Ball Brothers Foundation Awards Rapid Grants Totaling Nearly $100,000     

Loading cover crop seeds into a hi boy at the Hults Environmental Learning Center in Albany. Photo provided.Loading cover crop seeds into a hi boy at the Hults Environmental Learning Center in Albany. Photo provided.

By: Jud Fisher—

Muncie, IN—Over twenty non-profit organizations were awarded Ball Brothers Foundation Rapid Grants totaling nearly $100,000 during the second half of 2017.

“BBF’s Rapid Grant program allows our foundation to quickly respond to funding requests in Muncie and East Central Indiana. Non-profit organizations can apply for up to $5,000 in funding, and organizations typically receive funding approval or denial within a week of submitting a proposal. We understand that unanticipated needs often arise, and Rapid Grants are an excellent way for us to channel resources to help non-profits to address critical issues, innovate, and take advantage of new opportunities,” commented Jud Fisher, BBF President and COO. “Though these grants are small compared to many others that we award throughout the year, these grants often have an outsized impact.”

Among the organizations receiving funding were Huffer Memorial Children’s Center and the YMCA of Muncie for infrastructure improvements. A $1,821 grant to Huffer allowed the Level 4 childcare center to replace a furnace in one of the center’s classrooms. Huffer has experienced several unforeseen maintenance expenses over the past several months, and BBF funding will help ensure that the center is prepared for cold temperatures this winter.

The YMCA will benefit from technology improvements through a $5,000 grant for a comprehensive data tracking system. The new data system will integrate membership tracking, children’s programming, fundraising, and financial management systems. When fully integrated, the system will allow staff working at YMCA’s three branches, Apple Tree YMCA Child Development Center, and Camp Crosley to share real-time information. It will also allow administrative staff to make informed decisions about membership, facilities, finances, and programming. BBF funding specifically helped to offset the costs of implementation, conversion of existing data, and on-site training.

A number of other Rapid Grants supported unique opportunities and innovative efforts, including a grant to Ball State University. Ball State University will use a $1,631 Rapid Grant to create a “showcase farm” at the university’s Hults Environmental Learning Center which is located in Albany, Indiana. BSU students will gain hands-on experience planting and studying new varieties of cover crops. These crops are used to protect soil during the winter to prevent soil erosion and to protect waterways from excess nutrients which can contaminate drinking water, harm aquatic life, and cause algae blooms. BSU students and faculty will host “field days” in spring 2018 to educate famers, landowners, agriculture professionals, and conservation specialists about the use of cover crops and other practices that integrate stewardship, conservation, and preservation of wildlife habitats into farming.

Cover crop planting team. Photo provided.

Cover crop planting team. Photo provided.

A limited number of Rapid Grants are available each year between February 1-November 30. The BBF Rapid Grant process is competitive; in 2017, approximately half of the applications submitted to BBF were awarded funding.

Other Rapid Grants awarded during the second half of the year included:

Arts and Culture

  • Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Colonnade Room Sound Equipment, $4,790
  • Cowan Community Schools, Blackhawk Brigade Band Uniforms, $5,000


  • Back to School Teachers Store, Mid-Semester School Supply Distribution, $4,405
  • Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, In Pursuit of State Pride: A 4th Grade Field Trip, $2,500
  • Boys and Girls Club, ICE League 2018, $5,000
  • Cowan Community Schools, 7th Grade Challenge Education at Camp Advenure, $2,230
  • Delaware Advancement Corporation, 2017-2018 FAFSA Labs, $5,000
  • Jay County Robotics, Competitive Robotics for the Masses, $2,600
  • Kidz Korner Child Care Center, Kidz on the Go Vehicle Purchase, $5,000
  • Muncie Housing Authority, Computer Education at Price Hall, $3,634
  • Ross Community Center, ICE League 2018, $5,000
  • Roy C. Buley Community Center, ICE League 2018, $5,000
  • YMCA, ICE League 2018, $5,000


  • Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District, Wilderness Park Matching Grant, $5,000
  • Red-tail Land Conservancy, Bridging to the Future, $5,000
  • Muncie Community Schools, Camp Adventure Renovations, $2,850
  • Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District, Whitewater River Watershed Matching Grant, $5,000

Human Services

  • A Better Way Services, Passage Way Housing Transition, $2,500
  • Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, “Meat” the Need, $2,500
  • Jay-Randolph Developmental Services, AEDs for Group Homes, Centers, Industry, $4,323
  • Youth Opportunity Center, Professional Development and Capacity Building, $2,500

Public Society Benefit

  • Chesterfield-Union Township Fire Department, Water Rescue Dry Suits, $1,200
  • Women in Business Unlimited, Catalyst for Empowering Women Symposium $2,500

A full listing of grants awarded in 2017 is available at

Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Annually, the foundation awards approximately $7 million in grants supporting 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 BBF’s home city, county and state.