What We Do

Strengthen the capacity of local leaders, residents, businesses, and organizations to build resilient, inclusive, and sustainable communities through research-based resources and processes.

Contact Us

Purdue Extension Marion County
Community Development
(317) 275-9305
1202 E 38th Street
Discovery Hall Suite 201
Indianapolis, IN 46205


Strong communities have many capable leaders and an actively engaged population. Extension’s leadership programs help emerging leaders develop the knowledge, skills, and vision needed to lead effectively in 21st-century communities. In addition, its cultural competence programs expand the capacity of community practitioners to work effectively across diverse communities.
For more than 20 years, the award-winning Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing program has been helping Hoosiers improve their communities by leveraging grants of all sizes. Participants of the Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing workshop draft and polish a grant proposal and learn how to navigate the grant process. Both beginners and experienced grant writers learn to develop ideas into winning proposals, identify and build relationships with potential funders, and speak and write confidently about how their proposal will make an impact.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans or Kayla Wright

Confident, skilled, and knowledgeable leaders are needed to inspire, lead, and foster dynamic and viable organizations and communities in Indiana. Purdue Extension’s Community Leadership Program is a locally hosted leadership development course for adults who want to make a difference in their communities. Through this series of interactive modules, participants develop their leadership capacity and learn about the people, organizations, and institutions that make up their communities and how they can serve their communities more deeply.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans.

Facilitation is the art and science of helping groups achieve a goal by organizing and managing the process. Facilitative leaders have the skills, tools, and awareness to draw out ideas, encourage practical discussion, and guide groups to make inclusive decisions and actionable plans. The Facilitative Leadership workshop teaches facilitation tools and techniques in a supportive “learning-lab” environment.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Kayla Wright.


This is a three-hour, in-person workshop to inform community members about their roles and responsibilities as volunteer volunteers on nonprofit boards. The program covers the phases of the Board Development Cycle, focusing on board member recruitment, engagement, and renewal. Community members with various board experiences, from novices to seasoned volunteers, will learn from each other during this interactive workshop.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans. 

In this 3-hour workshop, participants learn about their own conflict styles, the different types of conflicts, and strategies to diffuse high-heat situations.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Kayla Wright.

In this 90-minute workshop offered in partnership with the county clerk, participants gain an understanding of the process of filing to run for elected office. They have a chance to connect with election officials and party leaders and build an appreciation of the importance of running an ethical campaign.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Kayla Wright.

Purdue Extension has prepared extensive data profile reports for each county in Indiana. Local educators can offer a 60-minute presentation to walk through the report with your group and give some context and comparison for some of the data points.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Kayla Wright.


Participants in this customizable workshop learn about meeting management roles and best practices for setting an agenda and tangible objectives. Additional components can include meeting logistics and structure as well as basic facilitation skills.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans.


In this 90-minute webinar, participants will gain tips and resources for leading participatory meetings online.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans.


Purdue Extension aims to grow and improve jobs in Indiana by championing thriving communities, a prosperous economy, and a sustainable infrastructure. This thematic area provides evidence-based, community-led programming for local and regional organizations as well as traditional programming for businesses and individuals. The ultimate goal is to assist local communities and key decision-makers to collaborate on policies and growth strategies in target sectors to drive economic growth for counties, regions, and all of Indiana.

The Purdue Center for Regional Development/Purdue Extension Community Development has partnered with Utah State University Extension to offer the Remote Work Professional certificate course, a 1-month specialized training that combines online work with interactive workshops. This educational program is designed to equip workers with the tools and skills to work from home as remote workers, freelancers, or entrepreneurs. Specific objectives and outcomes for each module of the course are identified at the beginning of each set of modules. The program consists of nine core modules, delivered in a self-paced, online format, and four interactive workshops.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans.

Purdue Extension Community Development’s Digital Ready initiative advances the capacity of small businesses to strengthen their knowledge and application of broadband strategies. Through interactive workshops and online courses led by a statewide team of Purdue trainers, participants learn about the importance of the digital economy, how to incorporate digital strategies into the workplace, and how to build technical knowledge.

If you are interested in this program, please contact Dallas Evans.

Communities are more resilient and thriving when local leaders and community members have the knowledge, skills, and engagement to plan for the future and respond to existing opportunities and challenges. Community planning extension programs support informed decision-making and increased participation in local planning activities.

From improving access to fruits and vegetables to educating people on how food is grown, community gardens offer many benefits to the place you call home. Grass to Garden is a Purdue Extension Signature Program co-led by members from both the Agriculture and Natural Resources and Community Development Educator teams to bring Indiana residents together and teach tactics on how to start a community-based garden. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the Purdue Extension Grass to Garden Signature Program aims to provide information focused on more than just growing plants by strengthening agricultural and community development efforts, resulting in healthier communities with improved access to local food.
If you are interested in this program, please contact Brooke Alford.

Upcoming Marion County Events


Dallas Evans

Dallas Evans

Community Development
Extension Educator- Community Development
Kayla Wright

Kayla Wright

Community Development
Extension Educator - Community Development
Kayla enjoys providing Hoosiers with information that positions them to have greater success with civic engagement and professional development. Kayla is works on programs like Beginner's Guide to Grant Writing, Facilitative Leadership, and Running for Office. She enjoys exploring local coffee shops and hanging out with her cat in her off time.