IBJNews

2013 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Dr. Una Osili

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
osili-3-15col.jpg Dr. Una Osili (IBJ Photo/Eric Learned)

When it comes to teaching your kids to be charitable, what’s more important: what you say or what you do?

Obvious, right? We are trained to believe that actions speak louder than words. But when it comes to charitable giving, Dr. Una Osili’s research reveals that what we say is vital. “We tested whether verbal socialization—talking to kids—has a stronger impact compared to role-modeling. And we learned that you have to talk about giving if you want them to be charitable.”

Talking about—and analyzing—philanthropic research is at the center of Osili’s professional life. As director of research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, she has one of the highest-profile jobs in her field.

The daughter of two professors, Osili grew up in Nigeria and has maintained a global perspective throughout her career. Her dissertation explored how immigrants to the United States saved money and shared with family members in their origin countries. She’s on the board of the African School of Economics, founder and immediate past chairwoman of the organizing committee of the Philippe Wamba Fund for road safety in Africa, and a board member for the African Finance and Economics Association, among other affiliations.

“It’s exciting to be in a place that has the ability to see changes globally,” said Osili, “and how philanthropy can play a very important role.”

Closer to home, she directs Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, the key publication reporting on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States. First published in 1956, it’s the longest-running report on philanthropy in the United States.

“We know that research and knowledge can help inform decision-making for donors, policymakers and not-for-profits,” she said. “Historically, though, there’s not a whole lot of data.” Where philanthropy once consisted of a lot of wishful thinking, metrics now make it easier to see if desired ends are met.

“There is a strong interest in creatively leveraging resources,” she said. “What role can philanthropy play in providing risk capital and testing ideas before they are funded by the state or federal government?

“You see it in New York with Mayor Bloomberg using philanthropy as a way to test models. You see it at IU with cancer research—the early stages tend to be funded by private dollars until there is enough hard evidence for [federal funding]. We’re seeing more collaboration across government, private and philanthropic sectors to achieve results.”

She proudly serves on the board of St. Richard’s Episcopal School in part because of its strong emphasis on service and giving back. “It embodies a lot of what we hope for educational opportunities here in Indianapolis.”

“You have to realize how much people invested in you,” Osili said. “We want to emphasize that to our kids—that sense of reaching back and then paying it forward. Making sure you leave behind a more peaceful, more just place.”•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT