New Executive Director Named

Grassroots Grantmakers, a national professional development and membership organization serving foundations and grassroots leaders collaboratively working to positively impact communities, today announced Roderick D.S. Wheeler as its executive director.  In this role, Wheeler will be responsible for expanding Grassroots Grantmakers’ membership base and national influence, developing new products and services, strengthening the organization’s fundraising efforts and fiscal positioning and advancing the overall mission of the organization.

As its third director in 20 years, Wheeler joins Grassroots Grantmakers with extensive experience in community philanthropy, population health, public service and neighborhood strategy development. Prior to joining Grassroots Grantmakers, Wheeler served two years as Senior Program Director for Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving lives by catalyzing direct and promising educational and employment pathways. His professional career also includes 10 years with Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), where he held progressive positions including grant officer, senior grant officer and director of community impact. While at CICF, Wheeler helped lead the foundation’s Community Crime Prevention Grant program and helped launch its community-wide education initiative.

In addition to this role, Wheeler previously served as community outreach and engagement manager for IU Health, spearheading community grantmaking and system-wide volunteerism for one of the largest health care systems in the country.  While serving in this role, Wheeler successfully advocated for the creation of what is believed to be the first deputy mayor of public health position in the country.  With a career in public and community service, Wheeler also received an appointment as a state commissioner where he worked to improve youth services in the state of Indiana and successfully introduced legislation that provided financial assistance to foster youth attending college.

“I am honored to be selected to lead Grassroots Grantmakers at this exciting, yet critical time, in the organization’s history,” says Wheeler.  “My primary focus will be to grow the organization’s membership base by adding unique value to the community philanthropy and investment fields and developing personal relationships with our members and strategic partners.”

Wheeler has a bachelor’s and masters of public affairs degree from Indiana University with an emphasis in nonprofit management and urban studies and a master of business administration degree from Franklin University.  He is also a veteran of the United States Army where he served in Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom.

As Grassroots Grantmakers enters a new era of leadership, please connect with us via social media and our website to learn more about the new direction of Grassroots Grantmakers.


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