Leadership Foundations Awarded $1 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Urban Church
Leadership Foundations

Leadership Foundations

For Immediate Release:

October 19, 2020

Leadership Foundations (LF) is pleased to announce its receipt of a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand its Charity to Change initiative.

This grant to Leadership Foundations is funded through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The aim of the national initiative is to strengthen Christian congregations so they can help people deepen their relationships with God, build strong relationships with each other and contribute to the flourishing of local communities and the world.

Lilly Endowment is making nearly $93 million in grants through the initiative. The grants will support organizations as they work directly with congregations and help them gain clarity about their values and missions, explore and understand better the communities in which they serve, and draw upon their theological traditions as they adapt ministries to meet changing needs.

LF’s Charity to Change Initiative exists to equip local congregations with the skills, knowledge, and tools essential to build closer connections with their local communities, develop a better understanding of their socio-cultural context, and be responsive to their communities’ most pressing needs. Thanks to this grant from Lilly Endowment, LF will bring to scale its initiative by engaging 75-150 diverse urban congregations based in 15 cities over the course of 3.5 years.  

Founded in 1978, Leadership Foundations (LF) is composed of a global network of local affiliates that drive real and lasting changes in cities through the power of relationships. A robust and growing network, LF is comprised of a central office, in partnership with 40+ affiliates, local faith-based organizations committed to the spiritual and social renewal of the cities in which they operate. LF does this through our “Wheel of Change:” engaging leaders of good faith and good will, building the capacity of others, and developing joint initiatives.

“In the midst of a rapidly changing world, Christian congregations are grappling with how they can best carry forward their ministries,”

said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion.

“These grants will help congregations assess their ministries and draw on practices in their theological traditions to address new challenges and better nurture the spiritual vitality of the people they serve.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Thriving Congregations Initiative in 2019 as part of its commitment to support efforts that enhance the vitality of Christian congregations.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen their pastoral and lay leadership.

Kerri Feider
Director of Communications and Technical Resourcing

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