Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has received a resourcing grant of $750,000 as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The initiative supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they address the financial and economic struggles that can impair the ability of pastors to lead congregations effectively.
The Endowment is giving $28 million in grants through this initiative. The grants are part of the Endowment’s commitment to supporting the pastoral leadership development of clergy serving in congregations across the United States.
The grant to Lake Institute will help it expand its capacity to provide resources and educational opportunities aimed at addressing the economic challenges facing clergy and religious organizations. Lake Institute is one of four resourcing agencies supporting the larger initiative. The other three are the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability, the Leadership Network and the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.
“Clergy continue to express their anxieties about discussing and leading their communities in understanding and addressing issues related to faith and money. Without increasing education regarding financial matters, this challenge will continue to inhibit the effectiveness of religious leaders and their institutions,” said David King, Ph.D., Karen Lake Buttrey Director of the institute.
With this grant, Lake Institute will increase its abilities to develop and deliver resources for faith communities focused on enhancing financial literacy, fundraising and management skills. Lake Institute fosters greater understanding of the ways in which faith inspires and informs giving through research, education and training programs. Since its inception, it has worked with more than 3,500 congregations, and hundreds of other religious leaders, to help them understand and learn to navigate issues of money, faith and giving.
The grant will allow the institute to evaluate and expand its existing programs, including its signature courses, Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity and the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising. With funding from the grant, the institute will design new educational offerings, expand its staff, and recruit and train adjunct faculty in order to increase its capacity to serve religious leaders and their congregations, with the goal of training hundreds of additional leaders.
“The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is proud to be the home of Lake Institute. We are glad that we can assist religious communities and their leaders to better understand financial and fundraising issues and develop strategies to address them,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. “We thank Lilly Endowment for this generous grant, and we are delighted to serve this important constituency.”
The 27 organizations taking part in the initiative represent a variety of Christian traditions, including Baptist, Catholic, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of God (Anderson), Episcopal, Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed and Wesleyan churches, as well as non-denominational and historic African-American Christian communities. They include denominational pension and benefits boards; local and regional denomination judicatories, such as synods and dioceses; and denominational foundations.
Programs are customized to meet the needs of pastoral leaders in each respective religious tradition. However, the programs have much in common as they:
- provide incentives for clergy to take part in personal finance education
- offer low- or no-cost financial planning and counseling
- match contributions for pastors and congregations that enroll in pension savings programs
- help pastors create emergency funds
- develop strategies that help young pastors pay down or eliminate educational debt
- create new scholarships so that seminarians borrow less while in school
“Pastors, especially those just beginning in ministry, accept low salaries as part of their commitment to God and to church. Many enter ministry with significant debt from their undergraduate and seminary years and often have little financial resiliency when financial emergencies arise,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment. “These organizations understand the importance of the financial wellbeing of pastors and the implications for the congregations they serve.”
An additional grant to the Indianapolis Center for Congregations will establish a coordination program for the initiative that will help the Endowment track success. It will bring together leaders of the diverse programs to foster mutual learning and support and help build a network of organizations committed to supporting the financial wellbeing of pastors and their congregations.
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 & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving exists to foster a greater understanding of the ways in which faith inspires and informs giving through research, education and training. The institute offers customized programs that translate data and giving trends into practical tools. Lake Institute supports the development of research designed to explore the broad context of religious giving. Through public forums we engage practitioners, scholars and the community in thoughtful conversation and reflection. Follow us on Twitter @LakeInstitute.
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change in the world. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy and “Like” us on Facebook.
This grant counts toward the $2.5 billion campaign, “For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.”
For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses including IU Bloomington, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020. Learn more about the campaign, its impact, and how to participate.