George and Frances Ball Foundation Awards More than $500,000 to Local Organizations

Children play at Red-tail Land Conservancy’s Dutro-Ernst Woods’ Nature Area. Photo by Maggie ManorChildren play at Red-tail Land Conservancy’s Dutro-Ernst Woods’ Nature Area. Photo by Maggie Manor

By Kelsey Harrington—

MUNCIE—In the first quarter, George and Frances Ball Foundation awarded nearly $550,000 to support a variety of community organizations and initiatives across Muncie and Delaware County. The Foundation’s board, which meets four times per year, reviewed eleven grant applications for consideration of funding.

In addition to serving as a grantmaker in the greater Muncie-Delaware County area, George and Frances Ball Foundation also serves in a convening role as the backbone organization for the collective impact initiative Cradle to Career Muncie. Through this focused effort, the Foundation brings together more than 70 community partners to collaboratively work on improving youth and family, primarily educational, outcomes across Muncie.

While children are awake nearly 6,000 hours per year, only 1,000 are spent in school. The other 5,000 are spent with family and in community. This underscores the importance of plentiful, quality after- and out-of-school supports for young people. With spring’s arrival, many nonprofit partners are preparing for summer and ongoing out-of-school programming for youth. This was reflected in many of the first quarter’s awards from George and Frances Ball Foundation, including:

  • A total of $25,000 to Boys and Girls Clubs of Muncie, Ivy Tech Community College Muncie-Henry County Campus, and Muncie Area Youth for Christ to expand middle school math tutoring services at Northside and Southside Middle Schools
  • $10,000 to Fellowship of Christian Athletes to support local chapters
  • $60,000 to the Innovation Connector to expand STEM programming to satellite locations in an effort to make programming more accessible to students across the community. An additional $43,550 was awarded to Innovation Connector to support existing STEM programming through the Coding Connector
  • A total of $35,472 to Muncie Community Schools for the purchase of ViewSonic display boards, 3D printers, and eSports technology, as well as student incentives to improve math and attendance at the middle school level
  • $180,000 to the YMCA of Muncie for a 3-year scholarship program to support students from East Washington Academy, Grissom Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, and South View Elementary to attend Camp Crosley’s summer camp programs.

In addition to education and youth development initiatives, grants were also awarded to other long-time partners for other purposes aligned to the mission of the George and Frances Ball Foundation. These included:

  • $65,000 to Red-tail Land Conservancy to support 2024 operations and a fundraising match challenge
  • $40,000 to YWCA Central Indiana to operate their Emergency Shelter and Complimentary Overnight Temporary Shelter (C.O.T.S. Stay) program
  • $85,000 to Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity in support of their 2024 housing program goals

To learn more about the Foundation or to find information about 2024 grant opportunities, please visit or find the George and Frances Ball Foundation page on Facebook.


About the George and Frances Ball Foundation

Founded in 1937, George and Frances Ball Foundation was organized exclusively to promote charitable, scientific and educational purposes, with a strong commitment to the needs of East Central Indiana. The family is well known for their philanthropy and for numerous other accomplishments including championing education, collecting items such as rare children’s literature, and creating the Ball Jar Blue Book.

Honoring the family’s interests and legacy, the Foundation reviews and funds grants across 5 different focus areas including education and youth, civic enhancement, arts and culture, wrap-around services, and nature and historic preservation. The Foundation adopted a new place-based proactive grantmaking strategy in 2018, which carries forward the education-focused legacy of George and Frances Ball with efforts to increase educational attainment through a community Cradle to Career Muncie initiative.