Heidi Holtz

Heidi Holtz came to the Gifford Foundation in February 2005, when she was appointed Program Director for Community Grantmaking. In 2009 she was named Director of Grantmaking and since 2011 has served as Director of Research and Projects. Prior to coming to Gifford, Heidi worked for 25 years in the not-for-profit world, specializing in arts management, marketing, board development, fundraising and public relations. A trained facilitator, Heidi helps convene and connect organizations and people – most recently with the Refugee Alliance. She designed and is currently project coordinator for StoryGrowing, a multi-funder initiative to boost nonprofit storytelling. Heidi also oversees the Foundation’s communications as well as coordinates research and special projects.

Heidi designed and currently manages the Kathy Goldfarb-Findling Leadership Award and was instrumental in the initial implementation of ADVANS, the Foundation’s signature capacity building initiative. From 2010-2015 Heidi created and coordinated the IDEAS Collaborative, a multi-funder $1.1 million initiative to build audiences and community engagement for arts, culture and heritage organizations. She presented about this initiative at the 2012 national Americans for the Arts conference.

Heidi is active on several community endeavors and task forces, including the New Urban Space project, the Greater Syracuse Green Healthy Homes Initiative and the Onondaga Citizens League 2015-16 study on transportation, which she co-chaired. She also co-chaired the 2012-13 OCL study on refugees. She is on the board of the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and in the past has served on the board of the Onondaga Citizens League, the Arts Branch of the YMCA, the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, ThinC and Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.

In 2013 and 2015 Heidi chaired the New York State Funders Conferences and has presented at many of their sessions over the years. In 2017 Heidi designed and presented in Buffalo at a session on funder collaborations and storytelling. Between 2015-2017 Heidi served as an adjunct instructor in the Masters of Public Administration program at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, teaching Fund Development for Nonprofits, and designed and taught Nonprofit Board Governance and Leadership for the Janklow Arts Leadership Program.

An regular guest lecturer on philanthropy and capacity building at area universities and colleges, she also facilitates retreats, workshops and webinars on such topics as grant writing, non-profit management, strategic planning and board development. She is a facilitator/trainer for Essential Skills and Strategies for Grantmakers. Among the organizations for which Heidi has written articles and/or presented is Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, the New York Funders Alliance, the Chronicle of Philanthropy Online and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

Heidi holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Denison University and a Master of Arts in Theatre History and Certificate in Women’s Studies from Syracuse University. She has received training and/or certification in Appreciative Inquiry Facilitation, Advanced Knowledge Management Essentials, Dialogue Circles, Effective Facilitation, Results Based Facilitation and Creative Problem Solving. Heidi grew up in Washington DC, but spent weekends and summers on a family farm outside Frederick, MD. She is a 27-year resident of Fayetteville, NY and has two grown children.

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