Shah Joins Buttigieg Campaign

Sonal Shah will take a leave of absence from the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University, to become national policy director for Pete Buttigieg presidential campaign. She is the founding executive director of the 5-year-old institution.


“We hope in Sonal’s new role she can infuse some of the Beeck Center’s leading-edge ideas around finance and leveraging data and government digital services into future policy,” Georgetown University Provost Robert Groves said in a message announcing the move yesterday. Nate Wong, the current managing director of the Beeck Center, will assume the role of interim executive director. “Nate is already leading implementation of the Beeck Center’s strategy focused on ‘impact at scale’ as well as creating structures and processes to help scale the work at the Center,” Groves continued.

Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., is among almost two dozen candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2020. Earlier this month, he announced his national service plan, “A New Call To Service.” The proposal suggests funding the Serve America Act to “increase paid service opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000 in existing federal and AmeriCorps grantee organizations and through new Services Year Fellowships.” The plan also has a goal of quadrupling service opportunities to 1 million high school graduates by 2026.


Shah, 51, co-chaired the Obama-Biden transition team technology group in 2008. She was the first director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, which she helped conceptualize during her work on the transition team. The office helps “carry out the national service agenda and to identify and fund successful social innovation programs” throughout the country.

A native of India who grew up in Houston, Texas, Shah worked in the Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and also launched Indicorps, a nonprofit to benefit the Indian diaspora. She served as a vice president for global development at Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, and previously was vice president at Goldman Sachs, focused on environmental strategy and implementation.

GEO Gets A New Chief Executive

Marcus F. Walton, a nonprofit industry veteran, was unveiled as the new president and chief executive officer of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) in Washington, D.C.

Walton will assume the role in September and interim chief executive, J McCray, will return to his role as chief operating officer. The transition started when GEO founder and chief executive Kathleen P. Enright was tapped to run the Council on Foundations.
Walton has served as a community organizer, nonprofit practitioner, grantmaker, leadership coach and collaborative change maker who has successfully harnessed the power of change to develop more effective strategies for cultivating thriving communities.

“I am energized by the opportunity to work alongside a diverse team of practitioners and grantmakers to help evolve the strong foundation established by those before me and to effectively represent and deliver the aspirations of GEO members and stakeholders well into the future,” said Walton via the announcement.

The GEO board selected Walton upon recommendation of a search committee composed of board members, longtime GEO members, and current GEO staff.

“Marcus was our unanimous and enthusiastic choice for CEO,” Kathy Reich, GEO board chair, said via a statement. “His combination of philanthropic, nonprofit, and C-suite experience; his long track record managing member organizations; his deep commitment to and expertise in advancing racial equity; and his exceptional skill as a facilitative leader all make him ideal for this role. Under Marcus’ leadership, we know that GEO will continue to grow and thrive, transforming the philanthropic sector for years to come.”

As a certified executive coach and facilitator, Walton has a decades-long track record of leading institutional change with community-based and philanthropic organizations, including The Cleveland Foundation and Neighborhood Progress Inc. Subsequently, he went on to serve as vice president and chief operating officer of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), where he oversaw operations, HR, staff development and the administration of racial equity focused programming.

In his most recent role as Director of Racial Equity Initiatives for Borealis Philanthropy, Walton worked in partnership with 19 philanthropy-serving organizations to move from transactional to transformative partnership models that close access gaps in marginalized communities, increase engagement and improve outcomes.

2 Charities Win At MLB Home Run Derby

New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso won Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby last night during All-Star Game festivities in Cleveland, Ohio, securing a $1-million prize, a portion of which he plans to donate to charities benefiting veterans and first responders.

The first baseman, who is second in Major League Baseball with 30 home runs at the All-Star Break, had already pledged that if he won the derby he would donate 5 percent of the $1-million purse to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and 5 percent to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). As a rookie, Alonso earns the major league minimum annual salary of $550,000.

The Staten Island, N.Y.-based charity is named for Stephen Gerard Siller, who died responding to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack in Manhattan and benefits first-responders. Both of Alonso’s grandfathers served in the military. Jacksonville, Fla.-based WWP is the larger of the two nonprofits, recording $263 million in total revenue last year, compared with almost $19 million reported by Tunnel to Towers in 2017, the most recent tax form available.

Alonso, a University of Florida alum, edged his opponent in each round, including the finals, defeating fellow rookie, third baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., of the Toronto Blue Jays. Guerrero’s father won the derby in 2007 when it was held in San Francisco, Calif., and he played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As the contestant who hit second, Alonso needed to only have one more dinger than Guerrero.

In the first round, Alonso advanced versus Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana, 14-13, and then beat reigning National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna, Jr., of the Atlanta Braves, 20-19 in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Guerrero blasted a record 29 home runs in the first round to get past Matt Chapman of the Oakland A’s, and matched that in the second round only to tie Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers, before forcing a “swing-off” tie-breaker and ultimately advancing, 40-39, to the finals.

Bannon Picks Nonprofit Legal Expert

Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for President Donald Trump, has reached into conservative nonprofit legal circles and reportedly hired the well-connected Cleta Mitchell to represent his new nonprofit.

Mitchell is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP in the Washington, D.C. She is a member of the firm’s Political Law Practice and has advised nonprofits for more than 40 years.

Citizens of the American Republic (COAR), a 501(c)(4), is based in Washington, D.C., although that is not prominent on the website. COAR “is dedicated to fighting for American workers and sovereignty. Founded by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, COAR seeks to advance the ideals of Economic Nationalism and American Sovereignty through a combination of ideas, communication, and action. COAR’S goal is to change Washington, and America, by promoting policies that put American citizens first,” according to its website.

Mitchell has a long history in free speech, lobbying and political nonprofits. A former Republication state legislator in Oklahoma, she is an expert in compliance issues related to nonprofits, lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure. She practices before the Federal Election Commission, the ethics committees of the U.S. House and Senate and similar state and local enforcement bodies and agencies. She has served as legal counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Mitchell served as co-counsel for the National Rifle Association in the U.S. Supreme Court case involving the 2002 federal campaign finance law.

In 2008, Mitchell authored “The Lobbying Compliance Handbook,” published by Columbia Books, Inc. In 1999, she authored “The Rise of America’s Two National Pastimes: Baseball and the Law,” published by the University of Michigan Law Review, and in 2012, Ms. Mitchell authored “Donor Disclosure: Undermining The First Amendment,” published by the Minnesota Law Review.

Bannon told CNBC that donors were mainly business executives who have hawkish views on China, although he declined to identify any of the donors.

Jeff Nickel Heading To Moore DM Group

Fundraising industry veteran Jeff Nickel is joining Moore DM Group in the newly-created position of chief client development officer. Nickel most recently was executive vice president of TrueSense Marketing in Warrendale, Pa.

Nickel will work across all of the Moore DM Group business units, accessing key company leadership to create unique donor marketing solutions for clients seeking breadth and depth in integrated capabilities.

“As a company committed to creating valuable outcomes for our clients, this newly created position establishes innovative growth as a priority,” said Gretchen Littlefield, CEO of Moore DM Group. “Jeff is a well-respected thought leader, responsible for growing the country’s largest nonprofits. He will be pivotal in driving the growth of our clients.”

Nickel is involved with The Nonprofit Alliance and the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Nonprofit Federation.

“Serving nonprofits has been my life-calling since graduating college,” said Nickel. “By joining Moore DM Group, I will be able to provide nonprofits with seamless, integrated solutions to more effectively meet their needs through better data-driven solutions.”

Moore DM Group has been on a leadership hiring spree. Littlefield joined the organization in this past March from Infogroup. Earlier this month the firm announced Steve Harrison would join the organization from One & All, the combined agency of Russ Reid and Grizzard under the Omnicom Group umbrella.

Moore DM Group, based in Tulsa, Okla., is comprised of 32 companies across the country with more than 2,000 employees all focused on the nonprofit sector.

Luz Vega-Marquis To Retire From Marguerite Casey Foundation

Marguerite Casey Foundation founding President and CEO Luz Vega-Marquis announced she will retire in 2020 after leading the foundation since 2001.

“Luz’s legacy is the thousands of families across the country who have, with Marguerite Casey Foundation’s support, created their own solutions for fighting poverty and building power,” said Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. The board of directors anticipates making a hiring announcement later in 2019. A new chief executive will likely begin in 2020.

“Luz has been a critical partner in our work building power for immigrant families and families of color throughout the Southwest and in Arizona. She was the first philanthropic leader to commit long-term general operating support to movement building and organizing in places often overlooked by national foundations. Her impact on this field will be felt for generations to come,” said the Carlos Garcia, a member of the Phoenix, Ariz., city council and founder of PUENTE Arizona.

Under Vega-Marquis, Marguerite Casey Foundation has led the philanthropic sector in advocating for a strategy where grantees are best served by multi-year general operating support funding that trusts leaders in the field.

“Women of color have changed the landscape of this country, and Luz Vega-Marquis is no exception to that legacy. Luz has invested in families of color to the tune of $450 million, and by doing so, has changed our country for the better. She has modeled how philanthropy can be more accountable to communities of color. Her legacy is pushing us to dream bigger, act more boldly, and win big for families,” said Alicia Garza, founder of Black Futures Lab and Movement for Black Lives.

More than 85 percent of Marguerite Casey Foundation grantees are organizations led by people of color and 60 percent of the staff as well as 82 percent of the board are people of color.

In addition to her work at the foundation, Vega-Marquis has long been a champion for leaders of color. In 1983, she founded Hispanics in Philanthropy to support the careers and networks of a community traditionally excluded from the foundation world. She has recruited and continued to nurture hundreds of staff, board members, and leaders of color in philanthropy.

She was selected three times — 2011, 2012 and 2018 — to the annual The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50.

Under her leadership, the foundation created the Patiño-Moore Legacy Award to recognize collaboration among Black and Brown communities building movements; and the Pat Schroeder Board Fellowship to provide an opportunity for a community-based youth leader to serve on the Foundation board. Additionally, she launched the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty, which has to date, honored more than 100 youth-leaders from across the country for their vision, passion, and dedication to improving their communities.
“Families have always been our priority,” Vega-Marquis said. “We ask and listen, and then follow their lead. They know the change their communities require. We help them create it.”

Vega-Marquis said she’s most proud of the work Marguerite Casey Foundation has done to build the infrastructure of a family-led movement; support leadership from low-income communities; and effect policy change that restores voting rights, funds education, and increases living wages.

United Way Gets New U.S. President

United Way Worldwide has appointed Suzanne McCormick as the organization’s incoming United Way President. She will assume her new role on July 31. McCormick, who currently serves as President and CEO of United Way Suncoast in Tampa, Florida, will succeed outgoing U.S. President, Mary Sellers, who will return to Des Moines, Iowa, after serving in the role since 2017.

“Suzanne has deep understanding of our network, our transformation and has been instrumental in building the modern United Way on our digital platforms,” said United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher. “I am certain that her leadership will help our network advance the Modern United Way strategy. I’m looking forward to all that Suzanne will accomplish.”

McCormick will be responsible for leading the continued digital transformation through the organization’s enterprise technology platform adoption. In addition to her current role as President and CEO of United Way Suncoast, McCormick is the current chair of the United Way Network Partnership Group, the former chair of the National Professional Council, and the immediate past chair of the United Ways of Florida. Previously, McCormick served as the President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Portland in Maine.

“After 25 years leading local mission-focused organizations, I am proud and honored to join the United Way Worldwide team and lead the U.S. Network,” McCormick said. “With first-hand knowledge of United Way’s exciting transformation and future roadmap, I am looking forward to expanding United Way’s impact in this time of need and opportunity.”

Sellers announced earlier this year that she would leave her current post to return to Des Moines, where, prior to her tenure at United Way Worldwide, she served as President and CEO of United Way of Des Moines from 2012 to 2017.

New Leadership At Project Hope

Rabih Torbay will become the next president and chief executive officer of Project HOPE in Millwood, Va., and Tom Kenyon will be the new chief health officer, effective July 1.

Torbay will have overall responsibility for advancing Project HOPE’s strategy and operations in global health and Health Affairs, the leading health policy journal published by Project HOPE. Kenyon will focus on technical delivery and innovation of Project HOPE’s global health activities in maternal, newborn and child health; HIV; tuberculosis; non-communicable diseases; and public health emergencies.

“We will benefit greatly from having Tom’s leadership and experience available as Rabih transitions into the CEO role. And focusing Tom’s passion and extensive public health expertise fully on our programs reaffirms our unwavering commitment to high quality and innovation,” says Reynold W. Mooney, chair of Project HOPE’s board of directors. “We are very fortunate to have the two of them continue at the helm of Project HOPE as we work to save lives and transform communities around the world.”

Torbay joined Project HOPE in 2017 as president and took on the role of chief operating officer in 2018. An internationally recognized expert in the management of complex disasters and emergencies, he was previously senior vice president of International Operations at International Medical Corps, where he led the organization’s global programs and a staff of more than 10,000 in 37 countries.

Torbay has also advised members of Congress, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations on humanitarian and health policy for West Africa, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. He has worked extensively in the field over the course of his career, responding to humanitarian crises in numerous countries, including Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Sudan (Darfur) and Syria.

Kenyon joined Project HOPE as president and CEO in 2015 and became its chief medical officer in 2018. He has worked in global health for nearly four decades as a pediatrician, epidemiologist and innovator in program delivery. He served with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 21 years, most recently as director of the Center for Global Health, and previously as country director in Botswana, Namibia and Ethiopia, to advance local efforts to address tuberculosis and HIV epidemics. He also served as the principal deputy global AIDS coordinator and chief medical officer for PEPFAR (U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) in the Department of State from 2006 to 2008.

“I have always been inspired by the lasting impact you achieve when you transfer skills to local doctors, nurses and other health workers and local organizations, so I am extremely pleased to be able to focus full time on our global health programs,” Kenyon says. “For more than 60 years, Project HOPE has worked to address the world’s most urgent health challenges. I am excited to work with our team in this new capacity to drive new and innovative ways to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the health of millions of people around the world.”

Harrison Tapped As CDR President

Steve Harrison will become the next president at CDR Fundraising Group, joining CEO Lisa Scott Benson in Los Angeles, where the Bowie, Md.-based direct response fundraising agency is building its West Coast presence.

Harrison previously served as chief client officer at One & All, which rebranded in early 2018 following the merger of Russ Reid and Grizzard.

This is CDR’s third high-profile hire of a Russ Reid executive in as many years. In 2017, the firm hired Louis Ephraim, who had been vice president and executive creative director at Russ Reid, as chief creative strategist. That was followed in April 2018 by Scott Benson becoming CEO after she was chief strategy officer and then president of One & All. Russ Reid and Grizzard were merged in 2017 by parent company, the DAS Group of Companies (DAS), which is part of Omnicom Group, Inc.

“Steve’s commitment to the nonprofit sector and the clients he serves is unsurpassed,” said Scott Benson. “His focus on relationships and results, combined with his uncanny ability to understand and capitalize on emerging trends, will ensure our clients continue to grow and succeed in this dynamic fundraising environment,” she said.

“Steve is well known for his leadership in the nonprofit sector and guiding the fundraising efforts for many of country’s top charities,” said Gretchen Littlefield, who jumped from Infogroup Media Solutions to become CEO of DM Moore Group in March. “His strong analytic and marketing skills make him an invaluable addition to CDR. Steve’s hiring bolsters the CDR leadership team’s deep fundraising pedigree and will fuel the company’s continued growth,” she said.

Founded in 1982, CDR is a member of Moore DM Group and provides a full suite of fundraising services to nonprofit clients. DM Moore Group acquired CDR in 2011 after snapping up three other fundraising agencies: Barton Cotton, Bernard Data Solutions and Resource One.

Promotion To CEO Provides New View Of Operations

When Tere Pettitt moved from chief operating officer (COO) to chief executive officer (CEO) at Volunteers of America Greater New York, she still worked with same group of about a dozen people on the senior team. But it wasn’t until she had a view from the CEO’s desk that she realized they were somewhat dysfunctional and worked in silos.

So, Pettitt embarked on some major building exercises. “We don’t socialize together, if the CEO doesn’t foster it, it’s not going to happen,” she said. “I didn’t put a lot of stock in this type of thing before but it’s getting better; we’re seeing people more as human beings.”

George Forbes described a similar problem at the Lucille Lortel Foundation and Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan, where he is executive director. Some employees have families while others live in the suburbs so it can be difficult to find time to bond. Forbes said they make a point to celebrate not just individual birthdays but even things like Groundhog Day.

Pettitt and Forbes were part of a panel discussion titled “The CEOs Speak: How We Build Our Team,” during the 2018 Fundraising Day New York, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, held annually at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

The Lortel foundation is very small, with only four full-time staff, and it’s very familial since they’ve been working together so long, Forbes said. The challenge working with clients is how to strengthen those bonds, he said. It can take six to 12 months to build a bond with outside groups and it takes regular communication.

After becoming CEO, Pettitt moved forward with a plan to consolidate six separate offices into one, bringing 120 people together under one roof. She was excited about the changes but the senior staff of 13 was unhappy and actually obstructive to the move. After having her team take a Myers-Briggs test, Pettitt discovered that most were introverts and the only ones supporting the changes were the few extroverts. “If you’re a member of a team, you better find out these nuances,” she said.

At a nonprofit, it can be difficult to come up with the money to offer raises each year so Pettitt often tries to offer employees other benefits. Everyone gets their birthday off and employees can take another day off if they show they’ve had their annual medical checkup. Pettitt also offers another day off to staff who want to volunteer. If they choose to do their volunteer work at VoA, they get an additional four hours on top of that day off. It’s not a matter of only trying to inspire the staff, she said, trying to address her workforce’s wellness.

Pettitt also has a “hot potato” rule at VoA when it comes to bad news. “You can’t be the only one to hold it if there’s one in the organization,” she said.

Forbes feels like he needs to encourage and sooth their clients more than inspire them.. “As I aged, it became clear to me, 20 years ago I would be frustrated by the slow speed of things. I’m slightly frustrated now but appreciate it more and see the value of it,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to inspire our clients or the people we’re funding. I feel like I need to encourage them. We’re an endowed foundation that gives away money, we have to remember that always, we’re the people you come to when you need help and comfort,” Forbes said.

Each employee has a Personal Performance Plan: 80 percent is the job description and the other 20 percent is related to an individual’s personal and professional growth. For the latter, Pettitt has suggested a director get certified in CPR while another time, an employee was going to get certified in tax credits in anticipation of something on the horizon for both the individual and the organization.