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Adriene Davis
Center on Philanthropy

Gretchen Wolfram
Lilly Endowment

Last modified: Tuesday, November 21, 2006

$40 million Lilly Endowment grant to help support Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

Largest grant in center's 20-year history will benefit nonprofits nationwide

Nov. 21, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University will receive a $40 million endowment grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help underwrite permanently a portion of its future operating expenses, Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert and Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins announced today (Nov. 21) at a press conference in Indianapolis.

"We are deeply grateful for this extraordinary gift. This is the largest grant the Center on Philanthropy has received since its founding in 1987. Over the past two decades, the Center has become internationally renowned as a leading source of research-based knowledge about philanthropy and the management of nonprofit organizations," Herbert said. "The Center could not have risen to its current leadership role in the philanthropic community without the generous support of the Lilly Endowment. Today's gift positions the Center for even greater levels of achievement."

The Center, which is a part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), was founded in 1987 with initial funding from Lilly Endowment.

"Philanthropy and nonprofit organizations address a variety of important issues in communities throughout the world -- from hunger relief and disease prevention to education and from matters of faith to artistic expression. Through research, professional education, and fundraising and management training, the Center on Philanthropy helps ensure that nonprofits have the capacity and knowledge to pursue their missions successfully," said Robbins. "It contributes greatly to our understanding of why and how people give of their time, talent and resources. Lilly Endowment is making this grant to help the Center remain at the cutting edge of thoughtful, informed and effective philanthropy in Indiana and across the globe."

At a time when donors and funders are demanding that nonprofits become more accountable than ever, the Center's research, teaching, training and public affairs programs help nonprofit professionals and volunteers ensure that their organizations accomplish their missions and are ethical, efficient and well-run. Its Fund Raising School trains more than 8,000 professionals and volunteers annually to develop the funds that are the lifeblood of communities' nonprofit organizations. The Center's services for individual philanthropists and foundations teach them to be more strategic about their giving to create maximum impact. Its communications and public affairs programs help the news media, nonprofit professionals, policy makers and the public better understand the crucial role nonprofits and philanthropy play in our daily lives, as well as the issues that affect them.

The Center supports one of the largest concentrations of graduate students in the country studying philanthropy and nonprofit management at IUPUI and IU Bloomington. Its Ph.D. in philanthropic studies program, the first of its kind, will yield top-notch executives for nonprofit organizations and the only university faculty members anywhere trained specifically to teach in this sought-after field.

"We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for the strong vote of confidence in the Center that this grant represents," said Gene Tempel, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. "Giving to the Center benefits far more than just a single organization; it has a multiplier effect that helps ensure more effective giving, more effective fundraising and more effective nonprofit organizations literally around the globe. These funds will form a permanent base from which we can continue to help provide leadership to a rapidly developing field and play a key role in preparing the next generation of philanthropy professionals and scholars."

Investment returns on the $40 million endowment grant will generate about $2 million annually, replacing a similar amount of annual operating support that the Center currently receives under a previous three-year grant from Lilly Endowment. A portion of the new grant will be used to match future gifts for the Center's operations. The majority of the investment earnings from the Lilly Endowment funds will support the Center's administration, planning, evaluation, technology, public affairs, communications and fundraising efforts that in turn enable it to provide important programs to students, nonprofit professionals, volunteers, philanthropists and communities.

The Center will continue to develop private grants and contributions, university support, contracts for services and other revenue generating projects to fund the remainder of the Center's $13.4 million annual budget, which includes support for scholarships, academic degree programs, research about nonprofit organizations and giving and volunteering, training for nonprofit fundraisers and board members, advising services for philanthropists and other Center programs.

"Nearly 70 years ago in establishing the Lilly Endowment, the Lilly family recognized the need for a long-term commitment to philanthropy in Indianapolis. Today we see another strong commitment to the future of philanthropy in Indianapolis. This grant provides not only resources, but also recognition of success," said Charles R. Bantz, chancellor of IUPUI and executive vice president of Indiana University. "IU, IUPUI and Indianapolis will remain the primary resource for anyone seeking understanding of and assistance with philanthropy."

"Private endowments such as this supplement state funding to help develop programs of excellence at Indiana University," said Curt Simic, president of Indiana University Foundation. "The Center on Philanthropy is a great source of pride for all of us at IU."

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, a part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy, improving its practice, and enhancing philanthropic participation through research, teaching, public service and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising, and management of nonprofit organizations. It operates programs on the IUPUI and IU Bloomington campuses. More information about the Center on Philanthropy is available at

More information about Lilly Endowment is available at