Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation based in Indianapolis. The Endowment was created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly, Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.
In keeping with our founders’ wishes, we support the causes of community development, education and religion. We afford special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and that strengthen financial self-sufficiency in the charitable sector.
We fund significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, though we maintain a special commitment to our founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.