Through its initiative, College and Community Collaboration, Lilly Endowment offered Indiana colleges and universities the opportunity to apply for grants to help them envision and undertake collaborative projects with community stakeholders that enhance the quality of life and place in their surrounding communities.

The Endowment recognizes that colleges and universities often serve as anchor institutions in their communities, playing a crucial role in the vitality of their towns, cities, counties and regions. Through this initiative, the Endowment seeks to help interested higher education institutions collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders to enhance their communities for the benefit of residents and local businesses as well as for the institutions’ faculty, staff and students.

The Endowment allocated up to $300 million for this competitive, two-phase, five-year initiative.


The 35 Indiana colleges and universities that offer four-year degree programs and have physical campuses in the state were eligible to apply for grants through this initiative.

  • In the noncompetitive Phase 1, interested eligible colleges and universities submitted proposals for planning grants of up to $250,000.
  • In the competitive Phase 2, interested eligible colleges and universities submitted implementation proposals of up to $25 million each that may be used for up to a five-year period. In December 2023, the Endowment approved implementation grants to six colleges and universities in Indiana totaling $145.8 million to support community development projects jointly envisioned by the institutions and local stakeholders to improve quality of life and place in their communities. Read news release