where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

We live in a society that is built on philanthropy. Even during the most difficult times, people and organizations stand ready to help their communities with their time and their resources.

The word "philanthropy" comes from a Greek word that means "love for humankind." Philanthropy is not primarily about money—it is about what money can accomplish for the greater good. If more people are inspired to be generous with their money and time, lives can be changed in our communities today. Philanthropy truly enriches our world in the ways that matter most.

La Sierra University's Center for Philanthropy is the first of its kind in the Western states. It provides assistance to non-profit organizations in developing the skills and knowledge required to successfully cultivate friends and funds needed to carry out their mission. Seasoned professionals, those new to the world of fund development, and students can all benefit from the center's programs.

The Center for Philanthropy shares cutting-edge research and trends in fundraising and philanthropy with organizations, professionals, students, and the general public. It not only offers courses and classes, but also sponsors a lecture series featuring prominent major donors and executives with national foundations. The center provides a place to network with peers and organizations doing critically important work locally and globally.

Social services, the arts, education, health care—so many areas of a strong and vibrant community depend on philanthropic support. The Center for Philanthropy offers services and programs to increase the effectiveness of individuals and non-profits in the Inland Empire and beyond. We look forward to working with you and your organization to build your philanthropic capacity.

Please feel free to browse our site using the links on the left side of this page. We look forward to hearing from and working with you in the near future.

Center Director: Dr. James Erickson

Dr. James H. Erickson brings more than 50 years of experience in university and nonprofit fund raising to his role as director of the Center for Philanthropy. He is emeritus vice chancellor for advancement at the University of California. Programs he developed were responsible for generating more than $200 million for University of California campuses, including the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Erikson played a key role in building and launching the University of California, Merced, campus. He worked successfully with donors to endow 14 academic chairs and build the campus advisory board to 105 people before the campus opened.

We live in a society that is built on philanthropy. Even during the most difficult times, people and organizations stand ready to help their communities with their time and their resources."

Dr. James Erickson

Dr. Erickson is the past president of The Community Foundation, serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. He vividly recalls meeting the victims of a devastating San Bernardino wild fire. "Some folks lost everything in the fires," he said—"everything." He successfully led the effort that in a short time raised more than $1 million in aid by working with local churches, organizations and individuals in the Inland Empire. He also led efforts which generated more than $1 million to support the 2004 tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. From his lifetime of experiences, Dr. Erickson brings keen insights into what works in philanthropy and fund development. He has a passion for building communities and helping people. Dr. Erickson says, "Things can happen through philanthropy and the generous people who support worthy causes."