Laura EdwardsBA 2001, History

Executive Director, Boomerang Backpacks, Fort Wayne, IN

President, Macknick Philanthropy Advisors, Angola, IN

Laura Macknick is the Executive Director of Boomerang Backpacks, a small nonprofit organization in Northeast Indiana.  She also has her own fundraising and nonprofit consulting firm, Macknick Philanthropy Advisors.  Prior to that, she served as Director of Development for Trine University.  She has also served in development for Ivy Tech Community College and Purdue University. In addition to spending over 10 years in higher education advancement, she has worked in healthcare, human services, and arts related nonprofit organizations. During her tenure in the field, she has been responsible for raising more than $20.5 million and managing fund development projects totaling more than $60 million. More than the dollars raised in her career, however, Laura would consider working in philanthropy a true calling and a most joyful opportunity.   

Volunteerism is also important to her, as she serves on the board of the directors for United Way of Steuben County and the Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board in West Lafayette.  Additionally, Laura has developed curriculum for workshops that she facilitates statewide for the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network and throughout the state on nonprofit development and marketing. She is a member of the steering committee for her church parish, St. Anthony of Padua.  She also participates with programs through the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

She is a recipient of the Greater Lafayette Commerce’s “Top 40 under 40” inaugural young professionals award in 2007 and was named a top young professional in the “Discover Lafayette” magazine in fall 2009.  Laura also graduated from the Leadership Lafayette program in 2011. 

A West Lafayette native and undergraduate of Purdue University, she received her Masters’ degree in Nonprofit Administration and Philanthropy from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI in August 2015 and received her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in spring 2016.

Laura is married to Patrick, and they have six children in their family.  They reside in Angola, IN.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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