Community Foundation for Southwest Washington President Jennifer Rhoads plans departure

Under her leadership, the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington distributed over $100 million in grants and grew its total charitable assets more than fivefold

After nearly a decade of leadership at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, President Jennifer Rhoads has decided to transition out of her role and the organization. She will remain in her position until a successor is in place, a process that Board Chair T. Randall Grove expects to conclude before April 2022. 

President Jennifer Rhoads provides an update on the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington during the organization's 2019 Annual Luncheon. Photo courtesy Anthony J. Scales Photography
President Jennifer Rhoads provides an update on the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington during the organization’s 2019 Annual Luncheon. Photo courtesy Anthony J. Scales Photography

“Jennifer Rhoads has led the Community Foundation through a time of considerable change and her contributions are remarkable,” Grove said. “She’s a natural connector who has eagerly tackled challenges, and her results are highlighted by our expanded presence and partnerships in the community.” 

President Jennifer Rhoads provides an update on the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington during the organization's 2019 Annual Luncheon. Photo courtesy Anthony J. Scales Photography
President Jennifer Rhoads

Under her leadership, the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington distributed over $100 million in grants and grew its total charitable assets more than fivefold, making it the second-largest Community Foundation in Washington state. Rhoads helped retool the organization’s grant programs to focus funding on alleviating intergenerational poverty. She also oversaw the launch of Give More 24!, an annual online fundraising event that has enabled area nonprofits to raise $12 million over eight years. 

According to Rhoads, the most critical work has come in recent years as the organization adopted its commitment to equity and orchestrated the largest philanthropic relief effort in its history with the SW Washington COVID Response Fund. The fund has deployed nearly $9 million in relief for the region’s most vulnerable communities.  

“Growing this foundation has been a team effort, and also deeply meaningful because I’ve always called southwest Washington home,” Rhoads said. “I will treasure the relationships and achievements we’ve built with the help of our donors, nonprofit partners and this amazing board and staff. All of them, and even those who came before us, are the heart and spirit of this organization.” 

Rhoads is the fourth person to lead the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, a community-based grantmaking organization founded by Mary Granger and other local philanthropists in 1984. As the organization finalizes a new strategic plan, the current Board of Directors is committed to finding a leader who can carry its vision and reputation forward. To assist with this task, the board has selected Portland-based executive search firm Murphy, Symonds & Stowell, which is launching a regional search. Murphy, Symonds & Stowell will work in partnership with The 360 Group, a national firm that specializes in recruiting diverse and extraordinary candidates for mission-driven organizations. More information can be found online at www.cfsww.org.  

About the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington 

Established in 1984, the Community Foundation helps southwest Washingtonians build a more vibrant and engaged community through charitable giving and community engagement. The Foundation holds more than 360 distinct funds, which are actively invested to generate growth and income for granting purposes. Governed by an esteemed volunteer Board of Directors, the Community Foundation offers benefits and services to donors, nonprofits and the community at large. Learn more at cfsww.org.  

About Jennifer Rhoads 

Jennifer Rhoads has worked at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington for nine years, starting in 2012 as the Vice President of Development and President Designate. She stepped into the role of President in June 2013. Rhoads currently serves on the Board of Directors for Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington. Before joining the Foundation, Rhoads spent 15 years working in financial planning and wealth management. Rhoads holds a degree in communications from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University. She is also a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) and a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.  

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Article Source: Clark County Today