Sarah Nathan

Adjunct Faculty Member, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Sarah Nathan


Sarah K. Nathan, Ph.D. is a self-described “pracademic” who has spent her entire career in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser, educator, volunteer, and leader. Today she leads Northfield Shares, the community foundation of Northfield, Minnesota.

Dr. Nathan served five years as the associate director of The Fund Raising School where she managed all aspects of the curriculum designed for fundraising practitioners. From ensuring courses were updated with the most recent research to assisting practitioner faculty be successful educators, her work ensured participants had a positive and productive learning experience.

As part of the innovative and collaborative The Fund Raising School team, she designed several new specialty courses and virtual learning experiences. As a course designer, she was attuned to the most recent scholarly research and industry best practices to ensure that courses included active and applied learning. In short, her creative design work translated research for a practitioner audience.

Previously, she was assistant professor of nonprofit management and philanthropy at Bay Path University where she taught and advised online graduate students in the Masters of Nonprofit Management and Strategic Fundraising degree programs.

Dr. Nathan began her philanthropy career as a 19-year-old student, calling alumni at her undergraduate alma mater, Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she later became associate director of the annual fund. She continues to serve the College as an enthusiastic alumni ambassador.

When living in Indiana, she supported her local community as a volunteer and board member of the Johnson County Community Foundation, where she helped establish the county’s first giving day. Dr. Nathan is an avid Girl Scout and spends countless hours joyfully guiding young leaders.

She is a proud graduate of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and holds the MA and PhD in philanthropic studies.