Learning and Sharing with the Best and Brightest

Learning and Sharing with the Best and Brightest

Posted on November 26, 2018 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
From its earliest days to the present, The Patterson Foundation’s approach to philanthropy has emphasized making connections that create opportunities to learn about ways to strengthen people, organizations, and communities locally and beyond — while simultaneously serving as a conduit to share our homegrown innovations widely and generously. It’s an approach that promotes positive outcomes over short-term outputs, and one that continues to help propel movements near and far.

With a decade anniversary not far off on the horizon and the prospect of continued opportunities to strengthen the impact of its work, The Patterson Foundation is poised to further evolve its learning and sharing methodology. Driving this next phase of evolution is an invigorating undertaking — one with the potential to grow the Foundation’s impact on future initiatives.

We can think of no better companions to share this journey with than the graduates of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, the premier institution for advancing innovations in the social sector and molding its future leaders. These are individuals dedicated not only to creating meaningful change but changing the long-term narrative of the people, organizations, and communities they serve. Some are at the dawn of their careers following rigorous study and application, while others are experienced nonprofit leaders who understand the value of continued investment in their skillset — but all exemplify The Patterson Foundation’s quest for learning and sharing.

The Fellows Initiative, which is open to graduates of the school’s master’s degree program, will afford our future leaders a year-long opportunity to learn an approach to philanthropy honed over years of work with a diverse range of initiatives while actively contributing to their continued professional development. Our home will be theirs as they work through the experiences — and if the philanthropic spirit displayed time and again by our community is any indication, there’s perhaps no better setting for this than our region. All the while, we’ll be absorbing and applying their own knowledge of creating lasting change — strengthening The Patterson Foundation’s future efforts and impact.

While The Patterson Foundation has much insight to glean from these cohorts, the Fellows Initiative aspires to strengthen the philanthropic sector as a whole. As future cohorts of graduates make their mark on the Fellows Initiative and venture into the wider world, they’ll find themselves among a network of innovative changemakers who’ve seen firsthand the power of The Patterson Foundation’s approach to philanthropy. It’s an approach they’ll be capable of employing themselves to help achieve shared aspirations. Furthermore, their mutual knowledge and familiarity with this approach can give rise to continued collaborations between past Fellows — perhaps even across traditional boundaries of geography or issue-focus.

The Fellows have the potential to unlock new possibilities at The Patterson Foundation — not to mention the greater philanthropic landscape. We await the arrival of the inaugural class in summer 2019 with excitement for all that these new connections will foster.

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