Each year, in addition to our normal grantmaking for individual organizations, we provide on an invitational basis funding to organizations through various special initiatives. These initiatives are usually framed by a request for proposals that sets forth an initiative’s aims, guidelines, application procedures, award criteria, timing, grant amounts and so forth.

We often offer special initiatives when we believe that several organizations working toward a particular aim in their own way and with their own capacities will increase progress toward the aim’s accomplishment. Accordingly, for many of our special initiatives, we provide opportunities for our grantees to convene and share their perspectives and experiences in addition to technical assistance, relevant research and evaluation support, and other helpful resources.

Related Initiatives

Advancing Science of Reading in Indiana is an Endowment initiative to help interested Indiana colleges and universities expand and enhance the use of evidence-based instructional methods aligned with the Science of Reading (SoR) in their teacher preparation programs. The initiative’s aim is to improve significantly the reading abilities of Indiana students. Through ASRI, the Endowment has allocated up to $25 million for planning and implementation grants available to colleges and universities that wish to participate in this initiative. The initiative will complement a statewide effort recently undertaken by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to improve reading achievement in K-12 schools by helping current teachers implement SoR-aligned methods in their classrooms.Learn more

Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students aims to significantly increase the number of Indiana K-12 students who are emotionally healthy realize academic success, graduate from high school, obtain valuable postsecondary credentials necessary for meaningful employment, and who are prepared to compete and prosper in the global society in which they will live and work. All Indiana public school corporations and charter schools are eligible to participate in the Counseling Initiative.LEARN MORE

Enhancing Opportunity In Indianapolis is a $93.6 million grant initiative with the aim of helping a significant number of people in Marion County living in or near poverty make progress toward lasting economic self-sufficiency. The Endowment made 28 grants to fund highly collaborative projects in Indianapolis that represent new ideas and collaborations, as well as those that expand the impact of existing efforts.LEARN MORE 

Fostering Character Through Children’s Museums is a pilot initiative launched in 2023. Through it, the Endowment aims to assist museums serving children and families as they explore ways that can help foster character traits such as honesty, courage, humility, gratitude and compassion so that children can develop into engaged, responsible and caring adults and citizens. Grants so far support the planning activities of 23 invited museums throughout the United States as well as Association of Children’s Museums, which is serving as a coordinator and convener for the group.

Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) is a series of statewide initiatives and programs that began in 1990 to help establish and strengthen community foundations in Indiana and build their capacity to support the needs of their local communities. GIFT has helped community foundations build unrestricted endowments and fund special projects and has inspired others to give through matching grants. GIFT also has encouraged community foundations to develop their leadership capacity so they can better understand and address the needs and aspirations of all the residents of their counties.LEARN MORE

Indiana Youth Programs on Campus (IYPC) is a Lilly Endowment initiative designed to help Indiana colleges and universities in their efforts to create new or expand and enhance existing high-quality, on-campus programs for Hoosier youth, ages 5 – 18. Through this initiative, the Endowment is allocating a total of $28.8 million for planning grants and program implementation grants. Indiana public and private colleges and universities that have a physical campus in the state are eligible to participate.LEARN MORE

Thriving in Ministry Initiative seeks to support charitable organizations (especially organizations committed to supporting pastoral leaders in congregations) located in the United States in developing new or strengthening existing programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as role models and guide them through key leadership challenges at critical moments in their ministerial careers. The primary aim is to help pastors thrive in congregational leadership and thus enhance the vitality of the congregations they serve.LEARN MORE 

Thriving Congregations Initiative seeks to help congregations thrive by strengthening ministries that help people deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other and contribute to the flourishing of their communities and the world. In 2019 and 2020 the Endowment made grants to 115 organizations from a wide variety of Christian traditions and diverse communities that support congregational vitality. In 2023, the Endowment has announced a new round of funding.LEARN MORE