Photo: Kellie Alexander and Rydzewski
Photo: TPF Fellows
Photo: Alexa and Avery
Photo: TPF Fellows
Fellows Program

July 2018 – Present

Fellows Program

The Purpose

Aspiring philanthropic leaders have the potential to catalyze innovations to strengthen people, organizations, and communities around the world. While these opportunities are numerous, maximizing them takes leaders who have the willingness, capacity, and foresight to drive long-term change. Through over a decade of experience with innovative initiatives spanning the globe, The Patterson Foundation has shaped its approach to philanthropy into a valuable model for a network of future leaders who seek their continued professional evolution while strengthening the impact of their efforts. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation by viewing this 48-minute documentary.

Strengthening the Impact

Through a collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program provides graduates of the first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy with a year-long career-building opportunity to immerse in innovative philanthropic principles while working on a wide range of initiatives. Through the Fellows Program, The Patterson Foundation aspires to create a network of future leaders aligned with their innovative approach to philanthropy.

Current Fellows

Launched Fellows


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this program...

Why does The Patterson Foundation offer the Fellows Program?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address mutual aspirations, foster wide participation, and encourage learning and sharing. The Patterson Foundation believes that creating a network of future philanthropic leaders who have the willingness, capacity, and foresight to incorporate innovative strategies for long-term change is both an opportunity and a responsibility with considerable impact. Furthermore, working with philanthropic leaders versed in leading-edge innovations facilitates The Patterson Foundation’s continued learning and sharing of best practices in philanthropy.

Why is The Patterson Foundation collaborating with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy?

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is the first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy. Since its inception, it has demonstrated a commitment to training and empowering students and practitioners to innovate and lead to create positive and lasting change in the world. This includes its growing master’s program offering students a mix of theory and practice.

What does The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program offer?

  • A year-long experience for talented early career professionals interested in working in community, corporate, or private foundations
  • A career-building opportunity to learn from The Patterson Foundation while sharing the fellows' expertise and ideas
  • A structured engagement with initiatives and operations through a mix of learning and action objectives
  • One-to-one mentoring with the CEO
  • Access to a network of innovative philanthropic leaders
  • Continued connection to TPF Fellows through the TPF Beyond Network

What are the eligibility requirements?

The following three eligibility requirements must be met:
  1. Be a graduate of the Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program from the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and interested in a career in community, corporate, or private foundations

  2. Be able to reside in Sarasota, Florida, summer 2025 – summer 2026

  3. Have legal authorization to work in the United States (i.e., a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in accordance with USCIS Form I-9)
View the application here. 

What assignments and experiences will the fellows receive?

Fellows will be immersed in specific initiatives based on shared interests and The Patterson Foundation's approach to philanthropy. The assignments produce close relationships with local community foundations and other organizations. The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives include international, national, state, and regional initiatives in education, aging, health, disaster recovery, inspiring philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and strategic communications. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives.



What impact has the Fellows Program had to date?

Since its inception in 2018, The Patterson Foundation has hosted cohorts of graduates from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy through the Fellows Program. Each Fellows cohort has had the opportunity to work within The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives while strengthening their capacity as leaders in philanthropy.

Through illuminating examples, TPF Fellows share humbling moments of growth while striving to create the future they imagine with the support of their TPF family.


How will TPF Fellows continue to strengthen their impact through connection with each other?

TPF Beyond Network is a community of possibilitarians consisting of current, past, and incoming individuals in The Patterson Foundation's Fellows Program. Brought together by a common commitment to TPF values and goals, The Patterson Foundation Fellows are a diverse group of individuals striving to create the future. Focused on possibilities, TPF Fellows alums work individually and collectively to advance philanthropic leadership and philanthropy as a sector.

Where is The Patterson Foundation located? Where are Fellows based?

Fellows are based at The Patterson Foundation’s office located in Sarasota, a coastal community on Florida's west coast. Sarasota is part of the vibrant Tampa Bay region and is known for its beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities.

Learn more about the Sarasota area at:

Will The Patterson Foundation’s Fellows Program expand to other academic institutions?

There are no plans to expand the Fellows Program to academic institutions beyond the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Who can I contact about the Fellows Program?

For more information, contact Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative lead Dr. Donald R. Bowman:
TPF has learned that aligning leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture is critical to success. Debra Jacobs, Pres/CEO and TPF Fellows, Kellie Alexander, Avery Crews Prado de Lima, Alexa Carr, and Andrew Spector explain LWRCC.
(total time: 4 minutes)

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