Through the Thriving Congregations Initiative, Lilly Endowment seeks to help charitable organizations—especially those committed to supporting the vitality of congregations—develop new or strengthen existing programs that equip congregations to:

  • explore and understand the rapidly changing contexts in which they minister
  • gain clarity about their own values and missions
  • draw on practices from their theological and ecclesial traditions to adapt their ministries to their changing contexts.

The aim of the initiative is to help congregations strengthen their ministries and thrive so they can better help people deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other and contribute to the flourishing of their communities and the world.


Charitable organizations in the United States with Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and public charity status were eligible to submit proposals for Thriving Congregations by June 1, 2020. The application window for this initiative is now closed. The Endowment is reviewing proposals from many kinds of organizations that are committed to supporting Christian congregations, and expects to announce grants in Fall 2020.


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