Giving Compass’ Take:
• Fellows at CCS Fundraising and The Patterson Foundation share their experiences and thoughts on driving philanthropy forward as they reflect working in the philanthropic sector.
• How can fellowships be mutually beneficial for the participant and philanthropy?
• Read about how philanthropy is changing and adjusting as new challenges emerge.
In April 2019, Courtney Baugh (M.A./M.P.A. ‘19) and I presented at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Board of Visitors lunch about The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program. Courtney had decided to take a great opportunity with CCS Fundraising and I had decided to accept the offer to become the inaugural Fellow at The Patterson Foundation (TPF).
There was, I think, some interest from the board in the program but even more interest in the decision-making process around accepting the opportunity or not. On the slide I presented about my perception of what would make being a TPF Fellow a successful career move was the following:
- Immersive learning experience in private funding organization
- Professional development, networking, and mentorship
- Commitment to detail and support
There was some ambiguity around what a Fellow would actually do and some frustration when a concrete answer wasn’t provided during the interview process. But the reasoning behind the ambiguity is part of what makes the Fellowship so powerful; the work depends on you. What are your skills, your interests, your strengths and how can they contribute to powerful work being done?
My hope for my future is not just to work in philanthropy but to drive philanthropy forward, whatever that path may be. Being at The Patterson Foundation is proof positive that if you arrive with questions rather than answers, look for spaces where work isn’t being done, and aim to strengthen the players already in motion, possibilities are endless.
To answer some questions:
Is the fellowship an extension of the master’s program?
It is a continuation in that there are more opportunities to deepen my knowledge of the philanthropic sector and apply lessons learned in Indianapolis both locally in the Sarasota area and through connecting nationally with a variety of organizations and nonprofit leaders.
Read the full article about driving philanthropy forward by Abby Rolland at Lilly School of Family Philanthropy.
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