Since J.K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., founded Lilly Endowment 87 years ago, we have sought to help individuals reach their full potential, families to thrive and communities to flourish through grants to a wide range of charitable organizations. In keeping with the value our founders placed on continuous improvement at their company, in their individual lives, and in their philanthropic pursuits, we strive to learn how we can better help the organizations we support improve their effectiveness and more fully accomplish their aims, which in turn helps us enhance and expand the impact of our grantmaking.

Read the Executive Message

When you’re doing the work, sometimes you can get so consumed. Even though we work with businesses and schools with our program, we weren’t meeting with the other grantees. The convening allowed me, and I’m sure all the others, to learn about the good work that all the other people are doing.

Evelyn Evans
Directs the child care and afterschool enrichment programs based at New Beginnings Church, which received an EOI grant to implement Yes, I Can program.
Community Development

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

Featured Story

Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis

Leaders from 28 nonprofit organizations funded through Lilly Endowment’s Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis initiative gathered in December 2022 at The ROCK Community Center for Youth and Children on the city’s eastside. The day-long convening was designed to encourage shared learning and to foster mutual support among the organizations.

Featured Story

Strengthening Community Networks

Community conversations have been an important part of the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI), which is funded with an Endowment grant to the National Urban League. IAAQLI leaders have brought together a broad cross section of African American residents to talk about the most pressing challenges and the most promising opportunities to improve quality of life in Indianapolis. Through those gatherings IAAQLI determined the priority areas for the initiative’s grantmaking, which are education, business and entrepreneurship, employment, health and wellness, and housing and homeownership.


Increasing educational attainment and helping young people reach their full potential

Featured Story

Convening Indiana Youth Workers

In August 2023, nearly 230 Indiana youth workers from national youth organizations and their Indiana affiliates funded through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana, convened in Indianapolis. The initiative is helping youth-serving organizations improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of Indiana young people, ages five through 18.

2023 Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana convening.

Enhancing congregational leadership and vitality and public understanding of religion

Featured Story

Telling Compelling Religion Stories

Leaders from museums and cultural institutions around the United States funded through the Endowment’s Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative gathered for a three-day convening at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. They exchanged insights about innovative and varied approaches to exploring religion and spirituality in their collections and exhibitions, education offerings and other public programs.

City Seminary of New York convening for its Thriving in Ministry Initiative work.
Featured Story

Finding Strength Together

In August 2023, leaders from organizations funded through the Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry initiative gathered for three days in Indianapolis. They came to celebrate the variety of organizations and their theological traditions; to understand common challenges; and to encourage one another.

Featured Story

A Prayer Entitled ‘A Love Supreme’

When a quartet of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra performed the music of John Coltrane at the National Museum of American History, it shared one of the most famous works in American jazz, “A Love Supreme.” Less well known is the inspiration for the 1964 composition: Coltrane’s religious awakening. He wrote the piece as a prayer. The concert was one of several events held during a convening of Lilly Endowment’s Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative in Washington, D.C.

2023 Grant Guidelines and Approvals

Lilly Endowment’s grant guidelines and 2023 grant approvals for community development, education and religion.

For a printed edition of Lilly Endowment’s 2023 Annual Report, please email