Lilly's ties with United Way date back to World War I, when J.K. Lilly Sr. served as a member of the War Chest, a forerunner of today's United Way. Since then, we have helped raised more than $250 million for United Way and its partner agencies.
In 2016, we donated a record-breaking $14.8 million to the organization. That donation represented the contributions of Lilly’s U.S. employees and retirees, plus a matching gift from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. Our contribution typically accounts for about 25 percent of the annual campaign for United Way of Central Indiana.
We are going beyond fundraising to create a true partnership with United Way and its agencies—with the goal of having greater impact. In our hometown of Indianapolis, we are pairing Lilly teams with United Way agencies to advance their missions through deeper engagement. John Lechleiter is chair of the United Way Worldwide board, and we are actively engaged on the ground with the organization in Brazil, South Africa and the UK. We also partner with United Way Worldwide to improve health in lower-income communities around the world.