Study: Lilly Endowment now 2nd-largest private US foundation

December 22, 2019 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment is now the nation’s second-largest private charitable foundation, trailing only the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a new analysis has found.

FoundationMark, which tracks the investment performance of more than 40,000 foundations, performed the analysis of top foundation assets. It found that the Lilly Endowment’s assets reached $15.1 billion at the end of 2018, pushing it ahead of the Ford Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, which had assets of $13.1 billion and $13.2 billion, respectively.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation remained by far the largest private foundation, with $46.9 billion in assets, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

The rise in the Lilly Endowment’s ranking comes after it had a strong year in asset performance. From 2017 to 2018, the endowment’s assets grew 29%, marking two years in a row of growth for the foundation.


That large gain is largely attributed to the 37% rise in stock price of Eli Lilly and Co. in 2018.

The Lilly Endowment was founded in 1937 with gifts of Lilly stock by three members of the Lilly family. The endowment is a separate entity from drugmaker, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.