Marissa Nielsen

Philanthropic Advisor
Central Indiana Community Foundation
Advertising & Public Relations
Class of 2010
Alma Mater:
Spring Arbor University

Independent Alum of the Day

Marissa is passionate about local philanthropy and the power of community foundations to be a positive change agent in their communities. “I enjoy engaging with compassionate people to assist in creating positive community change. Nothing is more rewarding than helping others achieve their philanthropic goals.”

Marissa holds a M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations from Spring Arbor University.

Currently, Marissa is a Philanthropic Advisor at the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF.) Prior to joining CICF, Marissa was the Interim Director of the Smithville Charitable Foundation and interned at the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. Before making the move to Indiana from Michigan, Marissa’s previous professional experiences include serving as the Executive Director of the Homer Area Community Foundation and working with the Community Foundation Alliance of Calhoun County.

My motivation

I am motivated by my love for people. As a Christian and a philanthropist I feel called to invest in the betterment of the lives of others, and help others share their passions with the community around them.

My latest accomplishments

In December I graduated with my master's degree and was hired into my new position as a Philanthropic Advisor at the Central Indiana Community Foundation in February. Finally, in April, my husband and I closed on our first home in downtown Indianapolis. This year has been a whirlwind of achievements!

Next big goal

I have been so fortunate in the pursuit of my goals and have accomplished almost everything I’ve set my mind to, but I hope to become a mother sometime in the future.

Why is choosing your own path important?

I have had the great fortune of having a loving and supportive family who have always encouraged continued education and personal growth and development in my chosen areas. With their support I was able to attain higher education at a Christian university where the facilty and staff were invested in me both academically and personally, .

Choosing your own path is important, and so is having the support to execute your plan. 

Favorite place on campus

My dorm room(s). I loved sharing that space with some of my now closest girlfriends.

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