Lilly Awards $80 Million to Children's and Disability Agencies

Lilly Awards $80 Million to Children's and Disability Agencies

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced grants totaling $80 million to ten human services agencies serving vulnerable children and youth and individuals with disabilities in central Indiana.

Seven disability services agencies and three organizations serving children and youth at risk for adverse long-term outcomes — including abused, neglected, and foster care children — were awarded grants ranging from $2.5 million to $10 million. Each organization will use its grant to establish an endowment or add to an existing one; nine of the ten also will use a portion of their grants to upgrade technology, enhance staff development, strengthen fundraising programs, and/or improve recruitment and retention efforts.

The grants are designed to complement the endowment's regular support of human services organizations through direct grants and funding to the United Way of Central Indiana, which partners with eight of the grantees. Recipients include Bosma Enterprises ($5 million), which serves the blind and visually impaired; the Children's Bureau ($10 million), which works to keep children out of the child welfare system; Tangram ($7.5 million), which helps individuals with disabilities live active and independent lives; and child and family services agency The Villages ($10 million).

The grants represent the third round of support provided by the endowment since 2015 to strengthen the long-term sustainability of nonprofit organizations in central Indiana, following grants totaling $100 million in 2015 to arts and cultural organizations and $100 million to human services organizations focused on low-income neighborhoods in Indianapolis.

"The staff and leadership of these agencies work every day to help children, adults, and families who are among the most vulnerable residents in central Indiana," said Ace Yakey, the endowment's vice president for community development. "These grants don't take the place of ongoing support for day-to-day operations. Instead, the funds will help the agencies build financial infrastructures that will position them better to weather financial challenges and serve more people more effectively."

(Photo credit: Bosma Enterprises)