Lilly Endowment Inc. was founded in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. for the “promotion and support of religious, educational or charitable purposes.” Throughout its history, the Endowment has sought to nurture the human spirit, intellect and character. When once asked what the main purpose of the Endowment should be, Eli Lilly said, “I hope we could help improve the character of the American people.”

Our founders viewed character and human development in the context of community and encouraged unselfish concern for the welfare of others. The value they placed on philanthropy, which was in large part motivated by their religious faith, was expressed by Eli Lilly when he said: “Owing everything we are to the past and present generations, each of us must be willing to give unstinted help to others.”

Open Initiatives:

College and Community Collaboration: Through College and Community Collaboration, Lilly Endowment is offering interested Indiana colleges and universities the opportunity to apply for grants to help them envision and undertake collaborative projects with community stakeholders that enhance the quality of life and place in their surrounding communities. Learn More

Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program: Through the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program, Lilly Endowment invites Indiana’s K-12 teachers, principals, assistant principals, librarians/media specialists, guidance counselors and social workers to dream big and create renewal experiences that will strengthen their commitment to education. LEARN MORE

Thriving Congregations Initiative 2023:  Through the Thriving Congregations Initiative, Lilly Endowment seeks to help congregations thrive by strengthening ministries that help people deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the flourishing of their communities and the world. Learn More


2021 Annual Report: Respecting the Doers

2021 Annual Report: Respecting the Doers

The Endowment supports organizations that are committed to their missions and have deep knowledge about the needs of those they serve. That is why we respect and value their insights about the most pressing challenges they face and what they need to do to address them so they can enhance, expand and sustain their impact.

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