ASU Lodestar Center


Volunteer reading to a child

ASU Lodestar Center adds Experience Matters to its stable of capacity-building programs for nonprofits

ASU Lodestar Center and Experience Matters logos
March 8, 2022

Phoenix, Ariz. – The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation has added Experience Matters, the Phoenix-based nonprofit organization that connects talented professionals with nonprofits to build a stronger, more vibrant community. The transition began on March 1.

The addition of Experience Matters amplifies the ASU Lodestar Center’s work to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations and accelerate social impact in communities. In joining forces with ASU, Experience Matters can focus on its core mission and scale its reach to even more individuals and social-benefit organizations. Since its founding in 2009, the organization has impacted over 600 nonprofits, with more than 1,200 projects completed by matched volunteers, and is now poised for further growth.

“After a thoughtful process focused on expanding the impact of Experience Matters programs in the community, we are delighted to transition our programs to the ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation,” said Melinda Gulick, interim executive director of Experience Matters. “The ASU Lodestar Center is already leading in the space of capacity building, and the Experience Matters programs are an excellent complement to their work – further expanding the capacity, infrastructure and talent in our community’s nonprofit organizations.”

Filling a unique space in Arizona’s nonprofit sector, Experience Matters will slot into the Center’s portfolio of capacity-building programs, which includes Public Allies Arizona for developing emerging leaders and the Service Enterprise Initiative for teaching best practices in volunteer management among other proven services and programs.

“Our alignment around shared values and goals to better our communities was a unifying design principle guiding this effort,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, Executive Director of ASU’s Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. “We look forward to building on the proud history of Experience Matters and using the power of collaboration and partnerships to achieve desirable outcomes for our stakeholders,” Ashcraft added.

Experience Matters will retain its name and program model under the ASU Lodestar Center banner. Both the Center and Experience Matters will leverage the new synergies and shared relationships for greater impact.

“The board of directors of Experience Matters realized we were at a unique point in our organizational lifecycle to further the impact of our core mission, strengthening the social sector and advancing years of work matching fellows and volunteers with community organizations,” said Jessica Gabry, chair of the Experience Matters board of directors and a member of the ASU Lodestar Center’s Leadership Council. “This is an exciting expansion of Experience Matters’ programs, and we are enthusiastic about the possibilities.”

Experience Matters’ suite of programs and services offers an extraordinary win-win opportunity for volunteers with life experiences to enjoy a healthy future and improved well-being as they use their skills to help participating nonprofits excel. As skilled talent is prepared and matched with nonprofits, the connection creates a sustainable nonprofit capacity model and addresses the most urgent community needs. The vision to create Experience Matters for the Arizona community was a major achievement made possible through the founding and support of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The ASU Lodestar Center educates, empowers and connects nonprofit leaders to accelerate social impact. Housed within ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its School of Community Resources and Development, the ASU Lodestar Center believes that the quality of life in communities is enriched with impactful philanthropy and effective nonprofit leadership. For more than 20 years, the ASU Lodestar Center has provided education, research, practical tools and convenings for nonprofit professionals, philanthropists and volunteers who seek to solve problems and realize their communities’ highest aspirations.