Proven programs
to help schools address substance use
What Is
Prevention Matters?

Prevention Matters is a $12 million grant initiative from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation to help Marion County schools identify, implement and sustain proven substance use prevention programs. Proven programs equip students with skills that not only help them avoid drugs but also help improve their academic achievement, attendance, classroom behavior and social and emotional well-being. These programs can reduce bullying and violence as well.

All public (traditional, charter and innovation network) and accredited private K-12 schools in Marion County are encouraged to apply.

For additional information about Prevention Matters funding opportunities and detailed grant application instructions, please review the Request for Proposals or view a recorded webinar.

Evidence-based prevention programs help students avoid substance use and improve other outcomes, too:
less likely to initiate use of heroin, crack and cocaine*
less likely to smoke long term**
less likely to use marijuana long term**
lower absenteeism***
higher math scores on state tests***
more likely to graduate high school*
more likely to attend college*
drop in delinquency**
drop in fighting**
*PAX Good Behavior Game, **LifeSkills Training, ***Positive Action

Application Process

Grants will be awarded in two stages:


Planning grants of up to $40,000 were made available to Marion County schools to learn more about evidence-based prevention programs and develop detailed plans for effective implementation. Planning grants were awarded on a non-competitive basis, meaning that all schools that met eligibility criteria and applied received a planning grant.

For more information about planning grants, please see the Request for Proposals.

Implementation GRANTS

Planning grant recipients can apply for three years of funding to implement their plan for an evidence-based prevention program. This stage is competitive, meaning that grants will be awarded selectively to schools that develop a comprehensive and realistic plan to implement prevention programs and sustain these programs long-term.

The Foundation will connect planning grant recipients with prevention experts who will provide free, step-by-step guidance to help: 1) identify the proven prevention program that best meets the needs of each applicant’s students, staff and school environment and 2) develop a plan for sustainable implementation.

Implementation grant applications are due May 25, 2018 at 12:00 noon.
Implementation grants will be awarded in July 2018.

For more information about implementation grants, please see the Request for Proposals.


The Foundation encourages all applicants to review the Request for Proposals and Frequently Asked Questions before beginning an application.

The Foundation also encourages interested applicants to view a recorded webinar to receive additional information about Prevention Matters, including guidelines for a successful application.

Interested applicants may begin their Prevention Matters planning grant application here.

Apply Now

For optimal user experience when completing your Prevention Matters application, we recommend using Google Chrome. Download Google Chrome here.

Information Sessions & Webinars

The Foundation hosted a series of information sessions in January to provide interested applicants with additional details about Prevention Matters. The Foundation also recorded webinars for applicants who were unable to attend an information session.


January 16, 2018:

Prevention Matters planning grant application period begins.

February 16, 2018:

Prevention Matters planning grant applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m.

March 2, 2018:

Prevention Matters planning grant applicants are notified about planning grant approvals.

March 5, 2018:

Prevention Matters implementation grant application period begins. (Note: Only Prevention Matters planning grant recipients are eligible to apply for implementation grants.)

May 25, 2018:

Prevention Matters implementation grant applications are due no later than 12:00 noon.

July 20, 2018:

Prevention Matters implementation grant applicants are notified about implementation grant approvals.

July 21, 2018 – June 30, 2021:

Prevention Matters implementation grant recipients implement evidence-based prevention programs.


Prevention Matters Request for Proposals

This document provides a detailed overview of the Prevention Matters initiative and grant application instructions.

Prevention Matters Frequently Asked Questions

This document addresses many questions applicants may have about the Prevention Matters initiative.

Prevention Matters Evidence-Based Program Guide

This document, created by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, describes the approved evidence-based substance use prevention programs for Prevention Matters. A stand-alone table of approved programs is available here, and an Excel version, which allows sorting and filtering, is available here. A table describing how approved programs align with Indiana state standards is available here.

Prevention Matters Application Portal Guide

This document provides technical guidance for the Prevention Matters online application portal.

Why School-Based Prevention?

This document provides school leaders, teachers and other potential applicants with a brief overview of Prevention Matters.

Prevention Matters For Prospective Grantees

This document provides school leaders, teachers and other potential applicants with a brief overview of Prevention Matters.

Prevention Matters For Parents

This document will help schools communicate with parents about Prevention Matters.

Prevention Matters Communications Toolkit

This resource includes sample social media posts and other communications tools for Prevention Matters.


Applicants are encouraged to review the Frequently Asked Questions to see if their questions are answered within this document. Additional questions may be directed to the Foundation staff at or 317-663-4185.