Katherine Lorenz

Senior Advisor, NCFP; Board Chair, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

Katherine Lorenz joined NCFP as a Senior Advisor in the fall of 2020. In her role, Katherine leads the strategy around NCFP’s partnerships with other philanthropy-serving organizations in an effort to build meaningful sector collaboration. She leverages her deep content expertise to assist with special consultancies and NCFP programming.

Previously, Katherine spent nearly a decade leading the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, her family’s philanthropy focusing on environmental sustainability in Texas. In 2020, she transitioned to the role of Board Chair at the Mitchell Foundation. Previously, she served as Deputy Director for the Institute for Philanthropy, whose mission is to increase effective philanthropy in the United Kingdom and internationally. Prior to that, Katherine lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for nearly six years where she co-founded Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, a non-profit organization working to advance food sovereignty in rural Oaxaca.

Katherine currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, the Environmental Defense, The Philanthropy Workshop, and the Endowment for Regional Sustainability Science. She co-founded the Next Gen of the Giving Pledge group and serves on the Philanthropists Council of the Beacon Collaborative, the Leadership Council of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, and the national advisory committee of USC’s Irene Hirano Inouye Philanthropic Leadership Fund. Katherine holds a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Davidson College.

Contributions

Emerging Family Leaders in Philanthropy

Posted on September 19, 2021 by Megha Desai, Sharmila Rao Thakkar, Katherine Lorenz

Join Megha Desai, President of the Desai Foundation, in conversation with Katherine Lorenz, Senior Advisor at NCFP and Board Chair of The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. This discussion will provide an opportunity for current and emerging family leaders between the ages of 21-45 to hear from our speakers and to exchange ideas, experiences, and challenges with peers. In addition to… Read More

Board Chair Peer Network: Finding Peers in Transition

Posted on August 11, 2021 by Jaimie Mayer, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Gilbert Miller, Katherine Lorenz

Managing transitions is challenging, but support and insight from peers can help as you navigate times of change. Join Nick Tedesco for opening comments about working through transitions together. Then, spend time in small groups with others who are going through similar shifts including changes to mission, changing program and program strategy areas, geographic family dispersion, and influx of assets… Read More

2021 Trustee Education Institute

Posted on March 9, 2021 by Isabel Nogueira, Alyson Wise, Jumi Falusi, Milton Speid, Emily Kaiser, Adrian Ruiz, Lisa Jackson, Priscilla Enriquez, Dorothy Gardner, Regan Pritzker

NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive overview of the important legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members and CEOs. Featuring the perspectives of innovative donors and a faculty made up of donors, board members, and highly respected philanthropy experts, this virtual seminar covers: Translating values and goals into action Connecting family legacy and… Read More

Board Chair Peer Network: Inaugural Meeting

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Jaimie Mayer, Gilbert Miller, Katherine Lorenz

For family foundations of any shape or size, the chair position can be one of great possibility, joy, and sometimes consternation! Come together for community, learning, and to share challenges and inspiration. In the inaugural meeting of this Peer Network, we will spend time connecting with peers in small breakouts, discussing joys, solutions, and challenges in large group discussion, and… Read More

Family Foundation CEO Retreat

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Betsy Erickson, Janine Mason, Michael Smith, Tina Runyan, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bari Katz, Rob Reich, Shaady Salehi, Carmen Rojas, Diana Scearce

The role of a family foundation CEO is unique, often bridging generations of family members, community leaders, staff, advisors, and partners. Expectations can be challenging to meet and boundaries are sometimes vague and ever-changing. Success in this role requires a cadre of specialized leadership skills, particularly in these divisive and dynamic times. This 3-day virtual retreat, designed for both new… Read More
Voices from the Field

Four Ways Values Inspire and Ground Our Grantmaking

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Katherine Lorenz

Courtesy of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation One reason many families create foundations is to pass down philanthropic values through the generations. My grandparents founded the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation to support the issues they cared most deeply about and also to ensure that the specific values they championed throughout their lifetimes would continue to live on when… Read More

Defining and Translating Motivations and Values

Posted on December 7, 2020 by Jaimie Mayer, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Katherine Lorenz

stack of blocks with arrows pointing upward - direction, mission, plan
Clearly defined motivations and values are the underpinning of an effective family philanthropy strategy—they articulate a purpose, provide direction, and serve as a measure of accountability. They are also a dynamic and ever-evolving tool to guide donors and their family through the lifecycle of their philanthropic effort. Yet many families engage in social impact strategies without intentionally identifying aims and… Read More

Relationship Between the Board Chair and CEO

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Vernetta Walker, Lynne J. Doblin, Katherine Lorenz, Elaine Gast Fawcett

How do board chairs and CEOs develop and maintain their partnerships? How do family foundation board chairs and CEOs build a relationship of trust and bridge the divide between physical distance, differences between staff and family member roles, and continue the work of the foundation during times of transition? Join to learn how CEOs and board chairs develop positive, productive… Read More