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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.”


Recent Announcements

$100 million grant to National Urban League will help improve the lives of African Americans in Indianapolis
With support from a $100 million grant from Lilly Endowment, the National Urban League has announced the newly created Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Renewal Initiative, a place-based effort that will provide unique funding opportunities to address challenges facing Indianapolis’ African American community. The initiative is a collaboration between the National Urban League, the Indianapolis Urban League and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis. 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.

Fund to Help Youth Serving Organizations in Indiana face COVID-19 Challenges

Fund to Help Youth Serving Organizations in Indiana face COVID-19 Challenges

Lilly Endowment has announced a fund of up to $20 million to help youth serving organizations in Indiana address some of the challenges they face because of the COVID-19 pandemic. View our Request for Information to learn more.

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Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program

Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program

Lilly Endowment is pleased to announce the 34th round of its Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program. Approximately 100 grants, each totaling up to $12,000, will be awarded in 2021. Especially as educators face mounting and evolving challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCFP renewal program plans to support educators through new experiences, exploration and reflection. 

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#INthistogether Campaign

#INthistogether Campaign

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.

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