Nicholas Banovetz

Nicholas Banovetz

Executive Director, Better Way Foundation

Nicholas Banovetz serves as the Executive Director of the Better Way Foundation. His career has encompassed leading complex strategies and building relationships to advance the mission of an organization, including 15 years across the business, philanthropy, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to the Better Way Foundation, Nicholas served as Chief of Staff for Great MN Schools—a venture philanthropy network of foundations and funders that he helped incubate at The Minneapolis Foundation to dramatically improve K-12 systems and to ensure all children attend excellent and equitable schools. At Great MN Schools, he led strategic priorities, finance and operations, budget and reserves management, communications, policy, and coalition development.

Prior experiences also include Director of New Sites & Expansion for 50CAN—there, he aligned philanthropy and communities to create state organizations to advance equity across PreK-12 systems—and Deputy Director for MinnCAN. While at MinnCAN, Nicholas was a founding Executive Committee member of MinneMinds, the successful statewide Pre-K scholarship campaign that has helped thousands of children from low-income backgrounds access high-quality early education and care. Nicholas started his career as a Senior Account Executive, Investor Relations for Padilla.

Nicholas serves on the Board of Directors for Elevating Education MN and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Action Network. He has degrees from American University—a master’s degree in Public Communication and bachelor’s degrees in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government. Nicholas, his wife, and their three children live in Mendota Heights, Minn.; he frequents Minnesota’s Arrowhead region (where he’s from), including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and is an avid runner.


21st-Century Governance Part Three: Family Philanthropies as Stewards of a Public Trust

Posted on December 1, 2023 by Gia Rauenhorst, Nicholas Banovetz, Richard Woo, Ashley Blanchard

What responsibilities do family philanthropies have to steward their funds intended for public benefit? Who are they accountable to in their pursuit of effective family philanthropy? Embracing accountability and continuous reflection are critical for effective stewardship. In this webinar we will discuss how donor families can thoughtfully steward funds throughout their philanthropic lifespan. We’ll consider original wealth creation and donor… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Partnership Lifecycle and Exercising Funder Responsibility and Accountability

Posted on July 25, 2023 by Nicholas Banovetz

Caterpillar transitioning to butterfly; lifecycle concept
“I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.” -Teton Sioux Tribe We’re in this together. Funders, grantees, and community. And while the dynamics of power and privilege exist, the values of collaboration, transparency, and responsibility define good philanthropy. At the Better Way Foundation, we work alongside grantees and… Read More