When you speak to Sean MacCready ’04 or tune into his latest podcast, you get a palpable sense of the passion he brings to his work. Now several months into his position as Vice President of External Relations for Horizons for Youth, MacCready has also begun producing and hosting The Philanthropy Podcast, which explores the joys and challenges of philanthropy.
How did you get involved with Horizons for Youth?
After school I moved to Chicago for a teaching program with Loyola University that placed me in a local Catholic school. Unfortunately, my school closed that year because of budget cuts, and there was no way to save it. At my next school I asked our pastor to see the budget because I knew if something similar happened, we would have to work to prevent it. We formed a development office and I became director. We actively secured contributions, which really helped enhance financial aid and other opportunities there. I realized I loved fundraising, and have since worked in a Jesuit high school and with Notre Dame’s Development Office. Horizons for Youth is an amazing opportunity to coalesce my experience and support students from kindergarten through college completion.
What does being the vice president entail?
I oversee our marketing, communications, and fundraising efforts to support our elementary school, high school, and college programs. I primarily meet with benefactors and have conversations about Horizons for Youth’s needs, as well as what gifts would bring them, as the benefactors, the most fulfillment.
When did you decide to get involved with podcasts?
I became obsessed with podcasts a few years ago when I was driving between Chicago and South Bend all the time. And I still listen to them daily on my commute to work. They are an incredibly intimate and powerful medium, which allows us to participate in a conversation with someone—or a few others—absolutely uninterrupted. I became very excited about them professionally and, thinking on a large scale, I want to be a part of changing society and the way we think about things.
How does The Philanthropy Podcast accomplish that?
This podcast is all about shifting away from a material view of our world, because we all know those things can’t really bring us happiness. It is an opportunity to better myself and others by sharing the joys, challenges, and opportunities of living a philanthropic life. This is a learning experience for everyone, but it is so important we recognize the beauty in giving and the benefits it has for not only the recipient, but also the donor.
What has been a highlight of the podcast so far, and what do you look forward to?
The highlight has been the amazing guests I have interviewed. Mostly philanthropic professionals, board members, volunteers, and benefactors, they have all taught me—and my listeners—so much about the joys of giving, how best to serve the causes we love, and more. I can’t wait to meet and speak with more people and gather their nuggets of wisdom to ultimately better the world.
To learn more about The Philanthropy Podcast, please visit thephilanthropypodcast.com.