Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. announced Friday that it has pledged $25 million to 297 youth-focused organizations across the state to help them address needs related to the pandemic.
The grants range from $5,000 to $800,000, based in part on the number of children and teens each group serves annually and the scope of its services. They include programs for academic enrichment, sports and recreation, health and wellness, and social and emotional support.
The grants cover groups in 57 counties, with more than a third of the organizations based in Indianapolis. The endowment did not specify the size of the grant each group received.
Although not a prerequisite, the endowment said it gave special consideration to organizations that serve youth from immigrant populations, low-income families and families of color.
The money, granted through the endowment’s Youth Program Resilience Fund, is intended to help cover expenses such as:
— purchasing sanitation supplies, personal protective equipment and materials needed to promote social distancing;
— modifying sites so organizations can deliver safe programs and services during the pandemic;
— improving technology to support remote learning, engagement and information sharing;
— covering increased general operating expenses, including hiring more staff to lower staff-to-child ratios and more planning and training about new safety protocols; and
— engaging consultants to strengthen support for youth and their families most deeply affected by the pandemic, including referrals to wrap-around services and for mental health services.
“Youth-serving organizations are vital to the well-being of Indiana’s youth, their families and their communities,” said Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We are inspired by ways in which the leaders of these organizations have responded to the tremendous challenges brought on by the pandemic. Although these grants cannot fully address all of the challenges these organizations face, we hope that the funds will help them continue to fulfill their missions and enhance the lives of Indiana’s youth.”
Lilly Endowment is one of the largest grant-making foundations in the United States and concentrates its giving to the causes of community development, education and religion. The endowment ranked as the second-largest private charitable foundation in the country at the end of 2018, trailing only the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since its founding in 1937, Lilly Endowment has distributed more than $10.9 billion in grants to more than 10,000 charitable organizations, most of them in Indiana. Its assets are primarily ties to the stock of Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co.