As Lilly Endowment marks its 75th anniversary, this report reflects on the values and insights of its three founders: J.K. Lilly and his sons, Eli Lilly and J.K. Lilly Jr. In their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company, and in their philanthropy, both as individuals and founders and leaders of the Endowment, they recognized over and over the seminal importance of the individual. The founders believed that cultivating and nurturing the character and potential of individuals are essential to the success of businesses and other organizations and to the nourishing of communities.
Throughout the years, the Endowment's leaders have steadfastly sought to align its grantmaking with the founders' intentions. In designing its grant programs and determining which grant requests to approve, the Endowment's current board and officers faithfully try to discern whether a particular course of action under consideration would comport with their understanding of the founders' values and vision for the Endowment.
In this annual report, several stories illustrate the view of the founders as expressed in the Endowment's history of its first 20 years: "The roots of the good society are not in charters and buildings but in the men and women who made them." Some of the stories are accounts of how Endowment funding supported a major renovation of an important facility. Others depict the use of Endowment funds to strengthen or expand a charitable organization's programs and operations.
Each story shows the vision, hard work, determination and virtue of the many talented individuals who conduct the programs and initiatives the Endowment funds and the impact they have on others' quality of life. We are grateful for their efforts and the efforts of all of our grantees.