Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute

Learn From the Best & Elevate Your Leadership


Building Indiana’s talent pipeline of senior professionals and board members within foundations and corporate giving programs.

The John Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute identifies and develops transformational philanthropic leaders in Indiana. This cohort-based program provides a continuing education experience that prepares future leaders for board and executive roles at foundations and corporations serving communities across Indiana. With each Mutz Institute cohort, we aim to:

  1. Bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to the existing philanthropic community. 
  2. Support emerging philanthropic leaders through educational and professional development. 
  3. Elevate Indiana’s philanthropic field.
  4. Create a network representative of Indiana's diverse communities.


Highlights from Mutz Institute

  • Face time with some of the most influential people in the state and across the nation, including those in economic development, community development, business, higher education, nonprofits, and politics.
  • Real-talk on media pitches from Indianapolis Business Journal, IndyStar, Axios, Western Wayne News, Franklin College School of Journalism, and VOX Global.
  • Big idea talks with CivicLab, Mission Investment Exchange, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, AmPhil, Locust Lab, and Monitor Institute.
  • Experts shed light on systems change, trust-based philanthropy, being data informed, impact investing, corporate social responsibility, and environment, social, and governance (ESG).

Support Future Participants

Financial constraints should not be barriers for participants. In collaboration with The Putnam County Community Foundation, Mutz Alums established an endowment for future participants. Please contribute today to ensure equitable access for decades to come at


About John Mutz

The Mutz Institute is named after one of IPA's founding members, John M. Mutz, whose life exemplifies philanthropy, citizenship, and excellence. John Mutz has been president of Lilly Endowment Inc., Lt. Governor of Indiana, and a corporate CEO. Go here to learn more about this Indiana visionary.


Who Should Apply

Excellent candidates for the Mutz Institute are senior leaders and board members in philanthropy, as well as those seeking to hold executive roles in the future. This includes public sector officials and high-potential individuals at foundations, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. 

The Mutz Institute seeks a diverse class of individuals with a wide range of experiences. Successful applicants will possess self-motivation and strong character. They will have achieved recognition for service in their community or performance in the field of philanthropy and will have shown a willingness to serve others. Successful candidates should demonstrate the potential for future success and service to their communities, as well as a willingness to translate the program's benefits into a greater level of participation in philanthropic organizations. 


Tuition cost is $1,000 for IPA members and $2,750 for non-members. Download the application below to see other participant responsibilities. 

Cost should never be a barrier. Those who bring a diversity of thought and experience bring different gifts. We will work with accepted applicants to eliminate the cost barrier.

Total Anticipated Cost Tuition Over-Night Expenses Dinner Table optional Foundations on the Hill trip to D.C.
IPA Member $1,000 $350 $1,000 *$1,500
Non-Member $2,750 $350 $1,000 *$1,500


How to Apply

Applications for the 2024 Mutz Institute cohort are due no later than 12:00 p.m. E.T. on Thursday, October 26, 2023. 

Download the application below for detailed instructions on how to apply and submission requirements. Please note that submitting your application does not guarantee placement. An IPA selection committee will evaluate all written applications, interview potential candidates, and select qualified applicants.

Please email or call (317) 519-5391 with any questions.


The third cohort of the Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute includes 23 individuals from seven Indiana counties. They represent a mix of foundations, corporations, and social impact organizations.

Those selected for the 2023 Mutz Institute class include:

  1. Emerald Blankenship, VP of Programs, Community Foundation of Howard County
  2. Falicia Brewer, President & Philanthropic Advisor, Brewer & Associates
  3. Crista Carlino, Director of Development & Communications, RecycleForce
  4. Mandy Drakeford, Program Officer, AWS Foundation
  5. Elise Erikson Barrett, Student of Philanthropy
  6. Kara Fulmer, Director of Planning Giving & Grants, The Honeywell Foundation
  7. Crystal Gunther, VP of Community Philanthropy, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana
  8. Allissa Impink, Director of Family Philanthropy, Central Indiana Community Foundation
  9. Brian Johnson, Director of Development, Fulton County Community Foundation
  10. Julia Kaercher, Executive Director, Merchants Foundation
  11. Allen McClendon, Community Affairs Director, OneAmerica Foundation
  12. Tina Patton, VP/Director of Non-Profit & Foundation Engagement, Indiana Trust Wealth Management
  13. Alexandra Pflug, Executive Director, Fayette County Community Foundation
  14. Sarah Stone, Communications Director, The Putnam County Community Foundation
  15. Bridget Sutton, Director of Development, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
  16. Travis Tester, Chief Development & Communications Officer, Foster Success
  17. Mary Tyndall, Communications & Food Programs Director, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
  18. Faith Van Gilder, Chief Development Officer, Girls Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana
  19. Stephanie Wagner, Community Development Liaison, Johnson County Community Foundation
  20. Shannon Walker, VP of Marketing & Operations, Unity Foundation of La Porte County
  21. Bethany Watson, Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations, Gleaners Food Bank
  22. Keylee Wright, Executive Director, Kendrick Foundation
  23. Leeann Wright, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Pulaski County


Past Participants

2022 Class

2021 Class

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