A pilot program that will advance the study of philanthropy by mentoring those who plan to teach it is being initiated by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Learning by Giving Foundation. The pilot program director will mentor an emerging scholar, who will develop and teach a university-level experiential philanthropy course in which students grant $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations.
“Our faculty have a wealth of knowledge about how to successfully integrate grant making into academic courses. We are excited to partner with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to explore methods of sharing that knowledge with the next generation of philanthropy educators,” explained Alex Buffett Rozek, chairman of the Learning by Giving Foundation board of directors.
Professor Gregory R. Witkowski, associate professor of philanthropic studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, leads the Future Philanthropic Educators program. Witkowski has worked closely with the Learning by Giving Foundation for many years and serves on its academic advisory board. He has taught Learning by Giving and related courses since 2007 on different campuses to students enrolled in a wide range of majors.
“Through this initiative, emerging scholars will learn how to engage undergraduate students while teaching them the importance of philanthropy in society and best practices in grant making,” Witkowski said. “I’m excited about the possibilities this project offers for expanding knowledge about philanthropy as Future Philanthropic Educators take academic positions nationally, and I am grateful to my colleagues at the Learning by Giving Foundation for supporting this pilot.”
The 2015 Future Philanthropic Educator is Peter C. Weber, a 2014 Ph.D. graduate of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who has worked closely with Witkowski and who recently began a position as assistant professor and director of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program at Murray State University.
During the spring 2015 semester, the Future Philanthropic Educators program and Learning by Giving course are being implemented through a collaboration among the foundation, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program at Murray State University (MSU). Students from IUPUI and MSU will learn together about local needs, philanthropic patterns and the nonprofit sector in both rural and urban contexts. The two classes will interact throughout the joint grant-making process and will take on the challenge of evaluating needs and granting awards in two different states via weekly Skype sessions.
"The Future Philanthropic Educator Program will enrich emerging scholars’ experience and strengthen the field of philanthropic studies,” said Amir Pasic, dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Dr. Witkowski’s leadership in bringing the Learning by Giving course and now this new pilot to our school is having a meaningful impact on our students and community. As an outstanding young scholar, Dr. Weber is an ideal choice to help pilot this project. We thank the Learning by Giving Foundation for these opportunities and look forward to a productive collaboration.”
The Future Philanthropic Educator award is the result of Weber’s years of study and engagement with the nonprofit sector. Born in Germany, Weber moved to Italy where he received a Master in Interdisciplinary Studies of Philanthropy and Social Innovation from the University of Bologna. There he completed a study of nonprofit education programs in German-speaking countries as part of a European Union-funded Benchmarking NonProfit Organizations and Philanthropy Educational Programs Project before attending the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Weber’s work to date and his potential impact in the field were recognized in 2013 with an Emerging Scholar Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.
“I am honored by this award and by the opportunity to join the Learning by Giving family,” Weber said. “I have witnessed the impact this course can have on students and I am happy to bring it to Murray State University. I look forward to engaging my students with the local community through this innovative form of philanthropy education.”
About the Learning by Giving Foundation
The Learning by Giving Foundation seeks to advance the next generation’s understanding of philanthropy by providing the financial, technological, and intellectual tools to experience community impact and to make that knowledge widely accessible through an online forum.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook.
About the Murray State University Nonprofit Leadership Studies program
The Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program is committed to building a comprehensive and coordinated response to growing educational, research, and service needs of individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in communities around the world. The program offers a broad-based approach to the development of the future leaders of the nonprofit sector through undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as leadership, networking, funding, and promotion of quality practice. For more information, visit murraystate.edu/nls.aspx.