More Than $700,000 in Grants Awarded by George and Frances Ball Foundation in Second Quarter

Children enjoy out-of-school enrichment programming at Motivate Our Minds. Photo by Maggie Manor.Children enjoy out-of-school enrichment programming at Motivate Our Minds. Photo by Maggie Manor

By Kelsey Harrington—

MUNCIE, IN—The George and Frances Ball Foundation has served the Muncie-Delaware County community and beyond as a funder and thought leader alongside nonprofit organizations for the past 87 years. The founders, George, Frances, and Elisabeth Ball were actively engaged with a number of causes focused on improving livability and educational attainment. Ultimately, this passion and intention is what drives the Foundation’s activities, including grantmaking, today.

Earlier this month, the Foundation’s second quarter grants were reviewed and awarded by the Board of Directors. In total, more than $700,000 was allocated to an array of organizations and purposes. Aligned to the efforts of Cradle to Career Muncie, the collective impact initiative convened by the Foundation’s staff, were grants that included:

  • A total of $40,000 to Motivate Our Minds to support afterschool and summer enrichment programs for local elementary students
  • Funding to Muncie Community Schools for construction costs related to expansion of the high-quality preschool program at Longfellow Elementary School
  • A total of $35,000 to Whitely Community Council to support a summer reading program for Longfellow Elementary students, as well as operational expenses

Second quarter grants were awarded to the following arts and culture partners:

  • A total of $25,000 to Music For All for the Summer Symposium, a nationally recognized, week-long educational opportunity for secondary school musicians and music educators, held at Ball State University
  • Nearly $90,000 to Muncie Civic Theatre for the purchase of rights and royalties for the mainstage, studio, and youth theatre productions for the 2024-25 season
  • A total of $16,000 to Youth Symphony Orchestras of East Central Indiana to support the Partnership Program with the Ball State University School of Music and a pilot Private Lessons Program designed to offer extra, one-on-one instruction with students who could otherwise not afford it

In addition to awards made to local organizations, a grant of $150,000 to be used over the next three years was awarded to Riley Children’s Foundation. George Ball was one of the Hoosier leaders responsible for the fundraising, promotion, and building of the original Riley Hospital for Children. The hospital is celebrating its centennial in 2024. The grant award from GFBF will be leveraged through the Luke Bracken Wiese Fund for Juvenile Diabetes Research at Riley Hospital for Children and used for Type 1 Diabetes research completed by Riley’s award-winning Wells Pediatric Diabetes Research team.

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.

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.