Lilly Endowment will give United Way of Central Indiana $10 million to replenish its capital improvement program, which
helps not-for-profit agencies repair and upgrade their buildings.
previous grants from Lilly Endowment, UWCI has distributed $90.8 million since 2000. United Way
CEO Ellen Annala said in today’s announcement that the extension "could not have come at a better
time," as the organization has learned of more than 20 potential projects in
the planning stages.
Way will distribute the money over the next four years to member agencies in its six-county area. The
capital improvement grants typically do not exceed 50 percent of project costs.
Most of the $10 million will
be directed toward United Way member agencies for their projects. United Way will also allocate $2.5
million for "community" projects in which it collaborates with other entities, said Bob
Rush, United Way’s director of capital funds. He said United Way is hoping to see some proposals for a community center or
other projects on the east side of Indianapolis, especially near 38th Street and Keystone.
United Way’s capital improvement
program began in 2000 with a $60 million grant from Lilly Endowment. That was renewed in 2003 and 2006,
each time with $20 million.
"We have been very pleased with United Way’s administration of
the funds," Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins said in a prepared statement. He noted that
a committee of volunteers with expertise in architecture, engineering and finance reviews each project
that’s proposed, ensuring that specifications, designs and plants are "solidly conceived and well thought
"The committee’s conscientious engagement in the allocation of these funds has significantly enhanced
their impact on the delivery of human services in our community," Robbins said.
Since its inception, the capital
improvement program has helped fund 116 projects for 69 agencies. Annala said the Lilly Endowment grant
spurred other donations, resulting in more than $250 million spent over the nine-year period. United Way has also used
the investment earnings to help its member agencies and others offset rising heating and gasoline costs and upgrade technology.