Pulled Two Ways

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Finding the Balance Between Strategic & Reactive Grantmaking

What’s the right balance of proactive vs. responsive philanthropy for your community foundation? On the one hand, community foundations are entrusted to respond to the broad needs of the communities they serve. On the other, without a focused strategy, they are unable to move the needle on critical community needs. In this session you will hear from leaders who have grappled with this question as they have assumed a larger leadership role in their communities. You’ll be part of a candid conversation about the strengths and challenges of a more proactive approach, including topics such as managing external perceptions, making the case internally and the effects on donor relations.


Ashley Blanchard, associate director of philanthropy, The TCC Group
Ashley Blanchard joined The TCC Group in 2004.  Ashley’s focus at the firm has been strategic planning for foundations. Clients have included the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Ford Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.  She provides ongoing management for several family foundations, and has led governance assignments for many foundation and nonprofit clients. Blanchard has presented on a range of philanthropy topics at various conferences and workshops.  She serves on the boards of the Ms. Foundation for Women and Hill-Snowdon Foundation. 

Corinne Becknell Lucas, associate director, Northern Indiana Community Foundation
Corinne Becknell Lucas is the Associate Director at the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, comprised of Fulton, Miami, and Starke Counties. Corinne began at the NICF in 2002 as an Administrative Assistant. She then took on the role of Program/Scholarship Coordinator, and later Program/Communication Director. In addition to grant administration, she coordinates all marketing and communications.

A professional musician, Corinne has a background in music composition and media production. With her husband Martin Lucas, they have a three disc compilation of real songs about real people as the group “Return to Normal.”

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president & CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
As the chief executive officer at the Community Foundation, Clotilde has led a focused growth and impact strategy. Under her leadership the Community Foundation has facilitated numerous public/private sector collaborations focused on systemic change. Most recently, Clotilde oversaw the effort to launch the Say Yes to Education initiative in Buffalo.

Clotilde’s work has been recognized by many including the Points of Light Foundation, the Governor’s Award for Service, the President’s Award for Service, and she has been named Citizen of the Year by the Buffalo News. She speaks frequently on philanthropy, community impact and nonprofit governance.

Nancy Van Milligen, president & CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
Nancy Van Milligen joined the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque as its first president/CEO in 2003. Since then, she has helped to grow the Foundation’s charitable funds to more than $65 million and established it as a trailblazer in community leadership and engagement initiatives.
Van Milligen serves as chair on the board of the Funders Network for Smart Growth. She has served on the Council on Foundations Public Policy Committee, is a past president of the Iowa Council on Foundations, and is involved in the D5 coalition, a national initiative focused on growing diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy. Van Milligen earned a master’s degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University and received the SIU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.

The Tri-State Community Foundation Webinar Series is a program offering made possible through an agreement between The Council of Michigan Foundations, Philanthropy Ohio and Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.  The webinars are designed for (but not exclusive to) community foundations.

This webinar is hosted by Council of Michigan Foundations and was originally published February 11, 2016.


CMF Members: $35.00
Nonmembers: $50.00

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