Lilly Endowment Bankrolls $100M In Social Services

Lilly Endowment, Inc., announced $100 million in grants to 15 human service organizations to improve long-term impact through endowments and other strategies. The grants complement the endowment’s regular support of human service organizations through direct grants and grants to United Way of Central Indiana.

The organizations will use these grants to invest in sustainability plans they have developed, including the creation of endowments and strategies to strengthen their capacity. Many of the organizations are undercapitalized for the level of services they provide.

Indianapolis, Ind.-based Lilly Endowment selected organizations for this initiative that are critical to community efforts to serve at-risk residents in their neighborhoods, according to a press release announcing the awards. Ten of the organizations receiving grants are neighborhood community centers across Indianapolis that provide comprehensive services to help children, families and seniors. Thirteen of the 15 organizations are United Way agencies and all but one will use portions of their grants either to establish an endowment or significantly fortify an existing endowment.

Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana is the result of a merger between Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Goodwill of Southern Indiana. The new organization will not use any of its grant to add to an endowment but instead use some of the funds to support a five-year capacity-building initiative in connection with the recent merger.

The amounts of grants vary depending on annual operating budget of each organization, ranging from $5 million to $7.5 million and $10 million. The 15 organizations receiving grants are:

  • Christamore House, $5 million
  • Concord Center, $5 million
  • Edna Martin Christian Center, $5 million
  • Flanner House, $5 million
  • Hawthorne Community Center, $5 million
  • Horizon House, $5 million
  • La Plaza, $5 million
  • Southeast Community Services, $5 million
  • Families First, $7.5 million
  • Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, $7.5 million
  • Second Helpings, $7.5 million
  • Shepherd Community Center, $7.5 million
  • Gleaners, $10 million
  • Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana, $10 million
  • John H. Boner Community Center, $10 million

“The grants offer transformative opportunities for the organizations to secure strong financial futures,” said Ace Yakey, vice president for community development at Lilly Endowment. “Unlike support for day-to-day operations, these funds will help each organization strengthen its financial infrastructure so it can serve more people over the long-term and weather unexpected financial challenges,” he said. “These grants do not alleviate the need for the organizations to attract ongoing support for their efforts. Indeed, we hope the grants will help them more effectively attract support for their important work.”