Dennis McMillian is a visiting senior consultant for nonprofit services at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. Dennis is a veteran philanthropic leader and innovator with more than forty years’ experience working with nonprofits, including within the United Way system nationally.
Dennis arrived in Alaska in 1992 to serve as CEO for the United Way of Anchorage, where he was instrumental in helping to found the Alaska Community Foundation (ACF). He served as ACF’s interim executive director for two years, while maintaining his position at the United Way and simultaneously helping to found The Foraker Group. Today, the Foraker Group is one of the country’s largest and most comprehensive nonprofit support organizations, and serves as home to Alaska’s association of nonprofits.
The Foraker Group’s founding mission was to build capacity for Alaskan nonprofits. McMillian wasted no time in his efforts to show funders — both in Alaska and the Lower 48 — how intentional capacity building can strengthen both nonprofits and funders, ensuring better grant proposals, more collaboration among organizations, and better information coming from the nonprofit sector as a whole, among other advantages. His bold ideas and collaborative approach persuaded many of Alaska’s leaders to support this effort, and the Foraker Group has been going strong since its doors opened in 2001.
Dennis’s expertise in nonprofit sustainability led to the development of the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model, detailed in his book Focus on Sustainability: A Nonprofit’s Journey.