Press Releases | February 3, 2021

The Mind Trust receives $3.45 million from Lilly Endowment to support growth of diverse teacher talent pipelines

INDIANAPOLIS – (February 3, 2021) — The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, today announced it has received $3.45 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support Teach For America Indianapolis and TNTP’s Indianapolis Teaching Fellows, which recruit, develop, and retain high-quality, diverse teachers for public schools in Indianapolis.

“The Mind Trust is grateful for the continued support of Lilly Endowment, which will help our city continue to attract high-quality, diverse educators for Indianapolis schools,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “This support will have a direct, positive impact on Indianapolis students and educators, especially those from Black and Latino communities. We look forward to continuing to partner with our community to ensure every student, no exceptions, has access to a great school.”

Lilly Endowment has awarded The Mind Trust $3.45 million over two years to support Teach for America (TFA) Indianapolis and TNTP’s Indianapolis Teaching Fellows (ITF), two high-impact nonprofit organizations that recruit, train, and support teachers for public schools in Indianapolis. The Mind Trust recruited TFA to Indianapolis in 2007, and TNTP to the city in 2008. Together, the organizations have placed more than 1,600 teachers in Indianapolis schools.

Funding from Lilly Endowment will support the continued growth of TFA Indianapolis and ITF to help sustain and strengthen a pipeline of high-quality, diverse teachers for public schools in Indianapolis. Both organizations develop educators who are prepared to deliver high-level instruction, leading to academic proficiency and growth for Indianapolis students, especially students of color. These two organizations also provide their alumni with support to ensure strong leadership at every level of the Indianapolis education system.

Additionally, a critical focus of both organizations will continue to be recruiting and retaining more teachers of color, especially Black and Latino teachers, to better reflect the demographics of students in their classrooms. TFA Indianapolis’ 2020 cohort consists of 44% of teachers identifying as people of color and TNTP’s 2020 cohort consists of 59% identifying as teachers of color. In the 2017-18 school year, 79% of public school teachers in the United States were white. The majority of students enrolled in schools within IPS boundaries identify as students of color. Multiple studies have shown the positive impact teachers of color can have on student learning and outcomes.


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, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 38 schools, 14 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,600 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at

About Lilly Endowment

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those 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. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.