Strategic Plan 2021–2024


Our Mission

Our mission is to engage diverse communities to create vibrant public places, helping people and nature thriveTM.

Our Vision

We see a beautiful Indianapolis that is loved, cared for, and ecologically rich. A city defined by strong neighborhoods, inspired places, and a clean, flourishing environment. We will engage and empower people to improve environmental equity throughout the city.

Strategic Plan Summary

In February 2021, the Board of Directors of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) approved the organization’s next Strategic Plan, covering the next four years (2021 – 2024). The guiding principle of this plan is a focus on improving environmental equity in Indianapolis.

A data-driven analysis has shown that some neighborhoods in Indianapolis have access to fewer environmental benefits like trees, green space, and clean streets than others. KIB will work alongside residents to thoughtfully deploy resources that aim to improve equitable access to these benefits.

The Plan includes three key goals:

  1. To improve access to environmental benefits, so people can thrive in nature. This includes not only improving access to existing and new green spaces and waterways, but also improving biodiversity. KIB will focus not only on reducing the amount of litter, but also to reduce the act of littering in the first place.
  2. To broaden neighborhood representation and community input into our organization’s decision making. KIB will create new community stakeholder groups to give voice and agency to different neighborhoods, to increase education, and create awareness. Community members will have influence on KIB’s decisions about where and how to bring our resources to a neighborhood.
  3. To ensure long-term sustainability of the organization. KIB will work toward diversifying its income sources, build cash reserves, and increase endowment dollars to support the first two goals.

Goal 1

Equitably improve access to environmental benefits so people can thrive in nature.

Objectives & Key Results

OBjective A.

Improve interaction with natural features in socially vulnerable neighborhoods.

Key Results

  1. Increase the number of unique addresses in socially vulnerable neighborhoods that are within a half-mile of a publicly accessible, well cared-for greenspace and/or high impact landscape by 33%

  2. Increase new visual and physical access points along waterways in socially vulnerable neighborhoods by 28%.

  3. Accomplish 4 new application-based Community Forestry projects in neighborhoods where tree canopy is lower than 30%.

Objective B.

Strengthen biodiversity to help nature thrive throughout Indianapolis.

Key Results

  1. Continued stewardship of 100% of invasive species removal projects across the city.
  2. Increase the acreage of native landscapes installed across the city by 35%.
  3. 95% of all trees planted are Indiana native trees.

Objective C.

Reduce littering behavior to improve neighborhood cleanliness and health.

Key Results

  1. 25% less observable litter along major thoroughfares.
  2. 20% less pedestrian and vehicular litter in neighborhoods.
  3. 25% less observable litter along waterways.

Goal 2

Broaden neighborhood representation and awareness to address community-driven needs.

Objectives & Key Results

Objective A.

Expand opportunities for input from neighborhoods to influence how and where KIB allocates its resources to improve environmental equity.

Key Results

  1. Improve engagement by 15% from households in identified key neighborhoods (based on census tracts) to provide input and feedback regarding KIB activities.

  2. Ensure that 7 distinct neighborhood advisory committees each have 10 or more individuals participating annually in KIB decision-making processes.

  3. Increase the Program investment score in identified key neighborhoods (based on census tracts) by 10% per year.

  4. Increase diversity on the Board of Directors to match service area/city demographics.


Increase opportunities for neighborhood participation in KIB programs.

Key Results

  1. Increase repeat volunteers by 6%.
  2. Implement strategies to address each of 5 key barriers to volunteering: 1) transportation, 2) language, 3) physical ability/accessibliity, 4) childcare, and 5) awareness.

  3. Increase the number of specialized volunteers by 30%.

Objective C.

Broaden knowledge of KIB programming among neighborhood residents and partners.

Key Results

  1. 30% more Community Forestry and GreenSpace applications are received.
  2. 20% increase in people engaged in KIB educational content and events.
  3. Engage 100 youth annually through service learning employment opportunities.

Goal 3

Improve long-term financial sustainability to allow for equitable allocation of KIB resources.

Objectives & Key Results

Objective A.

Diversify sources of annual revenue to allow for more resources to be allocated in neighborhoods that need and want them most.

Key Results

  1. Increase individual philanthropy by an average of 10% year-over-year, and major gifts to $500,000 annually.
  2. Increase corporate philanthropy by an average of 5% year-over-year.

Objective B.

Grow financial reserves to ensure stability during economic downturns.

Key REsults

  1. Grow endowment to $1 million.
  2. Grow cash reserves to six months of operating expenses.

Objective C.

Secure funds for social programs to help people thrive.

Key results

  1. Secure funding to support 50% of the cost of stakeholder and community engagement.
  2. Secure funding to support 50% of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts.

Key Neighborhood Identification Tool (KNIT)

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has developed a Key Neighborhood Identification Tool (KNIT) to help us identify neighborhoods in the city where KIB resources can have the greatest positive impact. Using this tool, KIB has identified 10 Focus Areas where social vulnerability is highest, tree canopy coverage is lowest, litter is highest, and KIB’s past involvement and use of resources has been lowest.

Many of KIB’s programs are largely driven by specific contracts and community applications. Focus Areas, as defined by KNIT, are where KIB aims to build relationships and trust, and begin to implement programs in cooperation with neighbors, to collectively make a lasting impact toward a more environmentally equitable city.

The geographies of these Focus Areas are determined by using data from the U.S. Census. KIB uses Census Tract data because their areas approximate the size of a neighborhood, and their borders tend to have simple and basic geometry.

The KNIT Score consists of four major components. All Census Tracts are assigned a rank for each component, and the sum of the rankings is the KNIT Score. The components are as follows:

  • Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) data (derived from the Thrive Indianapolis Plan)
  • Percent Canopy Coverage (from KIB’s 2013 LiDAR dataset found at:
  • Concentration of litter and illegal dumping complaints (from the Mayor’s Action Center)
  • KIB Program Score (a measure of the concentration of KIB efforts in the past)

The KNIT Map below highlights the areas that have the highest overall KNIT Score. These Focus Areas will be where KIB will focus on deliberate relationship building and community engagement in the hope that the organization can work with community members to put KIB resources to use.