Lilly Endowment

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Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 "by three members of the Lilly family -- J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli -- through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company."

The gifted stock remains the "financial bedrock of the Endowment" and the foundation stresses that it is a "separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location."

On its website the foundation states that it "exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector." [1]

The foundation has been a major funder of a range of think tanks.

Funding in 2004 For Think Tanks & Others

Total – Community Development Division Grants $75,968,263 [2]

Writing in Counterpunch Joan Roelofs noted that "...the Lilly Endowment supports the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru, headed by Hernando de Soto, which offers free-market remedies for poverty." [4]







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