About Lake Institute

Exploring the faith & giving connection

Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, part of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, fosters a deeper understanding of the dynamic relationship between faith and giving, through research, education, and public conversation. Lake Institute serves as a bridge between the academy and faith-based organizations or networks, and we actively share information and insights in both directions. We conduct and encourage research on faith and giving, shaped by insight from practitioners. We translate research findings into educational programs, resources, and events for practitioners; and we convene key partners and influencers to help move forward public understanding about the nature and importance of faith and giving. We work within and among faith traditions, seeking to reflect and support the diversity of religious expression in the American context.

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More about the founding of Lake Institute

Lake Institute on Faith & Giving was created in 2002 and exists through the generosity of the late Tom and Marjorie Lake and their daughter and son-in-law Karen Lake and Donald Buttrey. We strive to honor the Lake family’s philanthropic values and to bless the community with a place for conversations about faith and generosity.

“Faith keeps its eyes fixed on the future in absolute certainty that it will be better than the present or the past.” Thomas H. Lake (1919-1999)

Since its inception, Lake Institute has expanded the study and understanding of the many connections between faith and giving. It has also served as catalyst for further reflection and exploration of the power of philanthropy to bring about beneficial change. In encouraging conversation and reflection on individual giving, the Institute serves as a fitting memorial to the legacy and values of Thomas and Marjorie Lake. It continues their shared effort to encourage purposeful participation in the life of one’s community, whether inspired by one’s faith or motivated by the same values that shaped their early lives in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania.

Click to read more about Lake Institute’s history and watch the video below with Founding Director, Dr. William Enright.

The History of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving: A Conversation with Dr. William Enright