Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy — World Class Philanthropic Education in My Own Backyard
From my earliest days as an undergraduate student, I dreamed of obtaining my bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. This love of learning goes back to days of my youth when I played school with neighbors. I enjoyed that experience and stimulation of knowledge. As my career developed in the nonprofit sector, I continued my educational desire, not only for the sake of learning, but in preparation for better nonprofit sector jobs. As the world of technology continued to change and to grow, it became quickly apparent that continuing education was necessary to succeed.
Professional development in the nonprofit sector is extremely important, according to Arizona State University's Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. Demanding job roles, organizational challenges and geographical placements in the changing world provided more than enough reason to seek professional development. People working in nonprofits need broader training opportunities in areas such as marketing, public relations, fundraising, strategic planning, board development, grant writing and management, just to name a few.
With the advent of social media, financial stressors, and complexity of work, nonprofit leaders have found themselves needing updated training in business and communications. Professional development is needed not only to answer immediate situations but anticipate future needs and trends. Individuals must seek either advanced degrees in new areas of focus or continually obtain continuing education credits.
When nonprofit professionals look for management programs, they examine ways to improve fundraising techniques and seek improvement in leadership capabilities, plus financial management.
According to 2021's U.S. News and World Report ranking, the best public affairs schools for nonprofit management training are:
1. Indiana University — Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana
2. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
3. University of Southern California, Los Angeles
4. Indiana University-Purdue University — Indianapolis, Indianapolis
5. Arizona State University, Phoenix
6. University of Washington, Seattle
7. New York University, New York
8. Georgia State University, Atlanta
9. American University, Washington, D.C. (tied)
9. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida (tied)
11. University of Minnesota — Twin Cities, Minneapolis
12. University of Nebraska — Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
13. CUNY — Baruch College, New York
14. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey— Newark, Newark, New Jersey (tied)
14. University of Albany — SUNY, Albany, New York (tied)
14. University of Colorado — Denver, Denver (tied)
If you have a strong passion for community service and a zest for giving back, a philanthropic studies degree in the nonprofit sector might interest you. This type of degree examines fields such as education, health, social services, the arts and religion. The first school in the world to offer a Bachelor of Arts in philanthropic studies was the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis, the city I have called home for 40 years. This degree allows a student to engage in groundbreaking research on philanthropy.
According to The New York Times, a master’s degree in philanthropy teaches the business of doing good. Students obtaining a master’s degree in this area are learning to be professional do-gooders. Most philanthropy students intend to manage nonprofits or help them secure financial resources. Others desire to be teachers and scholars in the general science of do-goodism. Philanthropy examines the social and moral health of society. The study of philanthropy is not only about doing good but doing things well for the benefit of the world in which we live. The master’s degree in this field helps the student blend theory and practice for real world applications.
The focus of the philanthropic studies Master of Arts degree at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is on preparing leaders and staff to lead 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. Through in-person and online training, students gain experience and apply research to develop critical thinking skills affecting the nonprofit sector. Obtaining a masters in philanthropic studies prepares you for such careers as director of gift planning, fundraising consultant, principal gifts officer, development director, director of alumni relations, director of major gifts, and planned giving and annual giving director.
In addition to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philanthropic studies, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy offers a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies. This program trains future scholars and professionals to conduct original research on philanthropy and related topics. These students also study the history of philanthropy, why people give, role of nonprofits in society, effectiveness of foundations, role of social movements in society and need for ethical behavior in leadership roles.
The Lilly School of Philanthropy, which provides world class education in my backyard, continually plans for the future of philanthropy. This school, along with others across the country, are continually striving with respect to philanthropy, to advance knowledge, enhance excellence of academic programs, strengthen the relationship between theory and practice, engage the world of practice for best practice’s sake, attract outstanding students to the nonprofit profession, and develop a culture to assure a bright future for the field of philanthropic studies.
Unfortunately for me, I did not have such outstanding academic resources available in the field of philanthropic studies when I was at an early critical phase of my nonprofit career. I encourage everyone interested in a nonprofit career to take advantage of any educational resource available to them. Your advanced knowledge is needed and can be shared with your internal and external constituents. With this multiplier effect of advanced philanthropic knowledge sharing with others, positive and lasting change will affect the world.
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.