O’Neill Management major Emily Crump has two new accolades as she moves toward graduation. Faculty at O’Neill IUPUI selected her as the Outstanding Student in the Public Affairs program. She also was named a 2022–23 IUPUI Chancellor’s Scholar for the O’Neill School.
“I was completely shocked,” she admits. “I had no idea I was nominated, so it was quite a surprise.”
The Chancellor’s Scholar Award is a university-level honor based on academic achievement for the top student in each school.
“I’m so honored and humbled,” she adds. “It makes me reflect on my four years here—the hard days and the victories—and all that I’ve learned from those days. I would not be in this position had it not been for the mentors at O’Neill and in my personal life who encouraged and supported me. This is an opportunity to show them I can now invest in others just as they invested in me.”
Crump hopes to do that by working in the nonprofit field. It’s a dream that began well before she ever set foot on the IUPUI campus.
“Honestly, it started with my mom,” she says.
Crump’s mother is the director of finance for the Hancock County Children’s Choir, a nonprofit organization.
“I got to watch her go through the process of starting this organization, and saw how fulfilled she was in that role,” she recalls.
Crump could have pursued a management degree at many different universities and schools but says it was O’Neill’s emphasis on nonprofit management that drew her to the school. And it was the faculty, curriculum, and unique opportunities she encountered that kept her at O’Neill.
She was part of the O’Neill Honors Program, completing projects tailored to her specific career goals and building a professional network in the field she hopes to one day join.
“Through the Honors College, I made personal connections with my professors and professionals who came in to speak to us,” she says. “I would highly recommend looking into the program because it is so valuable. I can’t imagine my college experience without the Honors Program.”
She says her time at O’Neill opened the door to internships that have helped build her professional experience and opened her eyes to new parts of the nonprofit sector.
At O’Neill’s Nonprofit Expo, Crump met with several organizations and lined up not one but two internships. Her first was with TeenWorks, an organization that gives teens work experience and helps them build a resume. She helped manage social media and create a promotional video for the nonprofit, as well as getting her first introduction to grant writing for nonprofits.
The following semester, she moved on to her second internship, this one at The Children’s Museum. There, she was able to work on the donor side of fundraising for the first time, drafting donor membership renewal letters—an experience that further confirmed her interest in fundraising.
But it was her final internship with the Community Foundation of Hancock County that solidified the route she would take, professionally.
“I just fell in love with the foundation space,” she says. “It was so neat to me to see this organization that really facilitated so much community collaboration, served as a connector between different nonprofits, and provided monetary support for them.”
Crump worked on the foundation’s fundraising event and endowment campaign, interviewing leaders at 14 organizations supported by the foundation and creating videos to help donors understand each organization’s mission.
“Donors need to understand why their donations matter,” she explains. “I loved connecting with different leaders because it’s important to me in my career to build meaningful relationships with people and use those relationships to strengthen communities.”
She says prior to her internship, she didn’t understand the full scope of what community foundations do.
“A lot of people think foundations just give money, but it’s so much more than that,” she says, smiling. “There’s a trend among community foundations today where philanthropy isn’t just writing checks to nonprofits—it’s about being involved in what’s happening.”
She says learning that lesson has shaped the direction of her career and made her very passionate about community foundations.
“My dream job—at this point—would be working with community foundations or with organizations that support community foundations,” she says.
After commencement, she hopes to combine her interests in foundations and in fundraising. She acknowledges doing so will force her outside her comfort zone, but she believes it’s a mission that is vital to all nonprofits and communities.
“When people think of fundraising, they might think you’re begging for money,” she says. “But my perspective is that I’m providing a service to donors to help them experience the joy of philanthropy and help them achieve their vision for the world. It is such a fulfilling role when you know that you’re partnering with someone and making the world a better place.”