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.
More biomedical research talent and research funding are coming to Indiana.
In 2017, the Indiana School of Medicine received $135 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, a 40 percent increase over the previous four years.
Supported by a $25 million Lilly Endowment grant in 2017, the IU School of Medicine is creating 10 new biomedical research positions through the Indiana Collaborative for Talent Enrichment.
Theological schools are helping more of their students graduate with less debt.
In 2016, 50 percent of seminary students graduated with no educational debt, up 4 percent from the previous year.
In 2012 and 2013, Lilly Endowment made grants to 67 theological schools to support efforts to help reduce or eliminate their students’ educational debt.
The Indianapolis arts sector enhances quality of life and generates strong economic impact for the region.
According to Arts and Economic Prosperity 2017, a study from Americans for the Arts on which the Arts Council of Indianapolis collaborates, nonprofit arts groups generated more than 14,000 full-time jobs in central Indiana in 2016.
Through regular general operating support for the Arts Council of Indianapolis and several Indianapolis arts organizations, Lilly Endowment seeks to foster a vibrant arts scene that contributions to quality of life throughout Indianapolis.