February 22, 2023
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Initiative Seeks to Strengthen Quality of Life and Place in Indiana Communities


Indianapolis – Through its new initiative, College and Community Collaboration, Lilly Endowment Inc. is offering interested Indiana colleges and universities the opportunity to apply for grants to help them envision and undertake collaborative projects with community stakeholders that enhance quality of life and place in their surrounding communities. The Endowment has allocated up to $300 million for this competitive initiative, which is open to Indiana colleges and universities that offer four-year degree programs and have physical campuses in the state.

“We have heard from many Indiana college and university leaders that their institutions are increasingly interested in collaborating with various leaders and organizations to improve the economic, cultural and social vitality in their surrounding neighborhoods and communities,” said the Endowment’s president, Jennett M. Hill. “We believe that such collaborations can enhance their communities for the benefit of residents and local businesses as well as for the college or university’s faculty, staff and students.

The Endowment is inviting 35 eligible colleges and universities to participate in the two-phase initiative.

In Phase 1, higher education institutions can apply for noncompetitive planning grants of up to $250,000. This grant opportunity is designed to support colleges and universities and community stakeholders as they work together to identify and assess compelling needs and promising opportunities and envision and develop strategies to address them.

In Phase 2, colleges and universities can apply for competitive implementation grants of up to $25 million. To be competitive, proposals should, among other criteria, demonstrate that the college or university engaged a broad array of community stakeholders in the planning phase to ensure that the needs and perspectives of diverse and underrepresented residents were considered in the development of the proposed project and that the project complements other efforts to improve quality of life and place in the community.

Learn more about the initiative here.

College and Community Collaboration builds on the Endowment’s longstanding grantmaking to develop the state’s intellectual capital and enhance the vitality of Indiana communities through its education and community development divisions. Since 1990 through several phases of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative, the Endowment has supported community foundations in their efforts to strengthen quality of life in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. Throughout the same time frame, it also has funded several initiatives to strengthen in various ways Indiana’s higher education institutions. Since 2007, the Endowment has supported highly collaborative, regional projects involving higher education institutions, community foundations and other organizations in regions across the state through the Endowment’s Strategic Community Advancement Initiatives.

“Lilly Endowment’s founders cared deeply about the wellbeing of communities in their home state of Indiana,” Hill said. “And they believed that education is essential for individuals and families to thrive and their communities to flourish. We hope that this initiative reflects those values and furthers those beliefs.”

About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.