David Weitnauer has been working with and caring for families since graduating from seminary in 1986. David served in a variety of settings during his formal pastoral career including institutional chaplaincy, congregational ministry, and an ecumenical counseling center.
He was asked to serve as a community trustee in 1996 for a new family foundation. Following a year and a half of board engagement in which trustees shared the work, David assumed responsibility for management on a part-time basis. Two years later, he became full-time Executive Director of the Rockdale Foundation in support of its founders’ divergent interests. David worked locally in support of public education reform. Internationally, he worked cross-culturally in 6 countries across the Arab region in support of a then-developing Arab microfinance industry. Across this same period, he also worked in Cuba in partnership with an ecumenical Seminary to strengthen community services delivered by local churches in the absence of a non-profit sector.
In 2007, David became President of the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation. He was charged with cultivating governance practices and operations in accordance with best practices, facilitation of an intergenerational board succession process (G2 to G3), and developing a focused approach to grantmaking that included proactive engagement. 15 years later, five third generation trustees lead the Board in partnership with three community trustees. Priorities developed by trustees guide programmatic investments in three legacy areas.
David has been active in the philanthropic sector. In partnership with the Southeastern Council of Foundations (now, Philanthropy SE), he worked with colleagues to launch Georgia Grantmakers Alliance, an informal state association of grantmakers. He also contributed to the launch of the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative. He collaborated with partners on the launch and development of Stewards of the Georgia Coast, an informal donor affinity group that advances conservation philanthropy on behalf of Georgia’s internationally significant coast.
Current board service includes One Hundred Miles, John H. and Wilhelmina Harland Charitable Foundation, and the Rockdale Foundation.Past board service includes the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Georgia Social Impact Collaborative, Georgia Grantmakers Alliance, Philanthropy SE, and Sanabel Microfinance Network.
A 1982 graduate of Davidson College, David received his Master of Divinity in 1986 and his Doctor of Theology in 1997 from Columbia Theological Seminary.
He and his wife, Nancy, have two adult children and live in Decatur, Georgia.
The Principles of Effective Family Philanthropy: Reflection & Learning
Posted on June 5, 2023 by Tegan Acton, Regan Pritzker, Mailee Walker, Don Chen, David Weitnauer
An Easy Step to Improve Transparency and Access in Philanthropy
Posted on March 7, 2023 by David Weitnauer, Rachel Sprecher
Engaging Youth Peer Network: Youth and Next-gen COVID-19 Giving
Posted on April 22, 2020 by Eesha Vettical, Allison Hale, Rebecca Riccio, David Weitnauer
Consensus and Complexity: A Retreat for New Family Foundation CEOs
Posted on October 11, 2019 by Alexa Cortes Culwell, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Virginia M. Esposito, Ambassador James A. Joseph, Stephen Treat, June L. Wilson, David Weitnauer, Jim Parsons
Family Stories and Interviewing Elders
Posted on January 10, 2019 by Bill Leighty, Debbie Brodsky, Kelly Medinger, David Weitnauer
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