Lilly Endowment Inc. Invests $1 Million in Brightlane Learning’s Programs and Impact

September 27, 2023

Brightlane Learning has received a grant of $1,000,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. for enhanced academic support and intervention in schools. This three-year grant will sustain recent growth and strengthen our organizational capacity for future impact.

The program is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana. The aim of the competitive initiative is to help youth-serving organizations working throughout Indiana improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of young people, ages five through 18.

Brightlane Learning empowers students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to become full participants in their learning journey. We have grown strategically and in alignment with available funding over the past two decades, today serving over 30 Indianapolis shelters and schools. However, there is a greater unmet need in Indianapolis and across Indiana. Support from Lilly Endowment will help sustain recent growth, establish a model that can be replicated in and beyond Indianapolis, and support a staff capable of expanding Brightlane Learning’s services statewide.

“When children thrive, our community thrives.” Sally Bindley, Founder and CEO of Brightlane Learning shared. “With decades of experience, Brightlane can support more schools across Indianapolis as they continue to help students recover from pandemic learning loss and close the widening educational achievement gap. The confidence that Lilly Endowment has placed in Brightlane Learning and our programs will enable us to make key enhancements and implement structured growth, which will take us to our 25th anniversary. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to expand to reach more Indiana children and families while we enhance operations to strengthen our staff who are dedicated to this important work.”

Brightlane Learning is one of 187 organizations receiving grants through Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,’ said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

Lilly Endowment launched Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana Initiative in 2022 with an invitational round of grants to nine national youth-serving organizations to help them expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.