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Renee Sovis serves as vice president of Neithercut Philanthropy Advisors. In this role, she is responsible for organizational strategy, the administrative process, and public relations. As program officer, Ms. Sovis manages the grantmaking operations for our clients, leading our team’s work with the Margaret Dunning Foundation and the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation. As needed, she assists with other foundations and major donor clients. Ms. Sovis conducts application due diligence including site visits, financial reviews, and project assessments. She presents her findings and reports on other grant opportunities to the board of directors, and she processes, monitors, and evaluates foundation grants. Additionally, she researches and explores potential grantmaking opportunities for the board to consider. Ms. Sovis enjoys working with both grantmakers and grantseekers to understand their goals and make meaningful connections.
A member of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), Ms. Sovis is secretary of its Michigan Chapter steering committee. She recently published an article on how to conduct site visits in the Family Foundation Advisor. Ms. Sovis is a graduate of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) Leadership Development & Mentoring Program and recently served as a proposal reviewer for the CMF annual conference. In 2022, Ms. Sovis joined the Capacity Advisory Pool at Rotary Charities to assist northern Michigan nonprofits with navigating foundation relations.
Ms. Sovis has a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration in environmental advocacy, from Grand Valley State University. She also holds a Master of Science in Administration, with a concentration in philanthropy and nonprofits, from Central Michigan University. In 2023, Ms. Sovis was named one of the region’s “40 Under 40” by Traverse City Business News. She is a graduate of Leadership Grand Traverse.
Before joining Neithercut Philanthropy, Ms. Sovis was a small business owner, an organization manager, and a nonprofit consultant. As the owner of a retail clothing business, she was responsible for creating business plans, reviewing sales and financial goals, operational management, bookkeeping, and marketing. As a senior manager of a community wellness organization, Ms. Sovis led a team of 60+ full- and part-time staff, and oversaw operations, communications, and event coordination. In addition, she operated a consultancy that included recruiting and training staff, project management, fundraising, organizational strategy, and coaching.
In her community, Ms. Sovis is a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters and a volunteer for the Great Lakes Humane Society and Norte Youth Cycling. She has served on the advisory committee for TEDxTraverseCity since 2011 and has been the event lead for the past several years.
Ms. Sovis is inspired by her Michigan upbringing and is often found outside enjoying the state’s natural beauty while running, cycling, and paddleboarding with her energetic husky, Ziggy, and her equally energetic husband, Wes. Indoors, she appreciates a good book and a good yoga class.