$10M Lilly Endowment grant to help charities

United Way of Central Indiana’s capital projects fund is getting a $10 million cash infusion thanks to a grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc.

With the gift announced Monday, the endowment has invested a total of $137.5 million in the capital projects program since it was established in 2000. The funding helps local not-for-profits improve facilities and better deliver services.

Agencies in UWCI’s six-county service area—Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion and Morgan—can apply for grants from the fund. Proposals are reviewed by a volunteer committee.

Past projects have included a new infant and toddler center; housing and programming for homeless veterans; expansion of domestic violence shelters and transitional housing; and a new transportation facility for senior services.

UWCI said  the fund has supported 129 capital projects, $6.9 million in technology improvements, and $641,000 in heating and transportation costs.

The new endowment grant also includes $2 million for United Way's Kids Need Quality Initiative, which aims to help child care providers meet basic standards—part of a broader effort to make sure all children are prepared for school.

"That starts with a high-quality early childhood education in a healthy and safe environment that enables them to thrive," United Way CEO Ann Murtlow said in a prepared statement.

All told, United Way has committed $7.6 million to upgrades at child care facilities; $3.2 million in projects have been started or completed already, and another 15 projects are being reviewed.

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