Alexa Cortes Culwell

Alexa Cortes Culwell

Co-Founder, Open Impact

Alexa is the co-founder of Open Impact, a strategic advisory firm partnering with exceptional social change leaders to envision, design and accelerate their impact. Her work focuses on strategic advising and planning, leadership development, and speaking/teaching. She is a co-author of the groundbreaking report, The Giving Code: Silicon Valley Nonprofits and Philanthropy. She is also the co-author of the article Making Better Big Bets in Stanford Social Innovation Review (Winter Issue, 2018).

From 2010-2015 Alexa served as a visiting practitioner at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

For nearly two decades, Alexa built and managed foundations, philanthropic initiatives and strategic grants for successful entrepreneurs. From 1992-2005, Alexa served as the founding CEO of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and from 2006-2010 as CEO of the Stupski Foundation.

In her role guiding philanthropic investments, Alexa has created initiatives for more than 175 human service and education-reform nonprofits and incubated and scaled several social change start-ups in the areas of education and youth development. Her work has been cited in Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review and by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

Alexa is an active partner of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, and a two-term trustee and advisory board member of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. For the past 20 years, she has been an active board member and volunteer for New Door Ventures, a nationally recognized youth development organization in San Francisco.

How Foundations Can Grow Their Impact By Accelerating the Giving of Ultra-High Net Worth Donors

Marquette Ballroom III

With $800 million committed to philanthropy by signers of the Giving Pledge and an estimated $85 billion in donor-advised funds, philanthropic assets are being accumulated at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, many new donors with tremendous resources are struggling to scale their impact. Established foundations in the U.S. have a role to play — if they choose to embrace it — at the intersection of this opportunity and the renewed urgency around critical issues of our day. Given their deep capacity and penchant for strategic approaches, these foundations are ideally positioned to accelerate the giving of these donors […]

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