The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced grants totaling $1.9 million to The Conversation US (TCUS), a nonprofit media organization that delivers journalism and analysis written by leading scholars.
The awards include nearly $1.27 million over three years to continue funding a senior editor position on the site's religion and ethics desk as well as an editorial position focused on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. The funding builds on a 2016 grant from the Lilly Endowment that helped TCUS establish both desks. In addition, the endowment awarded a grant of $645,000 over three years in support of a partnership between TCUS and the Association of Theological Schools that will enable TCUS to feature more of the work of theologians and scholars working in seminaries and divinity schools in the U.S. and Canada.
"Religion and faith are central to so many Americans' lives — and also are a critical element of global geopolitics today — yet there is a shortage of high-quality journalism and expert analysis in the media exploring these powerful forces," said TCUS editor and general manager Beth Daley. "Similarly, the media are not extensively covering the growing impact of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector on societal change."
"These grants to TCUS will further Lilly Endowment's interest in supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and around the world," said Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the endowment. "We are pleased that TCUS is making the important work and insights of religion scholars, as well as scholars of ethics and philanthropy, accessible to wide audiences."