Eli Lilly and Co. CEO John Lechleiter and his wife, Sarah, have pledged to give the United Way of Central Indiana a total
of $1 million over the next four years as a “challenge to CEOs and other community leaders to step up their giving.”
United Way said today in a press release that it hopes the high-profile donation will spur more “leadership”
gifts of $25,000 or more, or help recruit other CEOs as new donors.
The Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation will match
the Lechleiters’ contribution.
The local United Way is trying to catch up with other cities that have seen
more success in recruiting top-tier donors, said Angela Dabney, senior vice president of resource development. United Way
of Central Indiana plans to use more challenge grants to raise its ranks of wealthy donors.
Last October, WellPoint
CEO Angela Braly and her husband, Doug, pledged $300,000 over three years. The money is used as matching grants for donors
who want to join United Way’s Tocqueville Society, which requires $10,000 a year in donations, or Women United, which
So far, United Way has raised $160,000 through the Braly matching gift.
are already deeply involved with United Way. John Lechleiter is on the board of directors. Sarah Lechleiter was one of the
founding members of Women United in 2003.