Lilly Endowment Awards $10 Million to United Way

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United Way of Central Indiana has landed a $10 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. The funds will go toward programming and facility improvements involving child care, homeless veterans and family services. January 6, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $10 million grant to continue a capital projects program managed by United Way of Central Indiana on behalf of the region's human care system. The Endowment’s support for United Way's Capital Projects Fund, established in 2000, now totals $137.5 million.

The grant "enables United Way to continue helping strengthen the human care system while also making solid progress with our focused education impact strategy," said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana.

The fund is used to enhance delivery of human service programs in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion and Morgan counties. Examples of improvements made possible by the Capital Projects Fund include: a new infant and toddler center; housing and programming for homeless veterans; expansion of domestic violence shelters and transitional housing; expansion of family counseling and services for children and families in need; a new outdoor aquatics center; expansion of addiction treatment facilities; and, a new transportation facility for senior services.

In addition to supporting construction and renovation projects for United Way agencies and community collaborations, the grant provides $2 million for United Way's Kids Need Quality Initiative. The funds will continue investments in helping child care providers meet basic health and safety standards, once they have committed to pursue quality using Indiana's Paths to Quality system.

United Way of Central Indiana is leading the effort to ensure that low-income children are school ready by age 6. "That starts with a high quality early childhood education in a healthy and safe environment that enables them to thrive," explained Murtlow.

Today's announcement brings the total to $7.6 million committed by United Way for health and safety upgrades at child care facilities. So far, $3.2 million in projects through 50 providers have been started or completed. Another 15 projects are being assessed for 2014.

The grant is in addition to the Endowment's support of United Way's annual campaign.

“United Way of Central Indiana and the agencies and organizations it supports are at the heart of our community’s efforts to be more humane and caring,” said Ace Yakey, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “We have been very pleased with United Way’s administration of the funds it has received for capital projects and recognize that there are still many unmet capital needs. We hope that Lilly Endowment’s grant will help sustain and enhance efforts to improve human services facilities and programs.”

The Capital Projects Fund is administered by a committee of dedicated local volunteers with expertise in architecture, engineering, finance and other disciplines. The committee reviews each proposed project and makes sure that related specifications, designs and plans are solidly conceived and well thought out.

Since December 2000, the Capital Projects Fund has enabled United Way to invest in 129 projects for 69 agencies.

For every $1 United Way invested in such projects, the funds helped generate another $2 in broader community support for a total impact of nearly $300 million in renovations, new construction and purchases, according to United Way.

The program has also equipped many agencies with the information needed to make better business decisions by helping United Way partners pay for technical assistance to assess the feasibility of projects before starting them.

United Way also put to use earnings of the Capital Projects Fund grants to finance technology improvements totaling $6.9 million and help meet rising heating and transportation costs amounting to $641,050.

United Way of Central Indiana helps people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives. United Way gets things done by mobilizing people and community partners in six Central Indiana counties to identify, advance and advocate the best solutions. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to be part of the change. Visit to learn more.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private foundation that supports the causes of community development, education and religion. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Source: United Way of Central Indiana