Photo: Debra Jacobs + TPF Fellows

Thriving in a Constantly Evolving World

Posted on May 01, 2023 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

Editor's Note: Beyond The Blog is an evolution of The Patterson Foundation’s storytelling approach focused on creating and sharing engaging content featuring the people, organizations, and communities strengthened through the Foundation's work. Click the link to access Beyond The Blog: Edition 4.


Dear Readers,

Thriving in a constantly evolving world takes a commitment to adaptation. Engaging in several long-term initiatives for more than a decade has certainly reinforced this within The Patterson Foundation’s (TPF) halls, and it fuels our steady commitment to learning and applying proven innovations in creating positive change.

Five years ago, TPF began exploring opportunities to strengthen the future of the world of philanthropy. Guided by our belief in the power of adaptability, we decided early on against any attempt to define what that future might look like. Rather, we directed our focus on opportunities to strengthen the “now,” creating conditions conducive to innovative thought and action for whatever the future might bring.

There are few better opportunities to achieve this than through strengthening the next generation of philanthropic leaders, equipping them with strategies, skills, and experiences to help inform the course they will chart for the organizations they will one day helm. There was great potential in tapping into a body of work and lessons learned to achieve that — we just needed access to a group of talented, dedicated individuals with whom to share it.

As the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy was the perfect partner to help us connect with aspiring leaders throughout their journey toward becoming the changemakers of tomorrow. The school’s shared commitment to a stronger, adaptable future helped propel the creation of TPF’s Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative, a body of collaborative efforts that continues to create avenues to share our knowledge with these exceptional students and graduates — all while learning plenty of inspiring, insightful nuggets of wisdom from them as well.

This edition of Beyond The Blog is dedicated to exploring the layers of our investment into creating adaptable, innovative philanthropic leaders. You’ll hear from those who provided the vision and blueprint behind the Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative’s formation, along with the bright Lilly Family School of Philanthropy scholars who have guided both the initiative’s continued development and TPF’s work as a whole through their talents and efforts.

With excitement for their continued impact and the future they will create,
Debra Jacobs

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