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As a program officer, Renee Sovis supports the grantmaking operations for our clients, leading our team’s work with the Margaret Dunning Foundation.  She conducts application due diligence including site visits, financial reviews, and project assessments.  Renee presents her findings and reports 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.  Renee enjoys working with both grantmakers and grantseekers to understand their goals, in order to make meaningful connections.

Before joining Neithercut Philanthropy, Renee was a small business owner, a nonprofit leader, and a business 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 nonprofit, Renee led a team of 60+ full- and part-time staff, and oversaw operations, communications, and event coordination.  In addition, she led a business consultancy that included recruiting and training staff, project management, fundraising, organizational strategy, and coaching.

Renee holds a Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Administration program, with a concentration in philanthropy and nonprofits, at Central Michigan University.  She’s a graduate of Leadership Grand Traverse and the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) Leadership Development & Mentoring Program.  Renee is a current member of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and recently joined its Michigan Chapter Steering Committee as secretary.  She frequently attends educational opportunities through CMF, EPIP, the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, and the National Center for Family Philanthropy, among others.

In her community, Renee is a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a youth cycling coach for El Grupo Norte.  She has served on the advisory committee for TEDxTraverseCity since 2011 and has been the event lead for the past several years.  Renee recently joined the Capacity Advisory Pool at Rotary Charities to assist northern Michigan nonprofits with navigating foundation relations.

Renee 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.