INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) has awarded a first round of unrestricted grants totaling $1.8 million to human services organizations serving individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, and Morgan counties. These funds were made possible by a recent $3.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help meet the needs of Central Indiana communities outside Marion County.
To determine funding recommendations for the counties, United Way assembled five workgroups comprising staff, civic leaders, volunteers, and county representatives. After analyzing the rapidly changing needs in each area, the workgroups invited 102 organizations in total to apply for the competitive grants. With recommendations from the workgroups, UWCI selected 50 community organizations providing basic needs services – food, housing, healthcare, transportation, childcare – for funding.
“We continue to be so grateful to Lilly Endowment for its leadership during this health and economic crisis in our communities,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way. “Each county has its own unique situation and emerging needs caused by the coronavirus. These funds allow us to specifically target those organizations who are on the front lines in the counties, serving those who are struggling the most with their basic needs.”

Lilly Endowment has provided a total of three grants to UWCI and Indiana United Ways totaling $48.5 million to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. In addition to this $3.5 million grant to help people in need in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Morgan Counties, the Endowment made a $15 million grant to UWCI to help launch on March 13 the Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund (C-CERF). The Endowment was joined by Central Indiana Community Foundation (through the Glick Fund and The Indianapolis Foundation), Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and United Way of Central Indiana in providing the initial C-CERF resources, the majority of which have been granted to Marion County-based organizations. To help serve needs in the remaining counties in Indiana, the Endowment made on April 1 a $30 million grant to Indiana United Ways.
What’s Next
UWCI anticipates it will announce a second round of grants to community-based organizations in these five counties outside of Marion in the coming weeks.