March 08, 2021
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment Makes New Grants to Help

Indiana Communities Address Ongoing  Effects of the Pandemic


INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment has approved $16.75 million in new grants to help Indiana communities respond to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The support consists of a $15 million grant to Indiana United Ways (IUW), which will distribute funds primarily through its statewide network of local United Ways to help meet needs in Hoosier communities, and a $1.75 million grant to United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) to help meet needs in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Morgan counties..

These grants build on Endowment grants of $30 million awarded to IUW and $3.5 million to UWCI for the same purposes in April 2020. Learn more about those grants here. IUW and UWCI will take similar approaches to disseminate these new grant funds to local communities.

“One year into the pandemic, the effects of the crisis continue to reverberate in every community across Indiana,” said Ronni Kloth, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “Even as the availability of vaccines is helping people imagine life after the pandemic, it is clear that the economic impact on many individuals and families and on organizations that serve them is far from over.”

These grants to the IUW and UWCI are the latest Endowment grants to support organizations in Indiana that are working to help individuals and families most affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. In January, the Endowment announced it had made $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. Grants went to community centers, food banks, churches and organizations working to help individuals affected by homelessness and domestic violence.

All of these grants are part of the Endowment’s strategy, launched in March 2020, to help communities respond to the pandemic. In addition to funding  support for human services organizations, the Endowment has made grants to help early learning providers, youth-serving organizations, congregations and arts and culture organizations adapt so they can continue to serve their communities safely. Other Endowment grants have helped the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the USO in their national pandemic response efforts. Since March 2020, the Endowment has approved more than $226 million in pandemic response grants.

Indiana United Ways
The $15 million grant to IUW will support the organization’s COVID-19 Economic Relief Fund (C-Fund). IUW created C-Fund with a $30 million Endowment grant announced in April 2020. It is designed to help address relief 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 primarily through its network of more than 50 United Ways and United Funds. Grant funds will continue to provide much-needed financial support to human services agencies and other organizations to help them assist individuals and families harmed by the economic crisis. Grant funds will be used for housing, food and child care assistance, among other needs determined by local communities.

“Throughout the pandemic, Indiana United Ways has worked quickly to support local organizations around the state that best understand the pressing needs of the people living in their communities,” Kloth said.

United Way of Central Indiana
United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) will use a $1.75 million Endowment grant to support organizations working to help those in need in five of the six counties it serves – Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Morgan counties. The grant will build on UWCI’s relief efforts in these counties that were funded by a $3.5 million Endowment grant announced in April 2020. Grant funds are expected to help residents with food and housing assistance, along with other needs UWCI identifies.

“This grant to United Way of Central Indiana complements the $17.2 million in grants that the Endowment made in January to a variety of Indianapolis organizations working to meet ongoing needs in Marion County,” Kloth said.  “We are grateful to UWCI for once again working with organizations to help those in need living in the other five counties UWCI serves.”

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, and 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.

About United Way of Central Indiana
United Way of Central Indiana is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers and partners who fight for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of every person in every community.

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.