In 2020, the Board established the Charitable Grants program to align with the interest of the Foundation’s founder, Richard M. “Dick” Fairbanks, in making small unrestricted grants to small organizations where these amounts could make a significant difference. While the bulk of the Foundation’s philanthropic funding will continue to be allocated toward its three focus areas of Education, Health, and the Vitality of Indianapolis, the Charitable Grants program enables the Foundation to provide annual grants in the amount of $25,000 per grantee to a rotating list of up to six (6) nonprofit organizations. This program, which went into effect in 2021, continues the Foundation’s long history of charitable giving. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $9.9 million in small charitable grants.
Here’s how the new Charitable Grants program works. Each year, the Foundation identifies funding themes based on pressing needs in Indianapolis. These themes guide the selection of six Indianapolis organizations that are addressing these needs in our city. Organizations cannot apply to the Charitable Grants program, and the grants are awarded on a one-time basis.
During this inaugural year of program implementation, the Foundation focused on the following needs: (1) homelessness and housing instability; (2) racial inequity; (3) criminal justice and re-entry; and (4) food insecurity. The 2021 grant recipients are: The Growing Indy Group; Immigrant Welcome Center; Indy Hunger Network; Mackida Loveal & Trip Mentoring Outreach Center; Trinity Haven; and Westminster Neighborhood Services. The Foundation is pleased to support these organizations through one-time grant funding as they continue their impactful work in Indianapolis.