Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has pledged a $1 million contribution to support the United Way of Central Indiana's “New U” strategy. The program is designed to focus the organization's work on priorities including education, income, health and basic needs.

November 30, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay today capped off two decades of giving to United Way of Central Indiana by pledging a $1 million contribution in support of United Way’s “New U” community impact strategy.

The gift makes Irsay the 12th individual to give at the $1 million level in Central Indiana. Nationally, the contribution puts him in the ranks of more than 550 community leaders who have made gifts of $1 million or more to local United Ways, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and George Clooney.

“Jim's generosity to our community is legendary,” said Ann D. Murtlow, United Way of Central Indiana’s president and chief executive officer. “He's now taking that generosity to new levels by investing in our long-term commitment to improve community conditions for generations to come.”

“New U” is United Way's new strategy to align all of its work and partnerships around measurable goals in each of four community priorities – Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs. The ultimate goal is to help at-risk people eliminate barriers so they can achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, Murtlow said.

In addition to serving as a member of United Way’s board of directors from 1997-2014, Irsay has donated a portion of ticket sales for one Colts game a year for several years totaling nearly a half million to United Way. Daughter Kalen Irsay, vice chair of the Colts, currently serves on United Way’s board.

Irsay's gift is part of a push started in 2013 by John Lechleiter, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, and his wife, Sarah, to encourage increased community leader support for United Way. Lechleiter chairs United Way Worldwide’s board of trustees.

There is still time for people to give at any level in support of United Way's current annual campaign. Visit to give online or mail a contribution to 3901 N. Meridian, P.O. Box 88409, Indianapolis, IN 46208-0409. And, on #GivingTuesday, December 2, anyone who makes an online contribution to United Way of Central Indiana is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match, thanks to The National Bank of Indianapolis. Go to to learn more.

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.

Source: United Way of Central Indiana

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