United Way awards $950,000 in first-round grants for Great Families 2020

Indiana Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly, Congressman André Carson and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett congratulate grant recipients in ceremony Feb. 21 at Indianapolis’ Brookside Park

INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana announced today the first grant recipients for Great Families 2020, the initiative to transform the lives of Indianapolis’ most vulnerable families. At a special ceremony at Brookside Park on the city’s east side, United Way awarded four organizations a total of $950,000 in grants to improve family stability by serving parents and their children together.

Funded in part by a significant grant from the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a federal program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Great Families 2020 is modeled from the promising and innovative practice of the “Two Generation” approach, where neighborhood networks in education, financial stability and health services are integrated to serve the whole family. Selected by an independent review team of leaders from human services, education, civic and government organizations, the four grant winners submitted innovative proposals that aim to improve outcomes in kindergarten readiness, mental health, employment and financial literacy.

The Great Families 2020 grant winners named today are:

  • Edna Martin Christian Center was awarded $350,000 to serve 100 adults and 100 children through its Center for Working Families and Childcare Ministry. Edna Martin will provide both financial stability and early childhood education programming, while contracting with targeted partners in the neighborhood to provide the additional capacity needed to bring the project to scale.
  • John Boner Neighborhood Centers was awarded $300,000 to utilize its Center for Working Families to provide workforce development, financial coaching, income supports, and asset building services for 150 adults. Boner Centers will partner with Englewood Christian Church and East Tenth United Methodist to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.
  • East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center was awarded $150,000 as one of the providers of early childhood education services for 75 children. East Tenth will partner with Englewood Christian Church and John Boner Neighborhood Centers to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.
  • Englewood Christian Church was awarded $150,000 as one of the providers of early childhood education services for 75 children. Englewood will partner with East Tenth United Methodist Church and John Boner Neighborhood Centers to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.

“United Way of Central Indiana, alongside our key partners and lawmakers, is pleased to unveil the first grant recipients of our innovative Great Families 2020 initiative,” said Ann D. Murtlow, United Way of Central Indiana President and CEO. “These four organizations have demonstrated how they will put these dollars to the greatest use, helping the most children gain access to quality pre-k programs, and for their parents to gain the support and skills they need to achieve financial stability. Today was an important first step for our community toward what promises to be transformational outcomes for families.”

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact – mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results. On August 17, 2016, United Way was awarded $7 million from SIF over the next three years, which required a dollar-for-dollar match by United Way and selected sub-grantees, for a total of approximately $$21 million in investment for Great Families 2020. With matches made by the Edna Martin Christian Center, John Boner Neighborhood Centers, East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center and Englewood Christian Church, this first round of impact for the Near Eastside neighborhood will total $1.9 million. 

For the next round of Great Families 2020 grants, United Way will prioritize proposal submissions representing the initiative’s other target neighborhoods – the city’s Near Westside, Northwest/Midtown and the Far Eastside – which are areas of great need and have promising community development initiatives underway. The timeline for the next round of Great Families 2020 grants is as follows:

  • April 1, 2017: Request for Proposals is posted
  • May 31, 2017: Application deadline
  • Early August, 2017: Round 2 Sub-grants are announced

“The federal grants being awarded through the Social Innovation Fund are an example of how public-private partnerships can help tackle some of the toughest challenges facing families in Indianapolis,” said Senator Joe Donnelly. “These grants will support United Way’s efforts to provide access to early childhood education, workforce development, and financial literacy programs.”

“Great Families 2020 has great promise to make a lasting impact on our most vulnerable families in Indianapolis and provide generations of Hoosiers with the right supports to climb out of poverty,” said Senator Todd Young. “Our families need their federal government, working together with their communities, to focus on how we can help them to successfully climb the ladder out of poverty – not just check them off as another individual served.”

“This is exactly the kind of initiative that reaffirms my goals for our community’s growth,” said Congressman André Carson. “With funding in place from the federal and community level, we can make a difference in the lives of our families who deserve a chance to succeed. This community investment puts us on the right path of helping people find and keep good jobs, helping our children be successful early in school, and making our communities safer and stronger.”

“The legacy of Indianapolis is deeply rooted in partnerships formed through public-private investment,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “I am grateful that with today’s announcement, four eastside human service and educational organizations will have their proposals realized, and I look forward to the impact that will be realized for hundreds of Indianapolis families. Everyone in our community deserves to live in safe, thriving neighborhoods where families have opportunities for success.”

Since its inception in 2009, the SIF has grown into nearly a $1 billion social impact incubator within the federal government, creating public-private partnerships that deliver high-impact, community-based solutions that work. As a result of $341 million in federal grants and more than $672 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has awarded 51 grants to grant making institutions supporting more than 490 non-profits working in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

United Way of Central Indiana was the first organization in central Indiana to receive a SIF grant.



United Way of Central Indiana
United Way of Central Indiana fights for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of all people in central Indiana by creating, managing and investing resources in sustainable solutions to the most stubborn barriers to self-sufficiency. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit uwci.org to learn more.

Social Innovation Fund (SIF)
The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the nation’s volunteering and service efforts. SIF foster public and private collaboration to identify and support sustainable solutions that make a significant impact in transforming communities. For more information, visit NationalService.gov/Innovation.


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