Lilly Endowment Invites Proposals for Encouraging Opportunity in Indianapolis Initiative

Far too many people in Indianapolis are battling the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity. According to the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year Estimates report released in December 2018 by the U.S. Census Bureau, the five-year (2013-2017) average poverty rate in Marion County was nearly 20 percent. That means that an average of 180,000 individuals annually during that period faced the hardships of poverty.

Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis is a Lilly Endowment initiative designed to help individuals in Indianapolis overcome the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity. The aim of the initiative is to help more people make progress toward economic self-sufficiency.

Through the initiative, the endowment plans to award up to $50 million in 2020 to fund the most promising proposals. Eligible applicants will be able to request funding for concepts in amounts from $50,000 up to $10 million to be used for a period of up to five years.

The endowment encourages service agencies, hospitals, congregations and other faith-based organizations, schools, colleges and universities, arts and culture organizations, neighborhood organizations, and other public charities to work with each other and/or other groups, businesses, and governmental agencies to 1) generate new ideas or new collaborations; or 2) enhance and expand existing efforts that show real promise in helping people living in or near poverty make progress toward lasting economic self-sufficiency.

Proposals will be evaluated through a competitive two-stage process. In stage one, applicants are invited to submit a concept paper. In stage two, the endowment will invite organizations that submitted the most compelling concept papers to submit a full proposal. The endowment plans to announce final grant awards on or before December 31, 2020.

To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be an Indiana-based organization that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) or sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a Type I or Type II supporting organizations under Code section 509(a)(3). Please read the request for proposals for details.

Applicants must submit a concept paper online by March 27, 2020, at noon, EDT. The endowment will review the concept papers and invite organizations with the most compelling ideas to prepare a full proposal. Deadline to submit full proposals isAugust 31, 2020, at noon Eastern Daylight Time.

Individuals interested in learning more about this opportunity are invited to attend an informational session. Attendance is optional and each session will cover the same content. Sessions will take place on the following dates at Lilly Endowment headquarters, 2801 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis:

  • Friday, December 6, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, December 10, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 11, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 9:00 to 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, January 16, 2020, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in attending an information session must register beforehand.

For the complete RFP, see the Lilly Endowment website.


Deadline: January 31, 2020