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Mott Endows Chair To Study Community Foundations

By The NonProfit Times - February 24, 2014

A gift from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation will fund a new faculty chair at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis, Ind., that will focus on community foundations. It is believed to be the nation’s first chair focused specifically on studying and teaching about community foundations, according to the school.

The foundation made grants totaling $600,000 toward the endowment during 2012 and 2013. It is considering requests for additional funds, up to a cumulative total of $1.5 million through September 2016, according to Kathryn Thomas, vice president, communications for the foundation.

There are now nine endowed chairs associated with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is an established leader in building both individual community foundations and the community foundation field in the U.S. and around the world,” said Charles R. Bantz, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and executive vice president of Indiana University. “We thank the foundation for this generous opportunity to contribute to understanding and enhancing the important work of community foundations.”

The chair will elevate the level of research on the community foundation field, deepen the knowledge base, provide insights that will further improve the work of community foundations and incorporate the new knowledge into practical application for community foundation professionals and volunteers, according to an announcement from the school.

“Mott has granted more than $150 million to encourage the development of community foundations in the United States as well as globally. It is fitting that we honor this legacy — and the centennial celebration of community foundations — by establishing a base of pooled talent, intellect and leadership for the field at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Neal Hegarty, vice president of programs at the foundation, said via a statement.

The chair will help the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy attract and retain world-class faculty members to advance its goal of improving philanthropy to improve the world. The chair holder will teach and conduct cutting-edge research at the school to educate future philanthropy and nonprofit leaders, serve as a public scholar and help increase the impact of community foundations across the country and internationally.

“This is an ideal way to honor the invaluable role community foundations play in communities and to help ensure their success in enhancing communities for generations to come,” said Gene Tempel, founding dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “The research and education generated as a result of this gift will equip community foundation leaders, staff and board members with increased knowledge and innovations to enrich and strengthen the myriad ways they serve their communities.”

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