Spring Break with The Patterson Foundation

Spring Break with The Patterson Foundation

Posted on May 31, 2022 by Baylee Kasprzak, 2022 Study Away

Editor's Note: The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and The Patterson Foundation partnered on "The Future of the Philanthropic Sector," a special topics course for the school's students during the spring 2022 semester. The course connects students to The Patterson Foundation's innovative approach to philanthropy and nonprofits in the Sarasota area engaged in the foundation's initiatives.



Last semester I got an email stating that applications for 2022 Study Away were going to open soon, and due to the trip in 2020 being canceled, I was unsure of what the trip entailed. As a senior in the Philanthropic Studies program, I wanted to make my last year was memorable. I researched The Patterson Foundation, which has a partnership with the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and fell in love with the work they are doing in its four-county region. The Patterson Foundation is located in Sarasota, Florida, hence why the class is called Study Away. I submitted my application the day they opened and was really excited about what I could potentially be learning in this class. Fast forward to about a month later, I found out that I was accepted to take the class, so the countdown began!

During our first class meeting on January 21, 2022, we learned about what our role would be in this class. We were each given a set of initiatives to research, and we were to rank them in the order we preferred to work with and learn more about during our visit to Sarasota. At this point in the semester, we were still unsure about what the rest of the semester would look like, but all 12 of us were hopeful that this trip would happen.

Our second class had two guest speakers to talk about inspiring philanthropy and capacity building. Jeannie Sager shared about The Giving Challenge and Giving Tuesday, and she offered some personal experiences and knowledge. Fredrik Andersson spoke to the class about capacity building and social entrepreneurship. Fredrik is very intelligent and offered us a new perspective on being a social entrepreneur.

For our third class on February 18, Kathi Badertscher spoke to us about High Touch, High Tech, and the importance of social movements in history. Kathi’s conversation was engaging and helped prepare us for the time we would be spending in Sarasota. During the remainder of the class, we assembled into groups to research the four counties that The Patterson Foundation works with—Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota—and gave our brochure presentations to the class. This was important so we could learn more about the different areas we would visit during our Study Away trip.

Finally, on March 4, our last class before the group flew from Indianapolis to Sarasota, we had a conversation with a previous TPF Fellow, John Ferguson. He spoke to us about his time with the foundation and his work with the Digital Access for All initiative. From a student perspective, it was nice to learn more about The Patterson Foundation from someone who spent a year working with them. I think saving John for our last guest speaker was the cherry on top that we all needed before this trip.

Twelve students and two instructors received our itineraries, and we could not wait to be in the Florida sunshine to learn about such an impactful foundation. What made this trip even better is that it is unique to the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.