Study Away Week at a Glance

Study Away Week at a Glance

Posted on June 06, 2022
Recently, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) hosted ten students – six graduate and four undergraduate – and two faculty members from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (LFSOP) for a weeklong Study Away experience, "The Future of the Philanthropic Sector: Experiential Learning with The Patterson Foundation." TPF strives to create meaningful connections and strengthen people, organizations, and communities – even those located outside of the Suncoast region.

TPF's innovative Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative and the partnership with LFSOP immerses tomorrow's philanthropic change-makers in the meaningful work of the foundation. Through Study Away week, students can experience living examples of innovative philanthropy by touching on several areas of TPF's work while spending time in Sarasota.

The student's week in Florida was filled to the brim with meaningful interactions with a myriad of TPFers and local organizations. Students were split into teams of two, and TPF consultants led each group as they dove into particular initiatives' work. The themes and leads were:
These themes offered students chances to connect with the Suncoast and provide real-time ideas, concepts, and feedback to local organizations.

On Monday (day one), students had the opportunity to hear more about TPF and the different initiatives they would be working on. Debra Jacobs offered a brief word about TPF's history and the mission and then turned it over to each theme lead to discuss their aspirations for the week. In the afternoon, students worked with the DA4A team to create a toolkit helping to explain all of the ways families can access affordable/free broadband internet through special programs.

Tuesday, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) hosted a Pop-Up Neighbor Through Laundry event where students volunteered. SCGLR Engagement Team members Carolina Franco and Cinthia Pena helped coordinate the day.

For many, it was an eye-opening experience that helped demonstrate our region's need and the creative ways TPF strives to make a change. In the ever-evolving nature of TPF and SCGLR, a local organization, Mothers Helping Mothers, was invited to have their families sign up for free laundry. "In four hours, we helped 51 families complete 593 loads of wash. While some of us helped with laundry, others read to and fed the children while all of us created a caring space at the laundromat." You can read more about the day and see a video highlighting the efforts here.

The students toured the Embracing Our Differences exhibit on Tuesday afternoon, with Dr.Joni Steinberg guiding the way.

The middle of the week brought about a fast-paced long-hour day for our LFSOP students who interacted with folks from the following organizations:
They followed up their day of consulting with a tour of The Bay Park, one of TPF's catalytic initiatives and another example of partnership-based philanthropy.

Thursday was filled with Zoom consulting sessions, and a panel focused on the upcoming Giving Challenge hosted at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Organizations shared insights and strategies of past Giving Challenge efforts and listened to students' ideas on how to attract younger donors to their cause.

Organizations in attendance were:
On Friday, students shared a recap of their entire week as they traversed back to the Community Foundation to participate in a Knowledge Sharing Session (KSS) hosted by TPFers Mike Oxman and Larry Clark.

Although each student's daily dance card was full of learnings and new experiences, the Friday recap offered an amazing glimpse into the transformational journey many had during their time at TPF.

Advancing Philanthropic Leadership helps to facilitate discussion with the next generation of philanthropic leaders and bring The Future of the Philanthropic Sector to the here and now.

We are delighted to be a part of the journey.

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