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Lilly Endowment is inviting eligible organizations to apply for funding to help interested parents and other caregivers share their Christian faith and values with their children. The Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative builds on recent research that affirms the pivotal role parents play in the religious lives of their children.

In this national and competitive initiative, the Endowment will make available grants of up to $1.25 million to assist eligible organizations in designing and implementing programs to help interested parents and caregivers directly or through congregational ministries learn, adapt and embrace time-honored practices to share their faith and values with their children. Learn more on Lilly Endowment's webpage and the Request for Proposals.

Through the initiative, the Endowment seeks to support a variety of approaches that are grounded in the theologies of diverse Christian communities. It is especially interested in how organizations could help parents who are seeking guidance on how to better share their faith and religious practices with their children amid daily routines of family life, such as when a family gathers for meals and when a parent sends their child to school each day and tucks them into bed each night.

The Endowment encourages organizations to assist congregations in developing innovative approaches that engage parents in and enhance the experiences of  traditional church rituals, such as baptism, first communion and confirmation.

“During the last two years, religious leaders have shared with us how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the daily lives of children and their families,” said Christopher L. Coble, the Endowment’s vice president for religion. “This experience has prompted for parents many questions about their faith and values, especially as they have sought to respond to spiritual questions raised by their children. Our hope is that this initiative will help congregations and other Christian organizations strengthen ministries that reach and support families and help interested parents and caregivers more confidently nurture the faith of their children.”

Through the initiative, the Endowment also is encouraging congregations and other Christian organizations to ensure that the resources, programs and ministries they develop and offer are developmentally appropriate for the ages of the children involved and that they are designed to meet the needs of families of different shapes and sizes, families from racially and ethnically diverse communities, and families with different religious identities among their members.

The Endowment welcomes proposals from organizations with public charity tax status that include, but are not limited to, theological schools, colleges and universities, church resourcing agencies, publishing houses, national and regional denominational judicatories, camps and retreat centers, and other religious organizations.

Through the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, the Endowment anticipates awarding approximately 60 grants to eligible organizations that submit the most promising and compelling proposals. The deadline to apply for funding is February 13, 2023, and the Endowment expects to announce the grants in summer 2023.

About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic 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. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.

(Posted Oct. 7, 2022)

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