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Lilly Endowment Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-05-11

At A Glance

Lilly Endowment Inc.

2801 N. Meridian St., P.O. Box 88068

Indianapolis, IN United States 46208-0068

Telephone: (317) 924-5471


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $9,995,102,248

Total giving: $333,630,649






Incorporated in June 1937 in IN - Founded by three members of the Lilly Family- J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli Lilly with gifts of stock in Eli Lilly and Co., the family pharmaceutical business. Gifts of stock in Eli Lilly and Co. remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment. The Endowment, however, is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location

Purpose and Activities

The endowment supports religion, education, and community development, with special emphasis on initiatives that benefit youth, that foster philanthropic leadership among nonprofit institutions, and that promote the causes of philanthropy and volunteerism.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Community Development

The program exists to serve institutions that can make a vital difference in the quality of life for Indianapolis and Indiana. The endowment helps support the physical, intellectual, and human service elements critical to flourishing communities. The thrust is to build the capacity of local leadership to pursue local solutions to local problems. The areas of focus are: 1) Indianapolis initiatives, including arts, culture, and preservation, human services, community development and revitalization, and youth development; 2) Indiana initiatives, including community leadership development, United Ways, community foundations, and global perspective and competitiveness; 3) National initiatives, activity is limited to research, evaluation or demonstration projects of significance to Indiana-based institutions; and 4) Economic public policy initiatives, limited to a number of highly circumscribed programs that may advance free market principles and democratic processes. More information is available at


The education grantmaking program seeks to advance all areas of education in the state of Indiana. Special emphasis is given to higher education and to programs designed to increase the number of Indiana residents who have a bachelor's degree. The endowment also funds the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program to promote the personal and professional renewal of Indiana schoolteachers and education professionals. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program awards full-tuition scholarships to Indiana students attending Indiana colleges and universities. The endowment also supports on an invitational basis efforts to improve higher education opportunities throughout the country for African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans. Occasionally, policy-oriented research projects are funded on major educational issues. Visit for more information.

Fundraising and Philanthropy

The endowment supports programs (nationally and in Indiana) to increase the charitable giving among Americans; funds efforts to create a body of reliable knowledge about giving and fundraising and to encourage scholarly pursuit of the subject. .

Grants to Individuals Program

Fellowships for professional and personal renewal to K-12 public and private school educators who are residents of IN.

Leadership Education

The endowment supports and nurtures good stewardship among the trustees and executives of the types of charitable organizations it serves; funds scholarship on the characteristics of able trusteeship and good governance of nonprofit organizations.

Matching Gifts

The endowment awards incentive grants to encourage employee giving.


The primary aim in this field is to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians, principally by supporting efforts to encourage, support and educate a new generation of talented pastors and to strengthen current pastors in their capacities for excellence in ministry. The endowment seeks to help congregations be vibrant, healthy communities of faith, and encourages efforts that make available and accessible the wisdom of the Christian tradition for contemporary life. The endowment supports seminaries, theological schools and other educational and religious institutions that share these aims. Support is also given for projects that strengthen the contributions which religious ideas, practices, values and institutions make to the common good of our society. The endowment funds national and Indiana clergy renewal programs, administered by Christian Theological Seminary, that enable congregations to support their pastors for an extended time of renewal and reflection. Please visit for information on other major religion programs, such as the Program for Theological Exploration of Vocation, and for connections to other Endowment-funded religion projects.

Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program

The program supports creative projects that are personally renewing and intellectually revitalizing to individual Indiana teachers and education professionals. Personal renewal and individual intellectual growth continue to be the primary goals of this program. If the proposed projects also will contribute to students' engagement and learning, applicants are encouraged to discuss that aspect in their applications. The endowment will grant up to 100 Teacher Creativity awards of $10,000 each. Proposals will be judged on substance, clarity, originality and feasibility of the project. Proposals simply to develop new course outlines or lesson units typically do not reflect sufficient imagination, creativity, or thought to merit an award. The endowment also encourages teams of eligible individuals to submit collaborative proposals. If a collaborative project is funded, each participant may receive a $10,000 fellowship. Contact: Barbara S. DeHart, Prog. Dir., tel.: (317) 916-7345. See website for eligibility requirements and application procedure.


The endowment supports direct-service organizations in central Indiana, building the capacity of intermediary organizations throughout the state, and provides professional development for the staffs and volunteer leadership of these organizations. The endowment cofounded and participates in the Summer Youth Program Fund, a collective of grantmakers that fund summer youth programs in Marion County.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Community and economic development
  • Disasters and emergency management
  • Education
  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Graduate and professional education
  • Higher education
  • Historic preservation
  • Housing development
  • Human services
  • Museums
  • Philanthropy
  • Public policy
  • Religion
  • Sports and recreation
  • Theology
  • Tribal and indigenous religions
  • Voluntarism
  • Youth development
  • Youth organizing
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • American Indians
  • Children
  • Children and youth
  • Ethnic and racial groups
  • Female adults
  • Female children and youth
  • Female infants and toddlers
  • Female young adults
  • Females
  • Homeless people
  • Infants and toddlers
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Male adults
  • Male children and youth
  • Male infants and toddlers
  • Male young adults
  • Males
  • Military personnel
  • People of African descent
  • People of Latin American descent
  • People with disabilities
  • People with intellectual disabilities
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People with psychosocial disabilities
  • Seniors
  • Students
  • Young adults

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $9,995,102,248 (market value)

Gifts received: $5,777,206

Expenditures: $357,168,131

Total giving: $333,630,649

Qualifying distributions: $345,253,407

Giving activities include:

$327,976,029 for 608 grants (high: $18,500,000; low: $1,286)

$950,000 for 95 grants to individuals of $10,000 each

$4,704,620 employee matching gifts

$12,230 for 3 foundation-administered programs