Dean's Update

Dean Amir Pasic

On as pleasant a day as one finds in early February, affiliate faculty member and former Lake Scholar, David Craig, held a reading of his book Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and American Democracy, in which he promotes a more constructive conversation on healthcare that seeks to bridge the opposing views that hold it to be either a purely private or a purely public good. 

The month included a series of insightful presentations as Una Osili, director of Research, presented her work on the Nigerian Civil War. Eric Abrahamson, a professional historian and chronicler of the Rockefeller Foundation’s first hundred years, joined us to preview his history of the Taconic Foundation, a mid-size foundation of some consequence in the history of philanthropy. 

Founding Dean Emeritus Gene Tempel and his co-faculty in the new Celebrity Philanthropy course, Professors Genevieve Shaker and Sarah Nathan, welcomed Barbara Newhouse, CEO of the ALS Foundation, to recount the impact of the Ice-Bucket Challenge.

At the invitation of alumnus Nathan Hand, I had the pleasure of joining the Indiana chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals to update them on developments at the school and specifically promote our Executive Master’s program as a wonderful career-friendly way of enhancing one’s expertise in philanthropy.

Associate Dean Patrick Rooney and I attended the University of Southern California’s Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy’s 2016 National Philanthropy Forum focused on the intersection of government and philanthropy. This is a vital area that we need to be engaged with, and it was also important to see one of our peer centers of excellence in action.

Hoosier Philanthropy ConferenceFinally, we had a terrific two-day Hoosier Philanthropy Conference organized by Professor Greg Witkowski. It was a compelling examination of Indiana’s philanthropic past with panels that joined major philanthropists with faculty, students and alumni, engaging in boundary-spanning dialogue. This is precisely what we hoped for when we created a new interdisciplinary field and a school to sustain it. The conference was a true partnership that included the Indiana Historical Society, IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, IU Foundation, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, IUPUI, and Indiana University as we used the two days of intellectual and practical sharing to mark the bicentennial of our state. We were pleased to have several board members participating, with chair Melynne Klaus, and members Cindy Simon Skjodt and Dan Smith all speaking on panels, while Ted Grossnickle and Dan Yates, joined IU Trustee MaryEllen Bishop in the audience. Last but not least, we were privileged to have N. Clay Robbins, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Lilly Endowment Inc., as our keynote speaker.

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News You Can Use


  • 20-22, AFP International Conference Exhibit, Boston, MA
  • 26, Hoosier Women at Work Conference (Kathi Badertscher presenting)
  • 29, Arthur C. Frantzreb Lecture: John List (AFP-IN spring conference)
  • 31-April 1, Lake Advisory Board Meeting
  • 31-April 1, ICC 6th Annual Service Engagement Summit
  • 31, Visiting Mott Chair (Mark Sidel) Community Foundations and Community Philanthropy conference (8am-5pm) Ends at 3:00 p.m.
  • 31, Lake Lecture (Jonathan Walton) & Reception Begins at 4:30 p.m.


Join us this spring for these thought-provoking special events; watch our website for more information coming soon!

March 31
Walton, JonathonThomas H. Lake Lecture
Guest speaker: Jonathan Walton, Ph.D.
Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and
Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and
Professor of Religion and Society, Harvard Divinity School

March 31 - April 1
Community Foundations and Community Philanthropy Research Conference

Hosted by: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Visiting Chair on Community Foundations Mark Sidel, Ph.D.
Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison and
Member, Council on Foundations Community Foundations National Standards Board

April 6
Stead Family Chair in International Philanthropy Lecture

Guest Speaker: Helmut K. Anheier
President and Dean, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
Academic Director, Centre for Social Investment

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Academic Programs

Refer a prospective student

Do you know a prospective student that has a passion for community, service, and giving back, and may be interested in learning more about the programs of study available at our school?

Please tell us about him or her>>

Alumni Board member Eric Richards was recognized on this year's Indiana Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list. It's the fourth year in a row we've had alumni representation on this list.

  • 2016: Eric Richards
  • 2015: Genevieve Shaker, Melynne Klaus
  • 2014: Tedd Grain
  • 2013: Matt Holley (and Una Osili as well)

February 5Workshop in Multidisciplinary Philanthropic Studies (WIMPS)
Aurelian Craiutu, Professor of Political Science and Philanthropic Studies,
Department of Political Science at Indiana University Bloomington
"Should We Still Read Tocqueville?" 

February 11Community Foundations and Community Philanthropy Workshop (2 of 4)

Place-based giving in identity-focused groups:  The case of Muslim community foundations and philanthropy

Co-sponsored by Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the event was co-chaired by Mark Sidel and Shariq Siddiqui, Executive Director of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

February 16Workshop in Multidisciplinary Philanthropic Studies (WIMPS)
Eric Abrahamson, Principal Historian at Vantage Point Historical Services, Inc., presented a seminar of the Taconic Foundation.

February 16Special guest at Celebrity Philanthropy course
Barbara Newhouse, CEO of the ALS Foundation
Faculty: Gene Tempel, Gen Shaker, and Sarah Nathan

February 18-19Hoosier Philanthropy: Understanding the Past, Planning the Future
Philanthropic Variety: Perspectives from an Indiana Practitioner
N. Clay Robbins, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Lilly Endowment Inc.

The conference “Hoosier Philanthropy: Understanding the Past, Planning the Future” aimed to integrate practice and scholarship, allowing both scholars and practitioners to inform one another. The conference engaged these constituencies in discussions on Indiana’s philanthropic traditions and current practices, as well as preserving the historical roots that still shape today’s philanthropic dynamics. View photos>>

February 25Joseph T. Taylor Symposium
The school participated with a table of 10 attendees (leadership, staff, faculty, and students) for the lunch portion.

February 26—Four of our students recently presented a Philanthropy 101 session to high school students for the United Way of Central Indiana Youth Leadership Program.

February 29—The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy celebrated Black History Month and the rich and enduring legacy of the African American philanthropic tradition.

  • Winterbourne LaPucelle Harrison-Jones (event chair)
  • Opening remarks: Dean Amir Pasic
  • Guest presenter: Dr. Tyrone Freeman

Faculty Activities, Awards, and Publications

Les Lenkowsky published an article in America in the World, 1776 to the Present: A Supplement to the Dictionary of American History. The article, “The Gates Foundation,” details the history and impact of the largest grant-making foundation in the world. The article is part of a dictionary set that provides a transnational view of U.S. history, focusing on the role of Americans and the U.S. while analyzing how the world has influenced the U.S. and Americans.

Congratulations to Jennifer Brass who was named one of IU Bloomington-wide Outstanding Junior Faculty for 2015-2016.

Jennifer N. Brass, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, SPEA, IUB; Adjunct Faculty Member, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Patrick Rooney, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research:

  • February 11-12—Attended the USC Conference: National Leadership Forum, Philanthropy and Government: Public Problem Solving at the Intersection with Amir Pasic, in Los Angeles.
  • February 18-19—Attended the Hoosier Philanthropy Conference at the Indiana Historical Society, chaired by Greg Witkowski.
  • February 25—Attended the Taylor Symposium Luncheon
  • February 29—First day of our school’s 5-Year Review

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International Programs

February 23—The student organization China Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (CPLI) held a discussion open to all students with Professor of Practice, Les Lenkowsky on the U.S. presidential election.

February 26—The China Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (CPLI) held an outing at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, again open to all students, where they learned about the board and development office of the Museum. Hosts included alumna, Kim Gattle, and current master’s student, Tom Hiatt.

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Women's Philanthropy Institute

February 16The Power and Influence of Women in Philanthropy webinar
Sponsored by CCS

Research about gender in philanthropy is playing an increasing role in transforming behaviors of donors, nonprofit leaders, and fundraisers. In this webinar, Drs. Debra Mesch and Una Osili, along with CCS Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Caroline Chick, shared new research recently conducted by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to over 430 viewers. This new data affirms the power and influence of women in the charitable giving process. In addition to talking about motivations for giving and household decision making, Mesch and Osili presented the first detailed research exploring the landscape of giving to women and girls.

Did you miss the recent webinar? Watch a replay >>

February 21-24WPI Director Dr. Debra Mesch was invited to present a session at the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE) annual conference in Chicago on the results of Women Give 2014. With religiosity on the decline and the percentage of religiously unaffiliated Americans on the rise, this timely study looked at the intersection of women, faith, and giving

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Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

Spas, MelissaWELCOME Melissa Spas, Managing Director of Education and Engagement!

“We are happy to announce that Lake Institute has welcomed aboard Melissa Spas to serve as our Managing Director of Education and Engagement. A new position for Lake Institute, our Managing Director will give oversight to our expanding teaching and training programs, revise and create new curricula, while also serving as a primary instructor for our signature Lake courses such as the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF). Melissa brings an experience and passion for the design and teaching of executive education as well as a passion for the shared work that we do at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She joined us only a short month ago and has already been a part of multiple programs, presentations, and trainings.”

-David King, Karen Lake Buttrey Director, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

February 6David King and Phil Jamieson led day one of a three-day Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity (CCCG) seminar with the United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis & Tennessee Conferences in Nashville, TN. The next gathering for this seminar will be on March 12th.

February 18-19David King led a session at the Hoosier Philanthropy Conference entitled “Concurrent Sessions: Today’s Hoosier Philanthropic Landscape Religion.” The panel consisted of Bill Enright, Chris Coble, Elizabeth Lynn and Shariq Siddiqui.

February 21-24David King presented a joint research project on faith-based fundraising at the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE) Conference in Chicago, IL.

February 25David King, Melissa Spas and Karen Stone led a one-day training session with Everence Financial. The session is part of the Train-the-Trainer program designed to teach groups to lead the Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity seminar for their audience.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

The 13th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture featuring Dr. Jonathan Walton is on Thursday, March 31 at the Indiana Historical Society. This event is FREE and open to the public.

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February 2Dr. Una Osili, director of Research and professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies, presented for the Sabbatical Speaker Series for the IU School of Liberal Arts. Her presentation was titled War and Human Capital: Growing Up During the Nigerian Civil War.

February 19Dr. Una Osili presented at the Hoosier Philanthropy Conference. Her presentation was titled Indiana Giving and Volunteering: Trends and Lessons from the Last Two Decades.

February 27Dr. Una Osili presented to the Eskenazi Health Foundation in Florida on trends in philanthropy.

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February 13Ann Boyd-Stewart, Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, attended IU Winter College. Winter College, an engaging and uplifting day of learning away from the cold, dreary winter weather in beautiful Naples, Florida, featured our very own Sara Konrath, Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies. Sara’s breakout session “Empathy: There’s an app for that” focused on her research using mobile phone tools to help build empathy in youth.

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February was a remarkable media month:

Debra Mesch published an opinion article in The Wall Street Journal about our research on the gender gap in charitable giving (access restricted) that has been very well received, and Kirat Sandhu, a senior in our B.A. in philanthropic studies program, was on camera with Lady Gaga on the Oscars, emphasizing the importance of battling sexual abuse.

Sandhu, Kirat (Oscars)

Kirat’s story was featured in The Indianapolis Star, and on Indianapolis’ ABC and NBC television affiliates, WRTV Ch. 6 and WTHR Ch. 13. The story, which we pitched, notes that she is a philanthropic studies student.

We also arranged an interview for Kirat with Terri Stacy on WIBC Radio, which will air later this week, probably on Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

in Indianapolis also did stories on air and on their websites about Kirat’s adventure and her work on this important cause, thanks to the partnership of the IUPUI media relations team, which pitched the television stories.

Dean Pasic was quoted in a NonProfit Times article on what diminished resources among older donors might mean for giving to nonprofits.

Una Osili was quoted in The Indianapolis Star in an article about United Way and Eli Lilly & Company partnering to engage younger donors.

Philanthropic Studies faculty member Richard Gunderman published an opinion editorial in the Indianapolis Business Journal about recommended reading for business executives (access restricted).

A story about Lilly Endowment’s grant to Lake Institute on Faith & Giving was published in the Inside Indiana Business newsletter.

Faculty member Les Lenkowsky was quoted in a Cincinnati Enquirer story about a controversial charity.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy published an article on our Philanthropy Outlook 2016 & 2017. The report also was cited in an Inside Philanthropy article about the need for greater diversity in philanthropy. featured Women’s Philanthropy Institute research in an article on what women want from their financial advisors.

Faculty member Beth Gazley had an article in Nonprofit Quarterly about fundraising for public schools (not available via secure connection).

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