By Debra Jacobs
For all of the challenges we face in today’s world, there are an equal number of opportunities to work toward the greater good and create lasting change.
The givers among us are keenly aware of this potential, whether it stems from an unforeseen humanitarian crisis following a natural disaster or from a long-standing issue affecting people across multiple generations.
Regardless of the nature of the challenge, there are those ready to respond with the resources necessary to meet it while capitalizing on our aspirations for a better future—and the philanthropic sector is uniquely positioned to harness their generosity toward stronger impact for us all.
Investing in wise, dedicated, and innovative philanthropic leaders is one of our best opportunities to strengthen their potential to be the driving force behind that impact. Creating a dedicated space for that growth is at the heart of The Patterson Foundation’s Fellows Program, which aspires to equip the next generation of philanthropic leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to chart a strong course forward in the organizations they will one day helm.
In the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy—the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy—The Patterson Foundation found a partner who shares our aspiration for imaginatively impactful philanthropy, giving rise to the Fellows Program and collaborations beyond through the Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative.
Since 2018, The Patterson Foundation has had the privilege of offering the school’s best and brightest a year-long career-building experience in Sarasota, Florida to learn innovative philanthropic principles and share their expertise through engaging initiatives.
In that time, three TPF Fellows—inaugural Fellow Hannah Saeger Karnei, along with our 2020-2021 cohort of John Ferguson and Abby Rolland—have led efforts across The Patterson’s Foundation’s diverse initiatives. They have managed efforts to promote the importance of the 2020 Census among undercounted populations, to explorations into the barriers many face toward acquiring access to our crucial digital landscape and programs underway to overcome them nationally, to community-wide partnerships helping children succeed in school and life through early literacy, and a myriad other ever-evolving initiatives.
Throughout their experience, these Fellows have worked alongside established philanthropic leaders to make a tangible impact on people, organizations, and communities near and far. Amid those efforts, they have had the chance to learn from The Patterson Foundation’s unique approach to philanthropy while sharing their own expertise to inform that approach going forward.
They, along with future cohorts of Fellows, form the backbone of a network of next-generation philanthropic leaders aligned in their belief in the possibilities inherent in any great challenge—and the knowledge necessary to turn them into reality.
The Patterson Foundation is proud to extend this opportunity to a new group of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s talented graduates once more, and we look forward to inviting a new cohort of Fellows to collaborate with us from June 2021 to June 2022. Please visit our Fellows Program page to learn more about this excellent opportunity to strengthen and evolve philanthropy’s impact on our world.
Debra Jacobs is the president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, a fully endowed charitable foundation based in Sarasota, Florida that strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities. The Patterson Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.