M.A. in Philanthropic Studies
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy offers the best program in Philanthropic Studies, and I knew it would set me up for success in the nonprofit sector. Plus, the location in downtown Indianapolis, on the IUPUI campus made the choice so easy for me!
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
I have loved being able to apply what I’m learning in the classroom directly towards what I’m doing in my internships and work. Sometimes, it’s a unique perspective I can bring to the table at a committee meeting, and once, I had a work assignment to write a particular kind of solicitation letter – and I had just written one for a class the week before – so I could literally use my homework assignment in my work environment. How cool is that?
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I love the mix of urban and natural life around downtown – the canal and green space right next to cool restaurants and major buildings. I’m always discovering something new here!
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
My first year, I was a Graduate Assistant at the St. Vincent Foundation, which serves a major hospital system in Indiana. I worked directly with supervisors to plan presentations, prepare solicitation letters, and coordinate details for major events.
Over the summer, I had an internship with Gleaners Food Bank, and I got to create a fundraising program for them to help reach lower- and mid-level donors more effectively. I got to treat that experience like an experiment, trying different ways to engage donors (from phone calls, postcards, and event invitations) to see which people preferred, and which strategy raised more money.
This year, my Graduate Assistantship is with The Fund Raising School, which is the top provider of professional development for professional fundraisers – and they’re housed at IUPUI in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, too! I am doing marketing work for them, managing their social media presence, designing their annual course directory, and finding new ways for them to reach more prospective students.
The School also helped me find a work-study position before I came to campus, and I ended up working for Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, which researches and provides professional development for religious leaders about fundraising. They’re also housed on campus with the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Over the last two years, I’ve been doing administrative and marketing work for them, which has been really fun. All of these experiences have made me so much more prepared for post-grad life!