Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, 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 and Company."
The gifted stock remains the "financial bedrock of the Endowment" and the foundation stresses that it is a "separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location."
On its website the foundation states that it "exists to support 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." 
The foundation has been a major funder of a range of think tanks.
Funding in 2004 For Think Tanks & Others
Total – Community Development Division Grants $75,968,263 
- American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research - $100,000 for General operating support 
- Atlas Economic Research Foundation - $500,000 for General operating support
- CICP Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation - $6,000,000 for General operating support
- Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment - $100,000 for General operating support
- Fraser Institute - $300,000 for General operating support
- Freedom House- $100,000 for General operating support
- Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation - $85,000 for General operating support
- Manhattan Institute for Policy Research - $200,000 for General operating support
- Nature Conservancy - $1,000,000
- Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy - $175,000 for General operating support
- Property and Environment Research Center - $50,000 for General operating support
Writing in Counterpunch Joan Roelofs noted that "...the Lilly Endowment supports the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru, headed by Hernando de Soto, which offers free-market remedies for poverty." 
- Thomas M. Lofton
- Otis R. Bowen
- Daniel P. Carmichael
- William G. Enright
- Eli Lilly II
- Mary K. Lisher
- Eugene F. Ratliff
- N. Clay Robbins
- Joan Roelofs, "The NED, NGOs and the Imperial Uses of Philanthropy: Why They Hate Our Kind Hearts, Too", Counterpunch, 13 May 2006.