Donate to RNS

Religion News Foundation receives $1.75 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Religion News Foundation (RNF) announced today that it has received a two-year grant of $1.75 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to continue providing global religion news coverage through a collaboration with the Associated Press (AP) and The Conversation (TC).

The new grant allows Religion News Service (RNS), a subsidiary of RNF, to build upon and expand the Global Religion Journalism Initiative with AP and TC by publishing balanced, nuanced coverage of major world religions.

“We are deeply honored by Lilly Endowment’s continued affirmation of the importance of religion journalism and our work,” said Deborah Caldwell, CEO of Religion News Foundation. “Professional and objective coverage of the role of religion in society is more important than ever.”

The RNS grant of $1.75 million funds the work of a Vatican correspondent, a reporter covering LatinX faith in Southern California and a managing editor who coordinates coverage with AP and TC. RNS will also build a channel on showcasing news and features produced by the three organizations.

“Lilly Endowment is pleased to help these outstanding media organizations enhance and expand their religion coverage,” said Christopher Coble, the Endowment’s vice president for religion.  “We believe that fair and accurate reporting on the impact of religion, both good and bad, in the United States and around the world is essential.”

Since the work of the project began in 2019, the three organizations have together produced hundreds of articles, features and commentary that highlight the faith and values component of stories worldwide.

The grant underscores Lilly Endowment’s support for efforts that strengthen public understanding of religion. Other Lilly Endowment grants have helped fund additional media projects, including support for RNS and documentaries about religious leaders and traditions.

Read more about the collaboration here.

About Religion News Service
Religion News Service (RNS) is an independent, nonprofit source of global news on religion, spirituality, culture and ethics, reported by a staff of professional journalists. Founded in 1934, RNS informs readers with objective reporting and insightful commentary, and is relied upon by readers, listeners and viewers in the United States and around the world. Visit

About Religion News Foundation
Religion News Foundation (RNF) is an independent educational and secular nonprofit organization founded in 1999.  It wholly owns Religion News Service (RNS), which strives to inform, illuminate, and inspire public discourse on matters relating to belief and convictions in a neutral and informative way through religious literacy without endorsing or promoting any particular belief system or point of view.

About The Conversation
The Conversation US is an independent source of commentary and analysis from the academic and research community, delivered directly to the public. A team of professional editors work with academic scholars to unlock their knowledge to then be shared with the wider public. Access to trusted, independent, high quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism is critical to a functioning democracy. Our goal is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues leading to a better quality of public discourse. Visit

About AP
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Visit

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. In addition to strengthening the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations throughout the United States, the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion aims to support fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the U.S. and across the globe. Visit



Deborah Caldwell
CEO and Publisher
Religion News Service
[email protected]