In mid-2019, TPF consultant Laurey Stryker and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (IU LFSOP) faculty began their first academic collaboration to create an elective course for IU LFSOP students. The course “The Future of the Philanthropic Sector: Experiential Learning at The Patterson Foundation” launched on the IU campus in January 2020 with a Spring Break “Study Away” weeklong experience at The Patterson Foundation in Sarasota planned for mid-March.

The course was designed to connect students to The Patterson Foundation’s innovative approaches to philanthropy and nonprofits in the Suncoast Region. However, the emergence of COVID put an abrupt halt to travel plans and face-to-face interactions. Applying TPF’s warp speed cope, adapt, innovate cycle and Donna Puhalovich’s logistics magic resulted in a masterful conversion to a meaningful virtual experience.

Fast forward two years later, a second offering of this IU LFSOP course launched in January 2022 with 3 undergrad and 7 master’s students in philanthropic studies. IU’s Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management & Student Success Pamela Clark and Graduate Assistant Megan Hillier-Geisler have met with students for bi-weekly instruction and discussions, preparing them for their TPF Study Away experience in mid-March.

TPF Fellow Connor LaGrange has managed curriculum development for the Study Away week with TPF topic teams and IU faculty. TPF consultant Donna Puhalovich is again the master at the wheel in coordinating calendars, logistics, and resource allocations.

Upon arrival, students will begin their week with a general TPF orientation led by Debra Jacobs, followed by four shorter orientations about their group projects that will unfold during their Study Away week.

Students will then dive into projects and experiences that represent what work in the field may look like using The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives.
  • Capacity Building through Nonprofit Thrivability led by Larry Clark and Mike Oxman
  • Inspiring Philanthropy through The Giving Challenge led by Branan Jacobs and Michael Zimmerman
  • More than Money Philanthropy through Digital Access for All led by Cheri Coryea and Kiarra Louis
  • High Touch, High Tech Communications through Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) led by Beth Duda and Connor LaGrange.
In advance of the Sarasota visit, TPF faculty have shared background information on each TPF initiative with course participants.

For example, the SCGLR initiative comes alive in Beth Duda’s 12-minute overview video masterfully edited by Bill Wagy. These students will arrive at TPF on March 14 having a valuable background in philanthropy and TPF initiatives, ready to immerse themselves in learning from and contributing to TPF nonprofit partner organizations with knowledge-sharing opportunities.

Thanks to TPF, the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students will have a Spring Break like no other….we are ready and very enthusiastic about Study Away week March 13-18, 2022.

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