Colleen O’Keefe

Executive Director, Sauer Family Foundation

Colleen O’Keefe is the Executive Director of The Sauer Family Foundation, whose mission is to invest in strengthening the well-being of children so they thrive in their families and communities. Colleen’s current work includes strengthening families at risk of involvement with child protection services, building resilience to trauma, increasing literacy skills, and creating a workforce that reflects the diversity of Minnesota’s children.

Colleen has been involved with Exponent Philanthropy, where she has facilitated conversations about aligning philanthropic work for greatest impact. She also facilitated conversations with philanthropists regarding the importance of listening and has participated in peer coaching for executive leadership. In Minnesota, she led a systems reform effort for the Child Welfare system and continues to work alongside colleagues to continue the reform efforts.

Previously, Colleen was a teacher in Brownsville, Texas and White Bear Lake, Minnesota. She then worked as the executive director of the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation and served on the Mahtomedi Educational Foundation Board of Directors.

Colleen has over 21 years of experience managing foundations and facilitating grant and scholarship programs. She has a Master of Education & Human Development Degree from the University of Minnesota.


Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: Spending Up, Committing to Increased Assets for Increased Impact

Posted on February 7, 2022 by Colleen O’Keefe, Pat Sauer

How are you thinking about your foundation’s assets, the challenges and inequities in our world, and supporting timely problems? In 2021, the Sauer Foundation shared, “the assets of the foundation would increase from $28 million to $100 million, and that amount would be invested in the community over the next 10 years.” This foundation’s gift to spend up and make… Read More