Influential person: Clay Robbins

Lilly Endowment chairman

Although as chairman of Lilly Endowment Inc., Clay Robbins helps direct a great deal of funding to Indy-area educational, civic and religious groups, he’s extremely careful not to take the credit for such work.

“I’m a little hesitant to say much about me personally,” Robbins said. “I recognize that what I’ve been able to achieve is because of my position at the endowment.” Before being appointed chairman in 2015, Robbins had been with the organization since 1993, most of that time as president.

He has helped guide the massive charitable foundation as it switched from funding numerous high-profile brick-and-mortar projects to strengthening central Indiana’s human capital. Among the biggest was the founding of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, which brings together CEOs, foundation heads and university leaders to collaborate on strategic projects. And from 2015 to 2018, the endowment granted $380 million to 62 Indy-area not-for-profits to improve their long-term sustainability.

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