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.”
Lilly Endowment is deeply saddened by the tragic events of last week and the long history of profound racial inequities that has led to protests over the past few days in downtown Indianapolis and across the country.
But we are heartened by the faithful leadership of those who, having felt personally the impact of racial inequity, have urged vigorous yet peaceful protests to bring about change.
Lilly Endowment supports the #INthistogether campaign. Social distancing is the most important, effective tool we have to defeat COVID-19—and a growing coalition of Indiana-based partners is committed to equipping everyone in our state with the knowledge and the resources to stay connected and motivated. Here’s how you can join the fight, play your part and keep us working together.
More than $7 million in grants are helping 46 central Indiana human services organizations assist residents as they face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. United Way of Central Indiana announced this first wave of grants made through the COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. Lilly Endowment helped launch the fund.
Lilly Endowment Inc. launched a new grant initiative to encourage the creation and expansion of promising, collaborative strategies to help people in Indianapolis living in or near poverty make progress toward lasting economic self-sufficiency. Through Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, the Endowment will provide a total of up to $50 million in grants in 2020.