Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Kiwanis International Foundation. It was awarded in connection with the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Foundation's parent organization, Kiwanis International.

January 6, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $1.5 million to the Kiwanis International Foundation in connection with the upcoming 100th anniversary of its parent organization, Kiwanis International. The Foundation raises funds for Kiwanis International’s charitable programs.

The Kiwanis International Foundation, which shares its Indianapolis headquarters with Kiwanis International, will use the grant to transform its fundraising model and increase its endowment.

“Kiwanis plays a vital role in improving the quality of life in Indianapolis and throughout the world by fostering philanthropy and service,” said Ace Yakey, vice president of community development for Lilly Endowment. “The Endowment values the presence of this important international organization’s headquarters in Indianapolis. We are pleased to help Kiwanis expand and enhance its impact in our community and around the world.”

Kiwanis clubs serve their local communities with an emphasis on improving the lives of children. Each year, Kiwanis members volunteer more than 18.5 million hours in community service and raise more than $100 million. The Kiwanis International Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants since 1995.

“Lilly Endowment was instrumental in bringing Kiwanis International and our Foundation to Indianapolis more than three decades ago, and we have been proud to serve as an integral part of the not-for-profit community in Indianapolis ever since,” said Ann Updegraff Spleth, chief operating officer of the Kiwanis International Foundation.

“We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment. This grant will help us build the resource development capacity necessary to ensure our place as a good neighbor in Indianapolis—and the world.”

Kiwanis celebrates its 100th anniversary beginning in January 2015, culminating with a Centennial Celebration and annual convention in Indianapolis in June 2015.

About Kiwanis International

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14–18, Builders Club for students age 11–14, Kiwanis Kids for students age 6–12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, dedicate annually more than 18 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 600,000 adult and youth members in 80 countries and geographic areas. For more information about Kiwanis International, please visit

About the Kiwanis International Foundation

Founded in 1939, the Kiwanis International Foundation exists to assist Kiwanis International in serving the children of the world. The Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants since 1995. Foundation grants help Kiwanis clubs serve their community needs, provide disaster relief and provide scholarship opportunities. In 2005, Kiwanis, through the Foundation and in partnership with UNICEF, raised $100 million to virtually rid the world of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). In 2010, Kiwanis, again through the Foundation in partnership with UNICEF committed to a $110 million campaign to virtually eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a 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 & Company. It supports 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.

Source: Kiwanis International

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