Photo: TPF Fellows John Ferguson, Hannah Saeger Karnei, Abby Rolland, Connor LaGrange, and Michael Zimmerman
Photo:  Kellie Alexander and Ryan Rydzewski
Photo: A Walk to Respect
Photo: TPF Fellows
The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program: A Collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

July 2018 – Present

The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program: A Collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The Purpose

Aspiring philanthropic leaders have the potential to catalyze innovations to strengthen people, organizations, and communities around the world. While these opportunities are numerous, maximizing them takes leaders who have the willingness, capacity, and foresight to drive long-term change. Through more than a decade of experience with innovative initiatives spanning the globe, The Patterson Foundation has shaped its approach to philanthropy into a valuable model for a network of future leaders who seek their continued professional evolution while strengthening the impact of their efforts. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation by viewing this 48-minute documentary.

Strengthening the Impact

Through a collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program provides graduates of the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy with a year-long career-building opportunity to learn innovative philanthropic principles and share their expertise through engaging initiatives. Through the Fellows Program, The Patterson Foundation aspires to create a network of future leaders aligned in their innovative approach to philanthropy.




Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this program...

Why does The Patterson Foundation offer the Fellows Program?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address mutual aspirations, foster wide participation, and encourage learning and sharing. The Patterson Foundation believes that creating a network of future philanthropic leaders who have the willingness, capacity, and foresight to incorporate innovative strategies for long-term change is both an opportunity and a responsibility with considerable impact. Furthermore, working with philanthropic leaders versed in leading-edge innovations facilitates The Patterson Foundation’s continued learning and sharing of best practices in philanthropy.

Why is The Patterson Foundation collaborating with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy?

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is the first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy. Since its inception, it has demonstrated a commitment to training and empowering students and practitioners to innovate and lead to create positive and lasting change in the world. This includes its growing master’s program offering students a mix of theory and practice.

What does The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program offer?

  • A year-long experience for talented early career professionals interested in working in community, corporate, or private foundations
  • A career-building opportunity to learn from The Patterson Foundation while sharing the Fellows' expertise and ideas
  • A structured engagement with initiatives and operations through a mix of learning and action objectives
  • One-to-one mentoring with the CEO
  • Access to a network of innovative philanthropic leaders
  • Continued connection to TPF Fellows through the TPF Beyond Network

What are the eligibility requirements?

The following three eligibility requirements must be met:
  1. Be a graduate of the Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program from the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and interested in a career in community, corporate, or private foundations

  2. Be able to reside in Sarasota, Florida, Summer 2025 – Summer 2026

  3. Have legal authorization to work in the United States (i.e., a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in accordance with USCIS Form I-9)
View the application here. 

Why should I be interested in this opportunity?

  • Gain firsthand experience — built around impact philanthropy principles — within The Patterson Foundation and through its work
  • Hone your skills while contributing to initiatives based on shared interests
  • Work in a joyful environment that welcomes your ideas
  • Benefit from one-to-one mentoring
  • Expand your career options with foundations through networking support
  • Competitive compensation

What assignments and experiences should I expect?

Fellows will be immersed in specific initiatives based on shared interests and The Patterson Foundation's approach to philanthropy. The assignments produce close relationships with local community foundations and other organizations. The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives include international, national, state, and regional initiatives in education, aging, health, disaster recovery, inspiring philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and strategic communications. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives.

Will my expertise and experience be used?

The Patterson Foundation chose a collaboration with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy because of the school’s preparation in both academic and field experiences. We envision a career-building experience that applies your expertise and ideas as an active team member while learning from The Patterson Foundation.

Where is The Patterson Foundation located? Where will Fellows be based?

Fellows will be based at The Patterson Foundation’s office located in Sarasota, a coastal community on Florida's west coast. Sarasota is part of the vibrant Tampa Bay region and known for its beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities.

Learn more about the Sarasota area at:

Will participation lead to a permanent job at The Patterson Foundation?

While there are no anticipated permanent job opportunities, access and connection to philanthropic organizations and leaders are an integral part of the experience. Through this program, The Patterson Foundation will develop a network to help you share learnings and aspirations with other Fellows for years to come.

Will The Patterson Foundation’s Fellows Program expand to other academic institutions?

There are no plans to expand the Fellows Program to academic institutions beyond the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Who can I contact about The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program?

For more information, contact Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative lead Dr. Donald R. Bowman: or TPF Fellow Ericia Henry:

Additional FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about the selection process and TPF Fellows Program employment...

What is the timeline for the selection process?

Please refer to the timeline image shown earlier on this webpage for an overview, which is broken down as follows:

  • Zoom Interviews — Held in January 2025
    The Patterson Foundation will coordinate a specific date and time with you.

  • Finalist Interviews — Held in February 2025
    Finalist interviews will take place in person in Sarasota, Florida; specific travel dates will be coordinated with finalists. Travel expenses are covered by The Patterson Foundation. 

  • Fellows Selected — February 2025
    You will be contacted by program consultant Dr. Donald R. Bowman, who will inform you on behalf of The Patterson Foundation's Fellows Selection Committee.

  • Fellows Begin Employment at The Patterson Foundation —
    The 2025/2026 program will run for one full year, starting Summer 2025 and ending Summer 2026.

Where do I find the TPF Fellows Program application? What is the deadline to apply?

The application consists of :
  1. A fillable form to provide basic applicant information
  2. Your resume or CV
  3. A personal statement that highlights your interest in the opportunity

Applicants must submit their applications to The Patterson Foundation by December 31, 2024 (the deadline).

Access the application here.

Are Fellows employed full-time? Do Fellows receive a salary? Is there a benefits program? Is housing provided?

This is a full-time, one-year paid employment opportunity for the selected Fellows.
  • Salaries and benefits are competitive for this type of position
  • Fellows are eligible for The Patterson Foundation's health, dental, life and disability insurance plans as well as paid holidays and vacation time
  • Fellows participating in this one-year experience will be responsible for securing their own housing accommodations in the Sarasota area during that time
Through illuminating examples, three TPF Fellows share humbling moments of growth while striving to create the future they imagine with the support of their TPF family.
(total time: 19 minutes)

Share This Page