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Lilly Endowment Inc. awards $10M grant to Early Learning Indiana

Early Learning Indiana has received a grant of $10 million under Lilly Endowment Inc.’s latest round of financial sustainability grants to Central Indiana human services agencies.

This grant is one of 10 grants totaling $48 million that are designed to help agencies that serve vulnerable individuals and families enhance their long-term impact by building stronger financial futures.

Early Learning Indiana will use the grant to leverage technology in its nine Day Early Learning centers and to make strategic investments supportive of the organization’s efforts to ensure more children are prepared with the building blocks to flourish in kindergarten and beyond. These grant funds will also allow Early Learning Indiana to respond to the changing early education landscape.

“We are tremendously grateful for this investment in children’s educational foundations,” said Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Maureen Weber. “Learning begins at birth, and some of the greatest opportunities for growth happen before children set foot in kindergarten classrooms. This grant allows us to make the most of this time for the families we serve.”

This financial sustainability grant and the grants to the nine other agencies complement Lilly Endowment’s regular support of human services organizations through direct grants and grants to the United Way of Central Indiana. The organizations, which provide critical services to vulnerable individuals and families, are undercapitalized for the scope and volume of services they are called upon to provide. Although many of them receive substantial public sector support, they all rely on private dollars to make ends meet in providing vital services.

“The grants are designed to help these valuable organizations build long-term financial strength and resiliency,” said Rob Smith, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “The grants are not intended to fund ongoing operating support that is essential for these organizations to meet the day-to-day needs of the children, families and individuals they serve. In fact, we hope our grants help these agencies more effectively attract additional support for their critically important work.”

This is the fourth group of grants the Endowment has made since 2015 that support the long-term sustainability plans of charitable organizations based in Central Indiana. Through this effort the Endowment has made grants totaling $328 million to 49 organizations.

Early Learning Indiana is the state’s oldest and largest early childhood education nonprofit, founded in 1899 as Day Nursery. Today, Early Learning Indiana operates nine high-quality Day Early Learning centers in Central Indiana, educating more than 1,000 children each year. Through regional (Child Care Answers) and statewide (Partnerships for Early Learners) programs, the organization helps families find quality care, works with teachers and providers to improve program quality, and advocates for greater access to early educational opportunities for Hoosier families. More information is available at  www.-.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private family foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr., and his sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While these gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.

In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.


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