We make grants to a wide range of organizations that improve the overall quality of life in Indianapolis and expand and enhance the city’s economic, cultural and recreational opportunities. We support programs that contribute to strong neighborhoods and encourage the creation, improvement and expansion of amenities that attract and retain individuals, families and businesses. We have a special interest in helping organizations that serve residents affected by poverty and other challenges and that help advance the prosperity of residents from communities of color who are disproportionately affected by such challenges.

Areas of Grantmaking

Strong neighborhoods help ensure that Indianapolis is a safe, livable community for all of its residents. Some grantees in this area are Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Indianapolis (LISC), Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) and community centers such as Edna Martin Christian Center and Shepherd Community.

Intellectual capital and community economic development are essential to Indianapolis’ efforts to be a place where people want to live, work and contribute to their community. Some grantees that promote intellectual capital and economic development, in addition to those funded through our education division, are Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) Foundation,16 Tech, Indianapolis Urban LeagueGreater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council.

Effective and sustainable human service organizations are critical to helping Indianapolis be a caring community, where all residents are supported in overcoming challenges caused by food insecurity, homelessness, unemployment and underemployment, domestic violence and various disabilities. Some grantees in this area are United Way of Central IndianaGleaners Food Bank of IndianaSecond Helpings, Easterseals Crossroads, Indianapolis Urban League, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), Wheeler Mission Ministries and community centers such as John Boner Neighborhood Centers and La Plaza.

Arts and culture organizations strengthen Indianapolis by fostering a creative and energized community and a quality of life that is appealing to all individuals and families. Some of the many organizations we support in this area are the Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana Black Expo, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, The International Center, Madam Walker Legacy Center, Indy Arts Council, Asante Art Institute of Indianapolis, Steward Speakers, Indiana White River Park Development Commission and Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

Related Grants

Enhancing Opportunity In Indianapolis is a $93.6 million grant initiative with the aim of helping a significant number of people in Marion County living in or near poverty make progress toward lasting economic self-sufficiency. Lilly Endowment made 28 grants to fund highly collaborative projects in Indianapolis that represent new ideas and collaborations, as well as those that expand the impact of existing efforts.LEARN MORE

COVID-19 Relief Grants supported organizations that were addressing COVID-19 pandemic-related needs in Indianapolis and beyond.LEARN MORE

The Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative was created in August 2020 with an Endowment grant of $100 million to National Urban League. The initiative is a collaborative effort between National Urban League, Indianapolis Urban League and African American Coalition of Indianapolis to advance the prosperity of all of Indianapolis’ African American community.LEARN MORE

Connected Communities, led by Central Indiana Community Foundation in close collaboration with the city of Indianapolis, is an initiative launched with the Endowment’s March 2022 grant to improve and expand pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, including safe routes and more physical and recreational activities.Learn More

City of Indianapolis, Department of Parks and Recreation oversees an expansive parks and recreation system that includes 214 parks and numerous greenspaces, playgrounds, sports fields, trails and other amenities. The Endowment’s 2022 support of Indy Parks and some of its friends groups totaled $80 million for improvements across 42 parks.Learn More