T hroughout their lives, J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons – Eli and J.K. Jr. – demonstrated a belief in helping communities grow stronger by supporting charitable organizations. They created Lilly Endowment in 1937, and it reflects their commitment to the causes of community development, education and religion, which remain at the center of our grantmaking today. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. We maintain a special commitment to our founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Grant Guidelines and Types

We generally consider proposals in three areas of interest: community development, education and religion. We also pursue initiatives that benefit youth and that promote the causes of philanthropy and volunteerism.

Individual Renewal
Through renewal programs for teachers, pastors, artists and arts administrators, and people working in social service sectors, we seek to nurture professionals in nonprofit fields so they can continue to enrich the lives of their communities.
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Indy Summer Youth Programs are supported through the Summer Youth Program Fund, a collaboration between the Endowment and other Indianapolis funders to support day camps, enrichment programs, overnight camps and employment opportunities to help young people thrive during the summer months.
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We fund the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program, which awards full-tuition scholarships to selected students from each county in Indiana to help them pursue a baccalaureate degree at any accredited public or private Indiana college or university.
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Open Initiatives
View Lilly Endowment initiatives open to eligible organizations that support work within one of the Endowment’s three main areas of focus: community development, religion and education and youth.
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