($3.5 million to two organizations)

These organizations are the primary food banks serving Indianapolis and Central Indiana. They have played indispensable roles in COVID-19 relief efforts by providing substantially more food to a network of food pantries and other social services providers. They have helped organize and support direct food distribution, as well, including drive-through food relief efforts at venues such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They will use grants to acquire and distribute more food to individuals and families.

  • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana ($2.5 million)
  • Midwest Food Bank – Indiana Division ($1 million)

About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based 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. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it 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 developmenteducation and religion and maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.