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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.”

Special Announcements

Urban League and African American Coalition of Indianapolis are requesting proposals for projects designed to improve the lives of African Americans in Indianapolis
The National Urban League, Indianapolis Urban League and African American Coalition of Indianapolis have partnered to create a place-based initiative, the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI). The initiative is made possible by a $100 million Lilly Endowment grant to the National Urban League. On March, 15, 2022, the IAAQLI launched requests for proposals for the first round of funding, which will support projects focused on business and entrepreneurship, education, health and wellness, employment, racial equity in housing development and home ownership, and economic mobility.LEARN MORE

Lilly Endowment COVID-19 Updates
As the challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic evolve, updates about our grantmaking and how the pandemic may affect our initiatives will be posted here.

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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2023 Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program

2023 Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program

Lilly Endowment is proud to launch the 36th round of its Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program and expects to award approximately 100 grants, each totaling up to $12,000, for 2023.

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