Last semester EDPOSA collaborated with the Nonprofit Management Association (NMA) to host an event that focused on the state and challenges of higher education fundraising. To understand this topic, we brought in practitioners who work for various institutions including IU’s Kelley School of Business, the IU Foundation, DePauw University, and The Center on Philanthropy. The panel of practitioners brought interesting, diverse and valuable insight, and one issue that came to light during the discussion was that fundraising was not a career any of the panelists anticipated pursuing. This fact was highlighted by each panelist’s different way of arriving at his or her current position. However, all of the panelists had a common denominator in their interests, and that was education. The value of fundraising for education institutions cannot be overstated, and each panelist touched on the worthy cause for which he or she works. They all considered it a privilege and a critical duty to raise money for such essential institutions. In light of diminishing state funds for higher education, effective fundraisers are more critical than ever. The guidance that these panelists provided helped students in the room better understand what to do to be effective fundraisers for their current and future employers.
Laura Beth Griffith