“Like mighty winds, opportunities abound to those who decide to see them. They exist in limitless amounts and are waiting to be applied.” –Lincoln Patz
Josh Moore, M.A.’17, took Patz’s message to heart when he enrolled at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Moore spent four years working for his fraternity as a traveling consultant, learning about philanthropy in a membership organization.
At that point, Moore knew that he wanted to pursue a career in fundraising.
“My last two years in the fraternity job, I spent time on campuses, building agreements for the fraternity to either be re-started or established,” he said. “It required many of the same skills that a fundraiser needs: listening more than talking to others, finding how what we do fits with their values, and discovering what they’re looking for in a partner organization.”
Following his desire to expand his education, Moore applied to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, was accepted, earned a University Fellowship his first year, and joined the new cohort of in-person master’s degree students.
He dove into learning, taking classes from faculty members who pioneered the study of philanthropy and fundraising, including Dr. Dwight Burlingame and Dr. Tim Seiler.
“Their courses gave me the foundational knowledge about fundraising. It’s all about relationship development and letting people express their values in unique ways,” Moore explained.
Understanding legal structures of foundations and other nonprofit organizations in his law class and the impact of public policy on nonprofits in the economics of philanthropy also helped further inform Moore’s knowledge about philanthropy, while faculty members Dr. Catherine Herrold and Dr. David King helped him “think outside the box” when considering the different roles philanthropy plays.
It wasn’t just his coursework that helped: Moore worked in development during his fellowship at the IUPUI University Library, as well as in internships at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. He assisted by writing stewardship and annual fund letters to donors, event planning, and helping the frontline fundraisers prepare for donor meetings.
He also learned about philanthropy from another angle when he served as a graduate assistant at Lumina Foundation, which works to increase the proportion of Americans with postsecondary credentials to 60 percent by 2025. There, Moore crafted his own plan based on his interests, conducting a cost benefit analysis of the foundation’s memberships in philanthropy-serving organizations, crafting research briefs about areas of higher education, and working with the program officers at Lumina to better understand how private foundations operate.
“It was a great experience to see the grantmaking side of philanthropy, and has informed the current work I do with foundations,” he said.
In addition to his academic and practical experiences, Moore also found time to compete for and win the David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Leadership & Giving, concentrating on the need for access to education. He gave the student speech at his graduation in 2017, focusing on the importance of understanding the depth and breadth of philanthropy and learning about the systematic knowledge related to this work.
He earned a job in consulting months before graduating, and worked with nonprofits on their fundraising and strategic planning processes.
But when the call came to return to Indiana University, Moore knew it was the right path.
He now works as the associate director for foundation relations within the Office of the Vice President for Research. Moore collaborates with faculty and staff to identify foundation prospects for funding for research or service projects, provides feedback on grant proposals, and works with the president’s office to send out stewardship letters to foundations and nonprofits providing grants to faculty and staff at IU.
“Our team serves the whole university, connecting people to where they need to go to be successful,” he said.
Moore enjoys the day-to-day variety and working in foundation relations. He also continues to stay connected to the school, authoring the chapter “Foundations” for the past three years for Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy.
He’s taken advantage of many opportunities the school offers, and encourages current and prospective philanthropy students to do the same:
“Find ways to apply what you’re learning, whether that’s through an internship or graduate assistantship. Also, utilize the network that the school has. Connect with the faculty members and alumni: they’re doing incredible work, and are always eager to meet others working in the field.”
Salvatore Alaimo (PhD, 2008)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I hope all Lilly School current students and alumni read it. It offers great advice and is truly inspiring. The quality of our education is largely driven by what we make of it, and Josh serves as a great example of that. You have to have an opportunity mindset, look for such opportunities and take advantage of them and get involved.