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I n community development, education and religion – the three causes the Endowment was established to support – we seek to identify experienced organizations and emerging efforts that have the potential to address effectively important challenges and needs. We then help the organizations realize this potential by providing funding, consulting and technical assistance, research and evaluation support, and connections to other organizations with relevant aims and experience. In all cases, we strive to keep foremost in mind the impact these organizations have and will have on the individuals, families and communities they seek to serve.
Much of our grantmaking reflects our founders’ commitment to their hometown, Indianapolis, and their home state of Indiana. We also make substantial contributions to various efforts of national significance, especially in the field of religion. Outside the field of religion on an invitational basis, we support programs that enhance higher education opportunities for African-Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans throughout the country. We also support key organizations in the nation’s philanthropic infrastructure and selected research and educational programs important to the advancement of giving and volunteering. Additionally, we fund by invitation disaster relief and recovery efforts and public policy organizations throughout the country.
While more Hispanics are graduating from college, large attainment and workforce gaps remain.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) reports that even with increasing college enrollment rates for Hispanics, 33% are more likely to be working in a low-skilled job than non-Hispanic whites.
In 2018, Lilly Endowment granted $30.7 million to HSF for the Hispanic Career Pathways Initiative which will help support students during each step of their path through graduation and find quality employment in their chosen fields.
Programs supporting congregations serve a broad spectrum of Christian traditions in the United States.
More than 65 different Christian denominations are served by the programs supported through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. Those traditions represent Anabaptist, Baptist, Episcopal, evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Reformed, Restoration, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as congregations that describe themselves as nondenominational.
In 2019 and 2020, Lilly Endowment made grants to 115 religious organizations that support congregational vitality to help them develop and strengthen programs that equip congregations to better understand the context in which they minister, gain clarity about their own values and mission, and draw on practices from their theological traditions to adapt their ministries.
Far too many people in Indianapolis are battling the challenges of poverty.
According to the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year Estimates report, the five-year (2013–2017) average poverty rate in Marion County was nearly 20% – an average of approximately 180,000 individuals each year.
Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis is a new Endowment initiative designed to support the development and implementation of strategies that have the potential to help a significant number of people overcome the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity.