A perspective piece by Jud Fisher—
MUNCIE, IN—Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Change takes time and determination from an entire community. This belief is alive and well in Muncie. The positive changes we’ve witnessed over the past century are due to the collective effort of countless dedicated people who were passionate about improving the place they called home. Through world wars, pandemics, economic depression, and the ups-and-downs common to many manufacturing-oriented Midwest cities, Muncie has never given up hope for a brighter future.
At Ball Brothers Foundation, we are laser-focused on localized grantmaking in our hometown. Our recently updated strategic plan reaffirms our long-standing commitment to Muncie, Delaware County, and East Central Indiana—the place where the Ball brothers lived, worked, and raised their families when they moved to Muncie over a century ago.
Ball Brothers Foundation is humbled to be a part of so many revitalization efforts over the years. We’ve seen our once empty and quiet downtown again become a bustling hub for great food and shopping. Vacant buildings and parking lots have transformed into our favorite coffee shops, exciting new restaurants, and outdoor concert venues and parks. We’ve witnessed the White River overcome its previous reputation of being polluted and soiled, becoming a beacon of life and recreation. We’ve been inspired by tireless citizens and community leaders who believed that we could do more and be better. Every day, we continue to be impressed by the dedication and determination shown by this community.
Ball Brothers Foundation is driven by our love for Muncie and Delaware County. Because this is our home, we are deeply attuned to the community’s most pressing issues and the organizations that are working to address local needs. That history, familiarity, and depth of experience allows our staff and board to provide support to the community in ways that—we hope—go beyond the grant check. We convene and connect people, and we support nonprofit leaders who are sustaining key programs and developing new initiatives to respond to changing community needs. The impact of local grantmaking lasts long after funding is granted. The change we hope to foster will impact our community for generations to come.
In 2026, Ball Brothers Foundation will celebrate its 100thyear of grantmaking and leadership. As one of the state’s oldest and largest foundations, we remain committed to supporting a range of causes that improve life right here in Muncie, Delaware County, and East Central Indiana. We’ll continue to put our dollars—and our voice—behind local and regional efforts that bolster our arts and culture scene, expand educational opportunities, support vital human services, protect the environment, improve health, and create vibrant public spaces.
As we look to the next hundred years, our foundation stands with this community. We’ve walked alongside this community in good times and bad times for nearly a century, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for the city and the region.
About Ball Brothers Foundation
Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. In 2022, the foundationpaidout $10 million in grants to support arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services, and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in the foundation’s home city, county, and state.