The Grantmaking School Instructors

Every course of The Grantmaking School is delivered by dynamic experts in the field whose personal and professional backgrounds reflect the great variety of communities and organizations that engage in philanthropy.

The Grantmaking School’s highly experienced instructors bring a pronounced commitment to advancing inclusion and equity within our sector, and are here to help you navigate and absorb new skills and concepts.


Meet your course instructors:

Photo: Steve Alley

Steve Alley, M.B.A.

Steve Alley is a managing partner at Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates, a firm that works with community foundations and other philanthropic organizations. Prior to this role, he served as president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for nine years, growing the foundation from $53 million to $90 million in assets, creating a new community-based grantmaking process, and developing the foundation’s leadership role in Tucson and the surrounding counties. Steve also previously served as director of the Community Foundations Institute of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and as vice president for external relations at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Ball State University and has held numerous national and regional leadership roles in the community foundation field, including as chair of the Professional Development Action Team for the Council on Foundations and as a participant in the U.S./Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership. Learn more about Steve.

At The Grantmaking School, Steve teaches:

  • Financial Analysis in Grantmaking
  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Caroline Altman Smith

Caroline Altman
Smith, M.A.
Caroline Altman Smith is deputy director of The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. She supports the team’s domestic grantmaking, which funds higher education institutions and national nonprofit organizations that work to help more underserved students enter and succeed in post-secondary education. Before joining Kresge in 2008, Caroline served for five years as a program officer at the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis where she worked to create opportunities for low-income, minority, and first-generation students to enter college and complete their undergraduate degrees. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and American studies from the University of Virginia along with a Master’s degree in philanthropic studies and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Caroline serves on the boards of the Council of Michigan Foundations and Grantmakers for Education. Learn more about Caroline.

At The Grantmaking School, Caroline teaches:

  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking
  • Philanthropy 101

Lynn Alvarez, J.D.

Lynn Alvarez is a consultant to foundations, providing training, program development, planning, evaluation, and grantmaking services. In her former role as senior program officer at The California Endowment, Lynn led the development of a new grantmaking program and the refinement of grantmaking procedures, along with managing a $30 million grant portfolio that encompassed two strategic initiatives: Native American health and a health grantmaking partnership involving 25 community foundations. She also previously worked as an attorney focused on immigrant and refugee issues and as a professor at the UCLA School of Law, teaching immigration law and professional ethics. Fluent in three languages and conversant in two more, Lynn earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She serves on the board of the Los Angeles Education Partnership and serves as the vice president for the City of Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners. Learn more about Lynn.

At The Grantmaking School, Lynn teaches:

  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Teri Behrens

Teresa Behrens, Ph.D.

Teresa (Teri) Behrens is the executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University and the editor in chief of The Foundation Review. Previously, Teri served as director of strategy and programs and director of the Institute for Foundation and Donor Learning at the Johnson Center. Prior to joining the Johnson Center in 2009, she served as director of evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, providing leadership for the foundation’s overall evaluation program. Teri holds a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology from North Carolina State University and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from Case Western Reserve UniversityLearn more about Teri.

At The Grantmaking School, Teri teaches:

  • Philanthropy 101
  • Strategy and Evaluation
  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking
  • Persuasive Writing for Grantmakers

Michael A. Cheney, C.P.A.

Michael (Mike) Cheney has spent most of his career serving in the nonprofit sector, including in health and welfare, college, governmental, and foundation entities. As a seasoned financial manager and Certified Public Accountant, his body of work covers the areas of accounting, finance, audit, pension, actuary, investment, construction, and information technology systems. Mike currently serves as chief financial officer at Cincinnati Works. Prior to this role, he served as chief financial officer at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations, and Hebrew Union College, one of the nation’s oldest Jewish universities. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and serves on numerous nonprofit boards.

At The Grantmaking School, Mike teaches:

  • Financial Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Julie Couturier

Julie Couturier, C.P.A.

Julie Couturier is the business and finance manager for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. Julie is responsible for all financial reporting, budgeting, and financial analysis for the Johnson Center. In addition to her current work for the Johnson Center, Julie has served as a business and accounting adjunct instructor at Grand Rapids Community College. Before joining the Johnson Center in 2006, Julie was a finance supervisor at Spectrum Health Hospital and was responsible for all financial reporting, budgeting, and financial analysis for ambulatory services. Julie holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Learn more about Julie.

At The Grantmaking School, Julie teaches:

  • Financial Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Jason Franklin, Ph.D.

Jason Franklin, Ph.D.
Jason Franklin serves as the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. As holder of the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy, Jason engages in research, teaching, service, and thought leadership to explore and advance the field, nationally and internationally. He is a leading voice in the field on issues of collective giving, social justice philanthropy, and broader trends in charity and social change and is a regular commentator in the media on these topics in publications ranging from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Alliance Magazine. In addition to his work as the Kellogg Chair, Jason is a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy & Civil Society and serves as board chair of the Proteus Fund, co-founder and co-chair of the Solidaire Donor Network, and on the boards of WiserGiving and the Michigan Alliance. Jason holds a Bachelor’s degree in political communications from George Washington University, a Master’s degree in nonprofit management and urban policy from The New School, and a Doctor of Philosophy in public administration from New York University. Learn more about Jason.

At The Grantmaking School, Jason teaches:

  • Philanthropy 101
  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Elvis Fraser

Elvis Fraser, Ph.D.

Elvis Fraser, Ph.D. draws on more than 25 years of experience in strategy development, strategy monitoring and evaluation, and using evidence to inform program development and business process improvement. He is the founder and managing director of Sankofa Consulting, in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Fraser spent 10 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was responsible for leading the measurement, learning and evaluation function within the international agriculture development strategy team. Fraser has a doctorate in socio-economics with a concentration on international development. He has served as a senior social scientist and consultant for organizations including, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and many foundations, and has conducted research and has published on the interrelationships among social, political, and economic development. Learn more about Elvis.

At The Grantmaking School, Elvis teaches:

  • Strategy and Evaluation in Grantmaking

Photo: Mary Galetti

Mary Galeti, M.St.

Mary Galeti is a principal at Shiplake Partners, a consulting firm that helps institutions create and nurture relationships that offer upside and mitigate risk with the communities that exist both internally and externally. Mary also serves as the vice-chair of the Tecovas Foundation, chair of the Family Philanthropy Committee at the Council on Foundations, vice-chair of the StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellowship Program, and as a member of the board of directors of Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Kent State University and a Master of Studies in social innovation from the University of Cambridge. She lives in Washington, D.C. Learn more about Mary.

At The Grantmaking School, Mary teaches:

  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Robert F. Long, Ph.D.

Robert Long is an independent advisor for Impact Over Time, a program for nonprofit and philanthropic sector support resources with a focus on strategy design, organizational development, governance, evaluation, and demonstrating impact toward mission. Robert was formerly a visiting distinguished professor of nonprofit leadership at Murray State University. Prior to joining Murray State University, Robert retired from a 16-year career with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he served as vice president for programs. Born and raised in rural Illinois, Robert received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in parks, recreation, and leisure studies from Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, respectively. Robert also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership and evaluation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Learn more about Robert.

At The Grantmaking School, Robert teaches:

  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Sarah Lovan

Sarah Lovan

Sarah Lovan joined The McKnight Foundation in 2005, and has been a program officer since 2012, working within the foundation’s arts program, which is focused on supporting working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities in Minnesota. She is also a program officer for three of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations. Lovan actively participates in field-building cohorts including: Next Generation (a national collaborative focused on rural creative placemaking), Rural Economic Development Group, Racial Equity Funders Collaborative, and Grantmakers in the Arts. Prior to McKnight, Sarah worked at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in development. She received her Bachelor’s degree in cultural studies and comparative literature with an emphasis in music from the University of Minnesota. Learn more about Sarah.

At The Grantmaking School, Sarah teaches:

  • Philanthropy 101
  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Jim McHale

James E. McHale, M.M.

James (Jim) McHale is the president and CEO of Woodward Hines Education Foundation in Jackson, Mississippi. Formerly, Jim was vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, he served on the executive team that provides overall direction, leadership, and capacity building for the foundation. He also provided leadership in the development and implementation of domestic and international place-based programming. Prior to the position of vice president for program strategy, McHale served as chief of staff as well as senior vice president for programs and worked closely with the president and his direct reports to enhance ongoing foundation programs and explore new strategic directions. He also provided leadership for Mission-Driven Investments, international programming, and program operations. In addition, he provided leadership for Michigan programming with primary responsibility for the overall Michigan strategy as well as providing secondary leadership for administrative operations in the Office of the President. Jim received his Bachelor’s degree in public relations from Western Michigan University and his Master’s degree in management from Aquinas College. Learn more about James.

At The Grantmaking School, Jim teaches:

  • Strategy and Evaluation

Michael Moody, Ph.D.

Michael Moody, Ph.D.

Michael Moody is the Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. The Frey Foundation Chair is the world’s first-ever endowed chair for family philanthropy, and Michael became the first holder of the chair in 2010. Michael straddles the worlds of scholarship and practice, shining a light on the connections between giving and lived experience with both expertise and enthusiasm. He is trained as a cultural sociologist with a Bachelor’s in psychology from Indiana University Bloomington, a Master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Princeton University. Michael has been actively working to understand and improve philanthropy and nonprofit organizations for almost 30 years. He is co-author of the books Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving (with Sharna Goldseker, 2017), The Philanthropy Reader (with Beth Breeze, 2016), and Understanding Philanthropy: Its Meaning and Mission (with Robert L. Payton, 2008). Michael is a frequent speaker at venues across the U.S. and worldwide, and a sought-after commentator on philanthropic trends and research. Learn more about Michael.

At The Grantmaking School, Michael teaches:

  • Philanthropy 101

Photo: Rick Moyers

Rick Moyers, M.A.

Rick Moyers is an independent consultant to philanthropy and a nationally recognized expert on the governance and leadership of nonprofit organizations and the role of philanthropy in building nonprofit capacity. Rick was formerly the vice president for programs and communications at the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation in Washington, D.C. where he oversaw all of the foundation’s grantmaking activities. Before joining Meyer, he spent four years as executive director of the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations and held senior management positions at BoardSource. Rick is a frequent speaker and trainer on nonprofit management and leadership issues, and has written for The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Times. A long-time Maryland resident, Rick holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Washington Adventists University and a Master’s degree in publications design from the University of Baltimore. Learn more about Rick.

At The Grantmaking School, Rick teaches:

  • Philanthropy 101
  • Financial Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Kathleen Odne

Kathleen Odne, M.A.

Kathleen Odne served as executive director of the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, a family foundation making grants in northern California, from 1994–2017. She now serves on the Lesher Foundation’s board of trustees. Kathleen is a founding member of the Funders Forum of Contra Costa, an affinity group of funders in the East Bay, and was a member of the Advisory Council for the Foundation Center in San Francisco. In her community, Kathleen currently serves on the board of John Muir Health, the Walnut Creek Library Foundation and has served on the boards of De La Salle High School, the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, and the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce. A native of Chicago, Kathleen holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

At The Grantmaking School, Kathleen teaches:

  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Lance Potter

Lance Potter, M.A.

Lance Potter is a measurement and evaluation consultant with more than 20 years of experience turning data into knowledge for health, education, and social programs. He currently serves as director of evaluation for New Profit Inc.’s Social Innovation Fund and advises New Profit on evaluation for their other investment funds. Prior to forming a consultancy, Lance was a senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he managed evaluations of a range of the Gates Foundation’s efforts in education, communications, and policy. Prior to Gates, he was Director of Health Communication Research at Westat, a social science research firm in the Washington D.C. area. Lance obtained his Master’s degree in linguistic theory from University of Southern California and he currently resides in Washington, D.C. Learn more about Lance.

At The Grantmaking School, Lance teaches:

  • Strategy and Evaluation

Photo: Randy Van Antwerp

Randy Van Antwerp,
M.B.A., C.P.A.

Randy Van Antwerp is the chief financial officer at the Frey Foundation, where he has worked since February 2014, and is responsible for financial planning, management of accounting and investment procedures, regulatory compliance, budget, and reporting. Prior to the Frey Foundation, Randy worked as the chief financial officer and chief operations officer for the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Foundation. He earned his C.P.A. while working for Deloitte. Randy also holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in business administration from Grand Valley State University. Learn more about Randy.

At The Grantmaking School, Randy teaches:

  • Financial Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Edgar Villanueva

Edgar Villanueva, M.H.A.

Edgar Villanueva is the vice president of programs and advocacy at the Schott Foundation. He is also the author of Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance. Prior to the Schott Foundation, Edgar served in various roles including as executive director of Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations, as executive director of the North Carolina American Indian Health Board, as a senior program officer at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and as a program officer at the Marguerite Casey Foundation. He has also held leadership roles on many philanthropic boards and advisory committees including The Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Forward Promise National Advisory Committee, Native Americans in Philanthropy, and Talent Philanthropy Project. Edgar earned a Bachelor of Arts from Jackson College of Ministries, a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Health Administration from the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health. Learn more about Edgar.

At The Grantmaking School, Edgar teaches:

  • Strategy and Evaluation
  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

Photo: Ali Webb

Ali Webb, Ph.D.

Ali Webb was the first female and youngest person ever to hold the position of press secretary in Los Angeles, where she served under Mayor Tom Bradley for seven years. She was later appointed by President Bill Clinton to head communications at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and also served as communications director for The Nature Conservancy as well as political director for the League of Conservation Voters. Ali worked at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for 19 years, including as Director of Michigan Programming. Her love of politics led to her most recent work on behalf of U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy in Mississippi. Ali holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stanford University, a Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in mass communications from Michigan State University. Learn more about Ali.

At The Grantmaking School, Ali teaches:

  • Social Movements and Grantmaking

Photo: Gayle Williams

Gayle Williams, M.Ed.

Gayle Williams brings 30 years of leadership and management experience to her current practice as a philanthropy/nonprofit consultant and coach specializing in leadership development. Gayle also currently serves as interim executive director at Management Assistance Group, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in movement and network leadership. Prior to her current roles, she was the executive director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Gayle has been a frequent presenter and session designer for the Southeastern Council of Foundations and the Council of Foundations, as well as a mentor to younger foundation and nonprofit leaders. She has served on several national and statewide nonprofit boards, including Management Assistance Group and the Center for Courage and Renewal. A native of North Carolina, Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts from Meredith College in Raleigh and a Master of Education in guidance and counseling from North Carolina State UniversityLearn more about Gayle.

At The Grantmaking School, Gayle teaches:

  • Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking
  • Strategy and Evaluation

Photo: Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson, M.B.A.

Steve Wilson served as President of the Frey Foundation from 2012–2018, where he directed a grantmaking program awarding nearly $6 million annually to nonprofit organizations throughout the West Michigan region. Based in Grand Rapids, the Frey Foundation is one of Michigan’s largest family foundations. Steve currently has taken on a new role as the Interim Chief Executive Officer at Creative Many Michigan. He previously worked as president of the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention and Visitors Bureau (now Experience Grand Rapids) and as executive director of the Ruth Mott Foundation, one of Michigan’s ten largest private foundations. Steve earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. Learn more about Steve.

At The Grantmaking School, Steve teaches:

  • Persuasive Writing for Grantmakers
  • Strategy and Evaluation