Ball Brothers Foundation Awards Rapid Grants to 20 Organizations

Muncie, IN. Photo by: Mike RhodesMuncie, IN. File Photo

MUNCIE, IN—A new youth beekeeping project, clean-up of a brownfield site, and a literature in nature project are all receiving funding boosts through Ball Brothers Foundation’s Rapid Grant program. Since February, Ball Brothers Foundation has awarded nearly $80,000 in Rapid Grants to 20 organizations.

“Ball Brothers Foundation initiated the Rapid Grant program several years ago with the intention of being able to take advantage of unique opportunities and to respond quickly to community needs,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer. “A number of projects funded so far this year have centered on the environment and outdoor education, issue areas that have long been of interest to the Ball family. We are excited about the ways these grants are engaging children, college students, and families in interacting with and caring for nature.”

A $4,000 grant to Motivate Our Minds (MOMs) has helped the children and youth-serving organization to start a new environmental education experience in “apiculture”—beekeeping. Through BBF support, MOMs has established two student-run bee hives. Students have researched the role of pollinators and the decline of bee populations, visited with expert beekeepers and their swarms, and monitored the variation in the students’ two hives for differences in health, progress, and productivity. Eventually, the students hope to harvest and sell their honey at Minnetrista’s Farmers Market.

Continued work to remediate a former salvage yard on the city’s eastside—known as the “Car Doctor’s site”—also received support from BBF. Nearly four years of ongoing work by BSU student groups has transformed the southern portion of this brownfield site. Attractive parkland with turf grasses, prairie planting, a hiking trail, and ornamental trees have replaced unsightly debris and invasive vegetation.  A rapid grant of $5,000 was awarded to Ball State University for heavy equipment to remove debris from the north end of the property. Removal of this debris will allow for installation of a clay cap and soil cover to further the transformation of the northern section.

In celebration of Indiana’s Bicentennial, the statewide nonprofit group Indiana Humanities is hosting “Next Indiana Campfires” at nature sites across the state. The “Campfires” begin with a scholar-led trek by foot, bicycle, or boat which features readings from Indiana authors followed by a campfire meal and discussion about the intersections of literature and nature. A BBF Rapid Grant of $2,500 has helped to support this program in East Central Indiana. The first of two “Next Indiana Campfires” in the region was held in June at McVey Memorial Forest. The second event is scheduled for August 14 and includes a bicycle ride on the Cardinal Greenway with the campfire gathering to take place at Red-tail Nature Preserve. The events are designed for ages 12 and up. Please note space is limited and RSVPs are required at

Other organizations that received Rapid Grants during the first half of the year included the following: Ball State University, Guardian Scholars Program Ambassador, $2,500; Ball State University, Motivate Our Minds’ Participation in Women Working in Technology Conference, $650; Ball State University, Indiana Public Radio Program Support, $5,000; Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Fourth Grade Fieldtrips in Pursuit of State Pride, $5,000; Cancer Services of East Central Indiana, Facing Cancer Book, $750; City of Muncie, Neighborhood Investment Committee Marketing and Branding Project, $5,000; City of Muncie, ScoutMuncie Survey Phase II, $5,000; College Mentors for Kids, Ball State Mentoring, $5,000; Delaware Advancement Corporation, 2016/2017 FAFSA Workshops, $5,000; Historic Farmland USA, HVAC System, $2,500; Muncie Arts and Culture Council, MACC Member Website and Outreach, $5,000; Muncie Arts and Culture Council, Muncie MusicFest, $5,000; Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, 2016 Muncie Three Trails Music Series, $5,000; Muncie Police Department, Respirator Masks, $5,000; Shafer Leadership Academy, Nonprofit Shared Services Research, $4,200; United Day Care Center, Audio/Visual Equipment for Classrooms, $5,000; Whitely Community Council, Neighborhood Revitalization, $1,500.

Details about Ball Brothers Foundation’s Rapid Grant program and other funding opportunities are available on the foundation’s website at

With assets exceeding $160 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually awards approximately 100 grants. The Muncie-based foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest foundations still led by members of its founding family. BBF gives priority to projects and programs that enhance life in BBF’s home city, county and state. 2016 marks BBF’s 90th year of grantmaking.

Ball Brothers Foundation Background Information


James A. Fisher                                  Chairman & CEO

Jud Fisher                                            President & COO

Frank Petty                                          Vice Chairman

Terry L. Walker                                   Secretary

Tammy Phillips                                   Treasurer (ex-officio)

Douglas J. Foy                                    Assistant Treasurer & Assistant Secretary


Latest Five Years of Grant Payout

  • $4.7 million
  • $5.5 million
  • $6.2 million
  • $6.3 million
  • $6.7 million


Grant Focus Areas

Arts and Culture          Education

Environment               Health/Wellness

Human Services           Public Affairs/Society Benefit


Current Public Initiatives

Early Childhood Development

Emergency Management

Outdoor Pursuits

Quality of Place

Workforce Development


No. of Individual Board Members (voting members): 13 (9 Ball family, 4 non-family)


Other Notes

Often confused with other local foundations with similar names: Ball State University Foundation, Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation, George and Frances Ball Foundation, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation. These organizations have different purposes, missions, agendas, staff and boards.

Ball Brothers Foundation

Ball Brothers Foundation