“To discern larger patterns on the dance floor—to see who is dancing with whom, in what groups, in what location and who is sitting out which kind of dance —we have to stop moving and get to the balcony.”


Ronald Heifetz in “Leadership Without Easy Answers,” his well-regarded book on leadership, encourages leaders facing complex challenges to “get on the balcony,’’ a metaphorical place where they can have a better view of what is occurring around them. In other words, the esteemed leadership expert—whose early work on leadership Lilly Endowment was pleased to support—advises leaders to take time to gain a wider perspective on what is happening in their organizations and the contexts in which they conduct their affairs. Read the Executive Message

The planning grant allowed us to take the time and have the resources for thoughtful, intentional planning.

Lori White
DePauw University President
Community Development

Enhancing quality of life in Indianapolis and Indiana and funding selected compelling causes nationwide

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The Gift of Planning

Through the seventh phase of its statewide initiative, Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow, Lilly Endowment provided planning grants for Indiana community foundations to identify and prioritize the most pressing local needs and challenges in their communities and evaluate potential solutions.

Picture of Cyrus Sutherlin cleaning equipment.
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Holistic Approach to Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis

In 2020, with the support of a $50,000 planning grant through Lilly Endowment’s initiative Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis Easterseals Crossroads found out what it needed to do to bring its clients facing financial instability out of poverty and to reach more individuals who need support.


Increasing educational attainment and helping young people reach their full potential

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Strengthening Summer Programs Opens Up College Campuses

With support from Lilly Endowment, Indiana colleges and universities are ramping up their summer camp offerings for youth. In 2021, the Endowment launched Indiana Youth Programs on Campus, a multiyear, $31 million initiative aimed at helping Indiana colleges and universities create new and expand existing educational and experiential on-campus summer programs or camps for young people.

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Gaining Fresh Perspectives to Support More of Today’s Youth

Through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana: National Organizations and Affiliates, nine national youth-serving organizations are working with their Indiana chapters to improve their efforts statewide and serve more young people.

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Advancing Science of Reading in Indiana

In 2022, Lilly Endowment launched in coordination with the Indiana Department of Education complementary efforts to improve reading instruction for children in kindergarten through second grade in Indiana schools through the use of evidence-based teaching practices aligned with the Science of Reading. The Endowment is allocating up to $85 million to fund these efforts.


Enhancing congregational leadership and vitality and public understanding of religion

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Addressing Economic Challenges

Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders was designed to help church-related institutions—especially denominational judicatories, foundations and pension and benefits boards—understand the financial pressures their pastors face and develop approaches to help pastors address those challenges so that they are better able to lead their congregations effectively and to continue their call to serve God.

Arial view of the interior of a church.
Man speaking to crowd.
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Getting ‘Off the Dance Floor’ for New Perspective

With support through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative, Parish Collective is expanding its national network to provide resources and support to congregations as they seek to strengthen ministries that foster relationships and service in their neighborhoods.

Young children smiling and playing game.
2022 Grant Guidelines and Approvals

Lilly Endowment’s grant guidelines and 2022 grant approvals for community development, education and religion.

For a printed edition of Lilly Endowment’s 2022 Annual Report, please email