June 13, 2019
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment Issues 2018 Annual Report


INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment’s 2018 annual report reflects on the value its founders placed on research and innovation both at their business, Eli Lilly and Company, and at the Endowment. The report highlights some of the imaginative approaches its grantees are taking to address societal challenges and further important causes in its three areas of grantmaking: religion, education and community development.

The report, which includes a complete list of 2018 grants, is available here.

Stories in the 2018 report illustrate how:

  • The Endowment’s nearly $50 million arts and cultural initiative is helping leverage the power of arts and cultural programs to enliven neighborhoods and the larger community in Indianapolis for years to come.
  • The latest phase of the Endowment’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative is seeking to inspire a new era of leadership among Indiana’s impressive array of community foundations. In 2018, the Endowment launched the seventh phase of GIFT by allocating $125 million to provide matching grants to help strengthen Indiana community foundations statewide and planning and implementation grants to encourage them to imagine how they can play even more effective leadership roles in addressing high priorities in their communities.
  • The Salvation Army is executing a new way to break the generational cycle of poverty. Pathway of Hope, which was piloted in 2013 with a $4.8 million Endowment grant, uses a case-management approach to help families become self-sufficient. A $10 million grant in 2018 is supporting expansion of the program nationwide.
  • The Endowment is encouraging collaboration among Indiana education grantees to enhance student career success. In fall 2018, the Endowment convened representatives from the 96 K-12 school corporation and charter school grantees under its Comprehensive Counseling Initiative and the 38 Indiana colleges and universities funded under Round III of its Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations, along with Indiana business, civic and governmental leaders, to discuss how they could together address more effectively this important aim.
  • Innovative efforts of AgriNovus Indiana and National FFA are lifting up 21st century careers in agriculture and agbioscience. An Endowment grant to CICP Foundation is helping AgriNovus connect with students and educators in Indiana to strengthen awareness of and preparation for these careers.
  • The Project for Sacred Places, an Endowment-funded collaboration between the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Partners for Sacred Places, is helping congregations with historically significant buildings imagine new ways the buildings can be used to revitalize their communities across the country.
  • The Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry initiative is helping organizations nationwide that care deeply about the well-being of pastors implement promising programs to help pastors thrive in congregational ministries by addressing various challenges they face at pivotal times in their lives.

Since the Endowment began in 1937, it has distributed nearly $10.4 billion in grants to 9,926 charitable organizations. Of the $10.4 billion, $4 billion supported education (38 percent), $3.7 billion supported community development (36 percent), and $2.7 billion supported religion (26 percent). At the end of 2018, the Endowment’s assets totaled approximately $15.1 billion.

During 2018, the Endowment paid grants totaling $504.5 million. Community development grants accounted for $252.3 million (50 percent), education grants accounted for $124.4 million (25 percent), and religion grants accounted for $127.8 million (25 percent).

As in previous years, most of the grants were paid to organizations in Indiana – a total of $347.8 million (69 percent). Of the payment total of $504.5 million, $178 million (35 percent) was paid to non-Marion County grantees in Indiana and $169.8 million (34 percent) to Marion county (Indianapolis) grantees. Organizations outside of Indiana received $156.7 million (31 percent), mostly from religion grants.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly Sr. 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 the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion.  The Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion.  In keeping with the wishes of its founders, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.