Trust Makes Funding Changes in Response to Economic Hardships

The community’s economic hardships have changed a 10-year policy at the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust with the Trust’s announcement it will not accept requests for grants to capital campaigns for buildings or endowment purposes. The moratorium redirects these funds to human-service organizations providing food, shelter and clothing to citizens experiencing the greatest difficulties.

“With these exceptional times, the Trustees felt certain that Nina Pulliam would have wanted to assure as much funding as possible is directed to services directly touching the lives of families needing assistance in her hometown of Indianapolis,” said Frank E. Russell, Trust Chairman. “Last October we made the decision to redirect our 2009 capital funding to the Trust’s newly created Emergency Funding Initiative.”

“The Trust developed an RFP specific to organizations on the front line making a difference for our city’s at-risk individuals and families,” explained Michael R. Twyman, Ph.D., director of the Trust’s Indiana grants programs. “These organizations provide emergency and case management services for low- and moderate-income persons. They are the first responders in a weakened economy and also are more likely to experience shortages in meeting their own budgets.”

“All the community centers are reporting a significant increase in the number of people seeking assistance and support. Recent job losses and/or homelessness, both due to being laid off as well as home mortgage foreclosures, are the primary reasons for these occurrences,” Twyman added.

Last December, the Trust made its first emergency initiative grants when it joined Lilly Endowment Inc., Central Indiana Community Foundation, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation Inc. and United Way of Central Indiana in creating a $3.2 million fund to respond to a rising demand for help to local people hardest hit by the economic meltdown. The fund targets frontline community centers, faith-based organizations and homeless prevention providers who are “first responders” in helping people deal with the worsening economy.

“Our staff asked the Trustees to approve these unique initiatives that go beyond the Trust’s established grantmaking processes and deepen the Trust’s commitment to be a responsive grantmaking partner,” Russell explained.

“These are challenging times. And, our grantees are doing an exceptional job of bringing relief to those in the greatest need, furthering Nina Pulliam’s legacy in her hometown through their daily work and ongoing commitments to their life-changing missions.”

Russell added that Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars, the Trust’s signature scholarship program at Ivy Tech and IUPUI, continues to bring the dream of a college education to student populations traditional scholarship programs overlook. Since the program’s inception, it has touched the lives of 142 men and women in Indianapolis with 44 graduates. The application deadline for cohort 9 is April 1.

Since 1998, the Trust has awarded more than $77 million to 400 nonprofit organizations in Indiana in the areas of Helping People in Need, Protecting Animals and Nature and Enriching Community Life. Visit ninapulliamtrust.org for more information about the Trust and its programs, including the Nina Scholars program.

Preliminary Applications are Due May 5, 2009

Welcome to Connections!

Our 1st Round of grants for 2009 brought together 23 wonderful Indiana nonprofit organizations and introduced our emergency funding initiative directed to 14 Indianapolis community centers on the front line serving families severely affected by the economic downturn.

As we announced last fall, in our effort to provide the best possible service and responsiveness to community needs during these difficult economic times, the Trust placed a moratorium on capital campaign and endowment requests for 2009. This moratorium allows the Trust to direct more funding to those families and individuals most in need of basic services.

The Trust’s decision translates to March grants of $2,268,725 distributed to Indianapolis organizations with almost 90 percent of total dollars directed to Helping People in Need, the largest percentage distribution to this category since the Trust began grantmaking in 1998. In addition to awarding grants totaling $1,568,725 to 23 nonprofit organizations participating in the Trust’s 1st Round of funding this year, we announced the Trust’s Emergency Funding Initiative, which infused an additional $700,000 into 14 Indianapolis community centers.

Grantees, Trustees and staff gathered at the Indianapolis Urban League, a former grant recipient, for an informal reception to celebrate the awards.

Please join me in congratulating our March Indiana grant recipients.

As always, we welcome your comments and ideas for Connections


The Trust’s first round of 2009 grant awards in Indiana totals $1,568,725 and represents every area of the Trust’s mission. For more detailed information on Indiana grants, go to descriptions.

The break down by program category is:
  - Helping People in Need - 19 organizations - $1,247,725
- Protecting Animals and Nature - 8 organizations - $125,000
- Enriching Community Life - 5 organizations - $149,000
Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana, Inc. $60,000 *Indianapolis Institute for Families, Inc. $100,000
Dayspring Center, Inc. $75,000 National Audubon Society $80,000
The Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis $75,000 Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, Inc. $75,000
Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. $65,000 *Networks Financial Institute at Indiana State University $99,000
Gennesaret Free Clinic $60,000 Rebuilding the Wall, Inc. $50,000
Handi-Capable Hands, Inc. $37,500 St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, Inc. $75,000
Independent Residential Living of Central Indiana, Inc. $60,000 Society of St. Vincent de Paul $200,000
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc. $53,000 Southeast Community Services $55,000
Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. $50,000 Step-Up, Inc. $85,000
Indiana Natural Resources Foundation $45,000 Training, Inc. $50,000
*Indiana Special Olympics, Inc. $94,000 *Women In Motion, Inc. $10,000
*Indianapolis Children's Choir $15,225 *Denotes first-time grant recipient  
Indianapolis Emergency Funding Initiative Recipient
Neighborhood Multiservice Centers

For more detailed information, go to descriptions
John H. Boner Community Center $50,000 Hawthorne Social Service Association, Inc. $50,000
Christamore House, Inc. $50,000 Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Center $50,000
Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, Inc. $50,000 La Plaza, Inc. $50,000
Concord Neighborhood Center $50,000 Edna Martin Christian Center $50,000
GFay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center
at Crooked Creek
$50,000 Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center $50,000
Flanner House of Indianapolis $50,000 Shepherd Community, Inc. $50,000
Forest Manor Multi-Service Center, Inc. $50,000 Southeast Community Services $50,000
    Copyright 2009,
The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust