George and Frances Ball Foundation Awards Nearly $600,000 To Delaware County Initiatives

Muncie Central High School students collaborate on a group project. Photo by Maggie ManorMuncie Central High School students collaborate on a group project. Photo by Maggie Manor

By Kelsey Harrington, Program Officer

MUNCIE, IN—On May 11th, George and Frances Ball Foundation’s Board of Directors met to review quarterly competitive grant requests. More than $600,000 was awarded to 11 area nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

The Foundation’s proactive grantmaking strategy is focused on educational attainment from cradle to career. The collective impact initiative that helps to carry out this work, Cradle to Career Muncie, is focused not only on academic markers such as kindergarten readiness and third grade reading, but also foundational supports such as social emotional learning and family and community engagement. This quarter, multiple grants were awarded to support these broader efforts, including:

  • Muncie Community Schools received $50,000 for the creation of a Day School Program at the Youth Opportunity Center. This program will support 3rd through 8th grade students with significant behavioral needs, providing them an opportunity to stay in school and receive the specialized support they require.
  • TeenWorks was awarded $50,000 to support their Summer and Pro Programs, as well as their alumni services.
  • Youth Opportunity Center received $31,000 to expand their Family Preservation Services program. This program helps keep families together while meeting them where they are and providing support for them to thrive in the future.
  • Habitat for Humanity was awarded $85,000 to support their home ownership and home repair programs in 2023.
  • Inside Out Community Development Corporation received a total of $60,000 to support operational costs associated with their Fresh Directions for Kids program, as well as to leverage new donor support through a $1:$1 matching grant.
  • Daleville Community Schools was awarded $20,000 for the implementation of both an advanced manufacturing/engineering and a biomedical/health science pathway at Daleville High School.

Muncie Civic Theatre’s Barrier Free Program Participants Rehearse for Upcoming Show. Photo by Maggie Manor

A number of grants were awarded to arts and culture programs and activities. These included:

  • Cornerstone Center for the Arts received $90,000 for general operating support for 2023. Cornerstone’s mission is focused on providing arts education programming that is accessible for the entire community.
  • Nearly $90,000 was awarded to Muncie Civic Theatre to purchase the rights, royalties, and scripts for all 2023-2024 Season productions. Civic produces year-round shows in their Mainstage, Studio, and Youth Theatre programs.
  • Music For All received $20,000 to support the national Summer Symposium, an annual event that brings hundreds of high school students to Ball State University for an intensive, week-long music camp.
  • Youth Symphony Orchestras of East Central Indiana was awarded $11,000 for their Partnership Program which connects school-age musicians with Ball State University School of Music students for a well-rounded learning experience for all involved.

The George and Frances Ball Foundation awards a small number of legacy grants to organizations most historically connected to the family’s engagement and philanthropy. One of these organizations, Riley Children’s Foundation, received a $50,000 grant to support the acquisition of microscopes and equipment for research associated with the Luke Bracken Wiese Fund for Juvenile Diabetes Research. George Ball was one of the original founders of Riley Children’s Hospital, and continued financial support of their internationally recognized research is one way that the Foundation honors this legacy.

To learn more about the Foundation or to find information about 2023 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 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 Initiative.