Lilly Endowment value falls 26 percent-WEB ONLY

The struggling stock market took its toll on Lilly Endowment in 2008, dropping the value of its assets by 26 percent, from $7.7 billion to $5.7 billion, it announced today.

The Indianapolis-based endowment’s value hit its lowest level in more than 10 years. The most recent peak was $15.5 billion in 2000.

The drop means Lilly’s grant-making will slip further in 2009. Foundations and endowments must pay out at least 5 percent of their average assets, and the Lilly Endowment’s required distribution in 2009 is $286 million.

Last year, the endowment reported paying out $330.9 million in grants, while approving grants totaling $310.9 million. Grants aren’t necessarily paid in the same year they’re approved.

The largest portion of grants, $123.8 million, or 37 percent, was in the area of community development.

More than one-third, $107.9 million, was in education. Endowment President N. Clay Robbins said in his executive message that “Indiana must redouble its efforts to educate its population to be competitive in the global economy.”

One of the highlights of last year’s grant-making was $5.8 million to Purdue’s Military Family Research Institute to support veterans and their families going to college.

The endowment also gave one-third of its grants, or $99.2 million, to religious organizations around the nation.

Eli Lilly and Co. stock still accounts for 95 percent of the endowment’s assets. In 2008, the endowment sold 1.8 million shares to raise about $87.5 million.

As the markets battered Lilly stock, the endowment reported a $2 billion drop in the value of its marketable securities. Lilly stock closed at $40.27 on Dec. 31. Shares are now trading around $33.50.

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