Research + reflection + collaboration = advancement

Exploring the field of faith & philanthropy together

Faith and philanthropy is a small but growing field. As part of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Lake Institute conducts research and utilizes the great work that’s also being done in the field. We translate this research into practical tools and strategies that we explore in our educational offerings.

From the Field

Discover current research and trends in the field of faith and philanthropy

Lake Institute on Faith & Giving is situated within the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which gives us access to the most relevant research in the field of faith and philanthropy. Additionally, there are many other organizations in the field that produce high quality research. We hope this page will be a resource for you to access relevant, trustworthy research regularly.

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Lake Institute Projects


In 2019, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving released The National Study of Congregation’s Economic Practices (NSCEP), which provides an overview of congregations’ finances and finds that the experience of congregations and their economic practices is diverse and dynamic.

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COVID-19 Studies

Through our 2020 survey of congregational leaders across the country, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving asked congregations about their finances: How have congregations encouraged giving and managed their resources in the midst of the pandemic? How are they looking to the future in terms of giving trends, budget planning, and reopening for in-person services?

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Other Research

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (LFSOP) Projects

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy offers an abundance of knowledge through its groundbreaking philanthropic research. The school is unique with its own in-house research team. This team is comprised of trained research staff and peer-reviewed faculty that study emerging trends, challenge conventional wisdom, and provide unique insights into philanthropic organizations and their practices.

Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI)

The Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) organizes symposiums and seminars; convenes philanthropic leaders; holds training programs; conducts research; and recruit Muslims in the field to train and empower a new generation of philanthropic and nonprofit leaders.


Lake Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

This one-year grant is given annually to support a graduate student whose research engages and intersects issues within religion and philanthropy or faith and giving.

Lake Institute Network of Emerging Scholars (LINES)

LINES gathering was established to create, foster, and sustain an interdisciplinary field of scholarly research focusing on the broad relationship between religion and philanthropy.