Philanthropic Updates from The University of Texas at Dallas

New Fellowship Will Build the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders

By Daniel Steele  |  May 15, 2018

The University of Texas at Dallas has received a grant from the Texas Instruments Foundation designed to help grow the pipeline of nonprofit professionals in the Dallas area. Together with the Dallas Museum of Art and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the University will share a total of $2.1 million in grants from the TI Foundation.

At UT Dallas, these funds will be used to create the Texas Instruments Founders Leadership Fellows program. Coordinated by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, the fellowship will be awarded annually to a promising UT Dallas undergraduate student, graduate student or recent graduate who wishes to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.

Established in honor of Eugene McDermott, Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green — the shared founders of both Texas Instruments and the Graduate Center of the Southwest (which would become UT Dallas in 1969) — and Patrick Haggerty, the fourth founder of TI, this fellowship represents a mutual commitment between TI and UT Dallas to support philanthropic efforts in the Dallas community.

“Our founders created a legacy of deep community involvement and giving back,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation. “That legacy has strongly influenced our culture and has inspired decades of community service by TIers around the world. We want to honor their commitment and celebrate the impact their generosity has had on our community.”

Fellows in the program will gain direct experience in relationship building and fundraising through a year-long internship with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Formal coaching in fundraising practices and donor-centric philanthropy  will be provided through mini-residencies in annual giving, corporate relations, endowments, foundation relations, gift and database management, major gifts, prospect research and planned giving.

During the course of their internships, fellows will have the opportunity to attend local and national higher-education fundraising and philanthropy conferences and seminars. At the culmination of their internships, fellows will pursue focused projects tailored to their specific areas of interest. In addition to supporting UT Dallas’ own fundraising and alumni relations efforts, fellows will gain the experience necessary to fill the growing talent gap in the nonprofit sector.

“This program provides students with a pathway to careers that make a real difference in our communities,” said Shanon Patrick, assistant vice president for leadership and planned gifts at UT Dallas. “Our fellows will be prepared to take on leadership roles in a variety of nonprofit environments.”

Over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States struggle to recruit experienced and qualified employees. This sector’s growth, coupled with generational retirement and limited education opportunities, has caused an increasing disparity between vacant positions and the number of available, skilled nonprofit professionals. Apprenticeships such as the Texas Instruments Founders Leadership Fellows can provide immersive training, hands-on exposure and transferrable skill sets beneficial for careers in multiple nonprofit professional roles.

The first Texas Instruments Founders Leadership Fellows internships will run from September 2018 through August 2019.