A New Way to Engage for Community Foundations

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Hear first-hand accounts of the Heart & Soul Community Development Model from foundation leaders experiencing profound new donor relationships, community partnerships, and long-term transformation in their work.

Increasingly, philanthropic organizations are thinking more broadly about how to support systemic change in local communities. On this call, you’ll hear how three foundations are investing in long-term transformation using Community Heart & Soul®, the Orton Family Foundation’s community development model.

Council's Brad Ward, Director of Community Philanthropy, will share what is transpiring across the country as community foundations engage more deeply in community development as an innovative tactic to reach new audiences.  

Utilizing community development tactics is a positive disruption to the way community foundations do business today.  Hear from early adopters who are taking risks in how they recruit and hire staff, direct limited resources, and engage with the community. Learn how this non-traditional approach is leading to a new set of outcomes and when done right, aligns with traditional endowment building, grantmaking, and convening strategies.

Join the Council, alongside Orton Family Foundation, for this Heart & Soul virtual learning.


Gabrielle Ratte Smith, Senior Associate for Strategic Partnerships, Orton Family Foundation

Gabrielle was a founding member of Community Heart & Soul in Essex, Vermont. As Senior Associate for Strategic Partnerships at Orton, she helps funders design programs that use the Heart & Soul model to bring about positive change in small towns across the country.

Brad Ward, Director of Community Philanthropy, Counil on Foundations

Brad led two community foundations towards a successful merger, which, in the following years, experienced unprecedented growth by integrating community development as a key priority. Brad now interacts with hundreds of community foundations each year in his work at the Council, engaging directly with members, as well as through the Council's supporting organization, National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

Kathy Kreuchauf, President, Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation

Under Kathy’s leadership The Findlay-Hancock Community Foundation launched successful initiatives to strengthen the local non-profit community’s board and staff leadership, as well as a unique partnership with the Orton Family Foundation to support the ongoing economic and social viability of small towns in western Ohio.

Nancy Van Milligen, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

Nancy has helped to grow the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s charitable funds to more than $55 million and established it as a trailblazer in community leadership initiatives by implementing the Community Heart & Soul model. Nancy is a past president of the Iowa Council on Foundations.

Susan DeVenney, Executive Director, J. Marion Sims Foundation

At the helm of J. Marion Sims since 2015, Susan brings over 30 years of experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, most recently serving as the State Director for SC First Steps to School Readiness, South Carolina’s early childhood agency. The J. Marion Sims Foundation is working with Orton as part of its ongoing commitment to lift up and empower community voices.

Fran Stoddard, Moderator

A national award-winning video producer, Fran created and hosted a popular interview program on Vermont Public Television for more than a decade. She frequently serves as a moderator for community events and has served on numerous non-profit boards.

This FREE event take place on Thursday, Nov. 30, 1-2 p.m. ET.

Heart & Soul Talks features stories and insight from Community Heart & Soul, a community development model that builds stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant cities and towns. Learn more at orton.org.