Funding Support

Promise Zones don’t receive direct funding, but benefit from technical assistance, federal staff support, and access to preference points for grant programs. Preference points provide preferred access, if stipulated under program rules.

What is a Promise Zone Designation?
The Promise Zone designation provides priority consideration for grants submitted to federal agencies by organizations within the Promise Zone or organizations planning work that will benefit citizens who live in the Promise Zone. However, the designation does not provide grant funding for individuals.

John Boner Neighborhood Centers (JBNC) as the lead organization, helps to coordinate grant applications and is responsible for ensuring grant applications meet qualified Zone needs. JBNC will certify applications if needed by granting agencies.

Preference Point Policy: In the event that multiple organizations apply for the same grant, JBNC and the implementation partners will encourage partnership between those organizations.

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How to apply for promise zone funding support

Step 1: Develop project plans and partners

Applicants may submit a short narrative to the Promise Zone team in order to obtain feedback on their proposal. 

Step 2: Research federal funding opportunities

The federal government has many opportunities for funding through their various agencies. You can research federal agencies to determine which offer grants that could fund the project. 

Step 3: Complete the federal agency's grant application

When viewing the grant opportunity on there are sections that indicate preference or priority consideration. If the funding source indicates preference for Promise Zones, you will then complete step for requesting certification. Letters of support are also given to projects that align with Promise Zone goals regardless of preference. The Promise Zone can also provide letters of support and guidance for Opportunity Zone preference and priority consideration.

Step 4: Submit a IndyEast Promise Zone Application

Please complete all fields to the best of your knowledge, if you have any questions, reach out to the Promise Zone team. 

Preference Points Overview

The ability to access preference points in federal funding competitions is one of the key benefits of the federal Promise Zone designation.  During the year participating federal agencies will announce grant opportunities that include a preference for proposals from Promise Zone communities.  You can find a list of participating federal agencies here.  The federal agencies determine how many preference points are awarded to Promise Zone community applicants.  The John Boner Neighborhood Centers, in consultation with the City of Indianapolis and other implementation partners, is responsible for certifying that the application for funding aligns with the goals and objectives of the Promise Zone.

Preference point certification will be provided to an organization that can demonstrate how their program/project meets one or more of the Promise Zone goals and sub-goals.

When more than one request for preference point certification is received for the same application, the Promise Zone team will encourage local groups to partner whenever possible.

The process for reviewing and certifying proposals can take up to four weeks, so please plan accordingly.

Organizations who receives grants must agree to participate in evaluations of the Promise Zone, submit reports on the outcomes of their project and are strongly encouraged to become involved in the Promise Zone Working groups. 


Stay updated on funding opportunities

Join our Grants Mailing list to stay updated on grant writing workshops and potential funding opportunities to support your project. Opportunities are federal and non-federal. 

View the latest Promise Zone Grants Newsletter.