In their fourth visit, students in Dr. Patricia Snell Herzog’s class toured and learned about The Nature Conservancy in Indiana. They reflected on the multi-tiered structure of The Nature Conservancy and the benefits to having local and national branches of the same organization.
Dr. Herzog said of this visit that “the organizational representatives did a fantastic job at explaining the structure of their organization to the students. This kind of insider knowledge is key to helping the students learn about the kind of organizations they aspire to work in after graduation, or to volunteer in now. It was especially insightful to the students to hear about how The Nature Conservancy is multi-tiered, with offices at the local, state, and national levels.”
The students reflected on their visit to The Nature Conservancy and how their experiences may impact their plans for the future.
Rachel Ploss, sophomore philanthropic studies major
“Prior to these organizational visits I only really knew of the Red Cross and a few other big organizations being multi-tiered, and now I have a better understanding of what that means.
“This knowledge can aid me in seeking positions I’d like to hold because there will be a position I want at different levels and offices. Plus, collaborating with these types of organizations would be fun because you can collaborate at different levels across the nation, but also you can collaborate to do something for an entire state.”
Sarah Nguyen, freshman pre-philanthropic studies major
“I was not aware of this multi-tiered structure organization. I had somewhat heard of The Nature Conservancy before but never really heard too much about it. So, coming to this, I thought it was so cool. I didn’t know that this was such a big deal until I visited.
“I think this can aid me in seeking the kind of position I would like to hold in the future, by making connections and seeing if this is something I really like.”
Maren Lehman, sophomore philanthropic studies major
“I was not very aware of the prevalence of multi-tiered organizations at all. By having the ability to focus on both the local, state, and national level, the Nature Conservancy identifies with the five organizational factors discussed by Mosley—professionalism of leadership, greater collaboration, increased size, use of volunteers, and greater involvement of staff.”
Nikki Jones, freshman philanthropic studies major
“Multi-tiered organizations have a better chance and opportunity as a whole to engage more of the community. Chapters are divided in different communities and regions. Because chapters are spread out throughout the state, the people of the community can have more access to the help and assistance they need.”
Lauren Graves, sophomore exploratory baccalaureate
“Understanding how these nonprofits are organized better allows me to know what kind of level of philanthropy I will want to work at. For example, if I want to be more micro-thinking, making a hands-on, tangible change, then a local sector is more my pace, but if I’m more into macro-thinking and playing a role in knowing what all the lower branches are accomplishing, then I would more appreciate working at the national level.”
Current master’s student and bachelor’s alumna Erin Crowther, who works at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as a graduate assistant and served as a speaker during the student visit, felt encouraged by the growth and talent reflected in the school’s bachelor degree program.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for all of us at The Nature Conservancy to meet with Dr. Herzog’s class. The students were so engaged in our work and our personal paths to philanthropy and TNC, and they asked excellent questions that are so critical to the future direction of nonprofit work within the United States.
“One student’s question regarding the diversity of our organization really stuck with me. Diversity within environmental organizations (and many others) is absolutely an issue, and it is encouraging to know that students are recognizing this challenge so early on in the program and addressing it head-on. It gives me great hope for a philanthropic sector that more closely represents the rich diversity of our country.
“I’m thrilled that students are getting the opportunity to go out into the Indianapolis community, learn from the philanthropic institutions working to make a positive difference in the lives of Hoosiers, and ask the questions that will better prepare them to make their passion their profession.”