David Weitnauer

President, R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation | NCFP Distinguished Fellow

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 currently serves on the National Center for Family Philanthropy board.

Additional board service includes One Hundred Miles, Georgia Social Impact Collaborative, John H. and Wilhelmina Harland Charitable Foundation, and the Rockdale Foundation. Past board service includes Sanabel, Philanthropy SE, and Georgia Grantmakers Alliance.

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.


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

Attendees at a Youth Philanthropy Connect event
Youth and next-gen givers are an integral part of our foundation’s futures, and many are interested in helping during the current crisis. COVID-19 provides a unique, albeit unfortunate, opportunity to engage youth in decisions around crisis response funds. Learn how peers are engaging youth in these decisions and values conversations, broaching delicate topics, and nurturing empathy… Read More

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

SOLD OUT! Contact NCFP at (202) 293-3424 to add your name to the wait list. Serving in the leadership staffing role for a family foundation can be one of the best jobs you’ll ever have, but it is not without challenges and complications. This first-of-its-kind NCFP peer retreat provides a unique opportunity for new family foundation CEOs to reflect on… Read More

Family Stories and Interviewing Elders

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Bill Leighty, Debbie Brodsky, Kelly Medinger, David Weitnauer

Capturing and sharing your family’s history is critical to understanding and appreciating your philanthropy, providing a window into the rich heritage of your extended family. Elders in your family often have particularly interesting stories to tell, and can help family members of all ages feel more connected with the generations preceding them, and gain an even greater appreciation of their… Read More