College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > School of Public Service > Faculty > Lisa Dietlin

Lisa Dietlin


Lisa M. Dietlin is an internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, charitable giving, and transformational change in both the personal and professional arenas. A leading figure in the American nonprofit sector, her deep experience with fundraising and the nonprofit sector, groundbreaking research on giving patterns, and influential ideas on transformational philanthropy have led her to become one of the most trusted philanthropic advisors in the nation, making numerous appearances on TV and radio. 

In addition, Lisa’s conviction that anyone can be an agent for positive change by Making A Difference® in their own life has made her a highly sought after keynote speaker, lauded for delivering compelling and practical tools for personal growth, goal achievement, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance full of “happiness and joy” to a wide range of audiences across all industries. 

A frequent contributor to magazines and news outlets, Lisa has also authored several books on the subjects of change and growth, including Transformational Philanthropy: Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits, the Making a Difference: 365 Tips, Ideas, and Stories to Change Your World series, The Power of Three: How To Achieve Your Goals By Simply Doing Three Things A Day, and the autobiographical I Got Hit By A Taxi But You Look Run Over: Life Lessons about Happiness and Joy

Behind the scenes, Lisa has provided strategic guidance to over 1000 organizations, as well as to entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and nonprofit boards and staffs to help them enact transformational change at the individual, structural, and national levels. As founder of The Institute of Transformational Philanthropy, she is an in-demand coach and instructor with frequent stints as adjunct faculty at Chicago’s Northwestern University, DePaul University, and North Park University, as well as helming training seminars for clients ranging from Fortune 500’s and international charitable organizations to community-based nonprofits. 

Lisa’s awards include the Distinguished Graduate Award from Alpena Community College, being named one of the 20 Most Inspiring Chicagoans and induction into the Alpena High School Hall Of Fame. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Capital Bank and Trust, and for three years she served as a National Judge for the Tom’s of Maine "50 States for Good" annual charity recognition award, and was recently cited as a “Remarkable Woman” by The Chicago Tribune

A native of Michigan, Lisa holds undergraduate degrees from Michigan State University and Alpena Community College, and a Master’s Degree in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Keynote Speaking Clients Include: ADRP, AFP, Alpha Gamma Delta Int’l, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Athena Awards, Axelson Center, Bank of America, Big Ten Conference, Bernstein, Besser Foundation, CASE, The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Fraternity Executives Assoc., Girl Scouts, Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Junior League, Kiwanis Int’l, March of Dimes, Merrill Lynch, Michigan Realtors®Association, Michigan State University, Mid Iowa Planned Giving Council,Minnesota State Community Colleges and Universities, Morgan Stanley, Navigant, Northern Trust Bank, Northwestern University, NSFRE, NY College and Community Fellowship, Sigma Kappa International, Stout Risius Ross, Tucson Festival of Books, UBS, United Way, University of Baltimore, VolunteerMatch, and Wells Fargo, among others. Full list at: LISADIETLIN.COM 

Broadcast Appearances Include: ABC 7, Business First AM, CBS 2 TV, CLTV, ESPN, Fox 32 TV, Radio Denver, Santa Fe Public Radio, NBC 5 TV, Oprah & Friends XM Radio, Voice America, WBEZ Radio, WCIU 26 TV, The Weather Channel, WGN 9 TV, WGN Radio, WRNW1 New York, WYCC TV, and Sirius XM Radio, among others. Full list at: LISADIETLIN.COM