Joseph Palus, PhD

Joseph Palus, PhD has more than 20 years of experience in securing funding from federal, state and local governments as well as from private philanthropy. He has worked in partnership with nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher learning, and government agencies to win competitive funding from federal agencies including the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Treasury and Commerce.

Dr. Palus has 25 years of expertise in community development, sustained revenue mix, program evaluation, organizational development, research and capacity building. He has served as a program officer with nonprofit and government funders, where he sourced, underwritten and facilitated closing of grants and leveraging loans for a range of residential and commercial projects, from construction to development of community facilities, he has worked with grantees and borrowers to build their capacity to plan for, secure, and leverage grants and loans.

Dr. Palus has worked with internal and external partners to develop grant making, training and technical assistance initiatives to build nonprofit capacity to establish, strengthen and diversify their efforts to fulfill their missions. For example, in Indianapolis he mobilized funding partners to develop a capacity-building program in commercial real estate, and in Jacksonville he worked local community partners to establish a strategic realignment of five organizations to successfully access funders and funder networks, and most recently, Dr. Palus facilitated the establishment of the Community Investment Fund of Indiana, Indiana’s first statewide nonprofit community development financial institution.

Dr. Palus' dissertation research explored how family foundation trustees seek to balance their social impact-related purposes (such as reducing illiteracy) with their family-related purposes (such as transmitting charitable values across generations). It became one of the few successful scholarly efforts to engage directly with family foundation trustees in discussions of the values and purposes driving their work.

Dr. Palus earned his doctorate in Philanthropic Studies from The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, a Master in Public Affairs with Honors from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and his BA Magna Cum Laude in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College.