Philanthropy now has a larger arena and platform than ever before, and Indiana University members are excited and optimistic about the future and implications of this field.

GARY, Ind. — Philanthropy is quickly gaining ground as an educational endeavor, and with the likely creation of a new school of philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, students will have even more opportunities to explore a career path in this nonprofit sector.

"Indiana University’s trustees voted today to create a school of philanthropy, the first in the nation and a sign of both the growing amount of scholarship on the nonprofit world and intense demand to offer rigorous training to people who work at charitable institutions," according a June 22 article in the Chronicle Of Philanthropy by Maureen West.

"Twenty-five years of commitment to excellence in philanthropic research, teaching and service have given Indiana University the strongest possible foundation to create a School of Philanthropy at IUPUI," said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz in an Indiana University press release. "Today's students want to make a difference in the world, and they are looking for an education that lets them engage their hearts as well as their heads. The School of Philanthropy would prepare them to change lives and communities at home and around the world."

The school is not finalized yet, but if approved further, it could open up as early as July 2013.

"The School of Philanthropy would have to be approved by the Commission on Higher Education," according to an Indianapolis Business Journal article by Kathleen McLaughlin. "It's not clear how the school would be funded, but it could come with a hefty endowment. The Center on Philanthropy has a $66.5 million endowment."

Philanthropy now has a larger arena and platform than ever before, and university members are excited and optimistic about the future and implications of this field.

"A strong culture of philanthropy has been fundamental to the success of many societies and institutions, and through the Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University has become a leader in research in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors in the United States and globally," said IU president Michael A. McRobbie in the press release. "Expanding the scope of our work through the creation of a new School of Philanthropy will allow us to strengthen our unique position in these fields by attracting and retaining top faculty, pursuing new areas of research, and growing enrollment at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels."

Students studying at the school of philanthropy may find the skills they learn to be in high demand going forward as the fields of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector continue to expand and create job opportunities.

"Philanthropy and the nonprofit sector constitute about 10 percent of the U.S. labor force and about 5 percent of the gross domestic product annually," according to the Indiana press release. "There are more than 1.4 million nonprofit organizations nationwide. These nonprofits will need to hire an additional 640,000 senior executives by 2016, according to a study by The Bridgespan Group. The School of Philanthropy would address these and other important workforce and economic development needs for Indiana, the nation and the world."