Grassroots Grantmakers Introduces its New Executive Director

Grassroots Grantmakers is pleased to announce that Lisa Durán has been named its new Executive Director, succeeding Janis Foster Richardson, who is retiring after leading the network for twelve successful years.

Lisa brings over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to her new role. For the past 25 years she has worked with grassroots social justice organizations, including eleven years as the founding Executive Director of Rights for All People, an immigrant-led immigrant rights organization based in Aurora, Colorado. There, Lisa helped create a culture of member ownership, in which those most affected help lead the change. She also led the establishment of successful collaborations around the state of Colorado. Her prior experience includes serviceas Executive Director of the Clínica Tepayac, bringing culturally appropriate health care and preventive health services to the medically underserved in the Denver region; work with the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training and the Labor/Community Strategy Center; service on the board of directors of The Highlander Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and volunteer work with the Building Movement Project. Lisa’s graduate studies included a focus on philanthropy, foundations, race, and social movements. In her organizing work she developed popular education practices that stress the co-creation of knowledge, the importance of participant stories in building relationship, and the necessity to productively address imbalances of power and privilege.

The Board of Directors is excited about Lisa’s ability to help Grassroots Grantmakers expand its network by strengthening its connections to and grounding in grassroots social justice and community organizing. “For several years Grassroots Grantmakers has been working to grow our network to include additional funders as well as community organizations working at the grassroots, along with the community leaders who work with them,” noted Patrick Horvath, Board Chair. “With the input of our members and community partners, the Board has been building on Grassroots Grantmakers’ strong foundation in philanthropy to create a network with many doors, where everyone committed to creating welcoming, vibrant, resilient, and just communities is welcome. Lisa’s background as an organizer and leader in the immigrant rights movement, her experience leading and growing a diverse membership organization, and her deep commitment to ‘walking alongside’ grassroots leaders as they seek to create stronger communities all make her a perfect fit to build on the strong foundation that Janis built over the past 12 years while helping us open these additional doors into our network.”

Lisa is excited about leading Grassroots Grantmakers. “I am so pleased to step into this new adventure. I look forward to working with our members and our board to build on the wonderful foundation that Janis Foster Richardson built, and to broaden our impact in communities across the country,” Lisa stated. “Coming from a community organizing background, I see the need for real change at the grassroots as more acute than ever. Grassroots Grantmakers is a powerful ally for justice with people everywhere who are striving to make their communities stronger.”

You can reach Lisa at


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