With assets of $10 billion and annual giving of around $350 million, the Lilly Endowment is one of the largest foundations in America. It was founded in 1937 when three members of the Lilly family donated stock in the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company. Along with education, and development of its home city of Indianapolis and home state of Indiana, “deepening and enriching the religious lives of American Christians” is the other major charge of the endowment.
Enhancing the quality of ministry in the U.S. is a primary focus of its grantmaking. This involves recruiting and training top candidates, and stimulating existing ministers in pursuit of “pastoral excellence.” Strengthening religious education, congregational life, faith formation, and public understanding of religion are also interests of Lilly’s.