Sycamore Services announces grant from Lilly Endowment

Danville,  IN – Sycamore Services, Inc., has received a grant of 7.5 million under Lilly Endowment Inc.’s latest round of financial sustainability grants to central Indiana human services agencies.

This grant is one of 10 grants totaling $80 million that are designed to help agencies that serve persons with disabilities and vulnerable children and youth enhance their long-term impact by building stronger financial futures. Lilly Endowment believes that the programs and services these agencies provide help central Indiana be a more caring community. 

Sycamore Services will use the grant to establish an endowment fund and development program, upgrade technology and enhance staff training, recruitment and retention efforts.

Sycamore Services works to make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities, and others experiencing daily challenges, by providing individualized training and services to increase independence and enhance quality of life. Services include: employment training and assistance, work services, community and day services, residential/supported living programs, children’s services, recreation therapy, respite care, behavior management, interpreter services and transportation.

Funding from Lilly Endowment will help Sycamore Services improve efficiencies in workflow and services to participants, update technology to enhance services and create a more robust on-boarding and staff training curriculum.

“We are thrilled to be included as a recipient of this generous grant,” says Sycamore Services president & CEO, Patrick Cockrum. “For almost 57 years, our organization has worked to improve opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Indiana. We want to be able to continue to provide essential services well into the future, and the Lilly Endowment grant will allow us do that in innovative ways that will positively impact the individuals we serve.”

This financial sustainability grant and the grants to the nine other agencies complement Lilly Endowment’s regular support of human services organizations through direct grants and grants to the United Way of Central Indiana. According to Lilly Endowment, these agencies are undercapitalized for the level of assistance they provide. Many of them rely on public sector support, and all of them look to philanthropy to help fund their efforts. They have a history of stretching every dollar at their disposal.

“The staff and leadership of these agencies work every day to help children, adults and families who are among the most vulnerable residents in central Indiana,” said Ace Yakey, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “These grants don’t take the place of ongoing support for day-to-day operations. Instead, the funds will help the agencies build financial infrastructures that will position them better to weather financial challenges and serve more people more effectively.” 

This grant was approved under the third round of grants Lilly Endowment has made since 2015 to support the long-term sustainability plans of charitable organizations based in central Indiana. In 2015, the Endowment made grants to 14 arts and cultural organizations totaling $100 million. In 2016, the Endowment made grants totaling $100 million to support the long-term sustainability plans of 15 human services organizations that are primarily focused on providing services in low-income neighborhoods in Indianapolis.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private family foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr., and his sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While these gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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