Press Releases | March 15, 2021

The Mind Trust opens application for Talent Innovation Fund

Funding seeks to support implementation of creative solutions to talent recruitment and retention challenges in Indianapolis schools

Indianapolis – (March 15, 2021) – The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit organization, is now accepting applications for the Talent Innovation Fund, an initiative designed to address the challenge of recruiting and retaining high-performing, diverse talent for public schools in Indianapolis. Districts, individual schools, school networks, or organizations serving students in Indianapolis’ Center Township may apply for funding that will support the implementation of innovative strategies to enhance the city’s public education talent pool.

“Educators have the most knowledge on what brought them to the classroom and what keeps them interested in their profession,” said Sara Marshall, Senior Director of Talent at The Mind Trust. “The Mind Trust believes the Talent Innovation Fund can be a catalyst for effective educator recruitment, development and retention strategies created in close connection to teachers, school leaders, and students.”

Initiatives or programs supported by the Talent Innovation Fund will address the need for Indianapolis schools to recruit and retain excellent instructional talent, provide opportunities for development of current instructional staff, and increase diversity of instructional staff to better reflect student demographics.

In 2020, The Mind Trust awarded $109,000 to five recipients that implemented system and school-wide initiatives that elevated teacher leaders, recruited teachers of color, and sharpened district hiring and retention practices. Since 2016, The Mind Trust has awarded more than $700,000 in Talent Innovation Funds to local schools and education organizations.

“Schools need high-quality, diverse teachers, staff, and school leaders to equitably serve all students,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “In Indianapolis’ Center Township, our teaching force does not reflect the racial diversity of our student body, and statewide, schools are facing recruitment challenges. The Mind Trust is proud to continue offering the Talent Innovation Fund as a way for Indianapolis schools and school networks to confront these challenges with innovation and action.”

The Talent Innovation Fund application is open from Monday, March 15, 2021 to Friday, April 16, 2021. Applicants may be from an individual school or from a local district, school network, or organization that serves K-12 students in Center Township. School applicants may be from Indianapolis Public Schools, IPS Innovation Network Schools, or public charter schools within Center Township.

Funding decisions will be announced by the end of May, with implementation occurring during the course of the 2021-2022 school year. For application resources and more information about the selection process, please visit


About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit organization 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 support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 29 schools and helped place more than 1,500 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at