Press Releases | January 11, 2019

The Mind Trust receives $24 million in local and national grants to support high-quality schools and education talent

Indianapolis – (January 11, 2019) – The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, today announced that it has received three grants totaling $24.42 million from The City Fund, Lilly Endowment Inc., and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation to support the growth and success of high-quality schools and education talent pipelines in Indianapolis over the next two to three years.

These grants bring the total funding raised by The Mind Trust in 2018 to nearly $30.4 million. With these funds, The Mind Trust has secured 55 percent of the funding it hopes to invest in Indianapolis over the next three years. Since its founding in 2006, The Mind Trust has raised over $108 million to reinvest in schools, leaders, and organizations that improve education opportunities for Indianapolis students. Approximately 54 percent of this funding has come from local Indianapolis sources.

“These grants reflect Indianapolis’ continued progress toward giving every student, no exceptions, access to a great education. We are immensely grateful for this generous support from our local and national philanthropic community,” said Brandon Brown, The Mind Trust’s CEO.

The City Fund’s grant of $18 million will partially fund The Mind Trust’s Fellowship programs, which empower talented school leaders to launch new charter schools and Innovation Network Schools. The grant will also support The Mind Trust’s work to engage communities impacted by education change and the organization’s school supports strategy, which provides existing schools with access to the academic and strategic professional development they need to attain and sustain success.

“Indianapolis is one of the best-positioned cities in the country to transform its education system to meet the needs of all children. This grant will provide The Mind Trust with the resources to accelerate the progress Indianapolis has made empowering educators with flexibility and accountability,” said David Harris, Partner at The City Fund, a recently launched national education nonprofit.

Lilly Endowment’s grant of $3.42 million will provide vital support to Indianapolis’ schools through Teach For America and TNTP’s Indianapolis Teaching Fellows program. Teach For America and TNTP work to train, place, and support high-quality teachers in Indianapolis classrooms. Since 2007, the organizations have placed more than 1,400 educators in schools across Indianapolis and established themselves as leading pipelines for talented new teachers, especially teachers of color. Alumni of both programs include education leaders across numerous education organizations in Indianapolis, including Indianapolis Public Schools, The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation, and the State Board of Education. Since 2007, Lilly Endowment has made grants to The Mind Trust totaling nearly $21.2 million to support Teach For America’s efforts in Indianapolis and TNTP’s Indianapolis Teaching Fellows program.

“Both Teach For America and TNTP bring inspired and engaged teachers to Indianapolis schools,” said Sara B. Cobb, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “These teacher preparation programs strive to improve the learning experiences of countless Indianapolis school children and their families. We are pleased to support their efforts.”

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation’s grant of $3 million will provide critical operating resources to fuel The Mind Trust’s work to support the planning, launch, and long-term success of new schools; to ensure high-quality educators are supported to lead in Indianapolis classrooms; and to promote community conditions that support school success. The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation has supported The Mind Trust with $14.7 million in grants since 2006.

“The Mind Trust and its many partners have worked relentlessly to strengthen the educational options for Indianapolis students and their families. We share The Mind Trust’s belief that all students deserve access to a great school and are pleased to renew our support of their important work,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, President and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

Since its founding, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 24 schools, including 18 Innovation Network Schools launched through its partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools and the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation. Over the past two years, Innovation Network Schools supported by The Mind Trust have achieved significant improvements in ISTEP+ student passage rates in the midst of stagnant results statewide, as well as consistent increases in student enrollment.

The Mind Trust also actively engages Indianapolis parents and families, facilitates partnerships between communities and schools, and regularly convenes community discussions on public policy and other education issues.

More recently, The Mind Trust launched a school supports strategy that gives existing schools access to nationally-regarded professional development focused on helping teachers and schools implement the full rigor of Indiana’s academic standards; strategic planning support for high-performing single-site schools as they become successful multi-school networks; and executive leadership development for leaders of multi-school networks.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the supports they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 24 schools and helped placed more than 1400 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at