This article was first featured in Alliance magazine.
Indiana’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has launched a professional doctorate in philanthropic leadership – the first degree of its kind.
Most people interested in philanthropy are ‘doers,’ seeking to make a meaningful social contribution. But what they can accomplish depends on what they know, so there is an understandable thirst for practical knowledge that will survive the journey from anecdote to best practice, and then to a general principle that can be thoughtfully applied in many contexts.
Academic research on philanthropy has grown significantly at a time when professional practice is also evolving rapidly. There is an increasing need for bridges that connect scholarship and research with practical knowledge. This is why the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy recently launched the Professional Doctorate in Philanthropic Leadership (PhilD).
The PhilD will allow highly capable leaders to focus on a specific problem and seek to advance solutions by applying research while engaging mentors and fellow leaders. Professional doctorates are not uncommon in other fields, but to our knowledge this is the first one that has been crafted to advance the practical knowledge of philanthropy.
The premise of the PhilD is students creating applied projects at the frontier of knowledge with others who are in the academy, the world of practice, and in the communities they seek to benefit. The current philanthropic landscape is replete with issues crucial to civil society, including cross-sectoral collaborations, the impact of technology and climate change, disparities of various kinds, and the urgency of justice, equity and inclusion in communities everywhere. (more…)