Perspectives on Philanthropy Speaker Series with Elise Westhoff

Host Organization: Lilly Family School of Philanthropy


As we search for context in our transforming world, what role does philanthropy play? Broadly understood to encompass the human voluntary spirit, philanthropy is responding in a variety of ways to the current global crisis today. How is it doing and what role will it have in the world that is emerging?

We will engage figures who have important perspectives on how philanthropy affects our civic life now and moving forward. We hope to learn from these varied viewpoints. Join us for these live conversations so you can ask questions, engage with others, and inform your own perspective on our changing context during this crisis.

About Elise Westhoff
Elise Westhoff joined The Philanthropy Roundtable as president and CEO in June 2020. Before joining the Roundtable, Westhoff was the executive director of The Snider Foundation, a family foundation based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, founded by the late Ed Snider. She joined The Snider Foundation in May 2013 as grant program director, and was named executive director in November 2015.

As the first non-family staff member of The Snider Foundation, Westhoff worked closely with the board to build a professional team and refine governance and operations. With Ed Snider’s donor intent at the forefront, the foundation defined program areas and developed a cohesive grantmaking strategy during her tenure. After Ed Snider’s passing in 2016, Westhoff oversaw the transition from a founder-led foundation to an engaged, multi-generational family board.

Prior to joining the foundation, Westhoff directed major gifts fundraising for neuroscience programs at the Indiana University School of Medicine from 2009 to 2013. In this role she worked with a wide array of donors including grateful patients, alumni, former residents, current and former faculty, corporations, and foundations to more than double the funds raised for the program between 2009 and 2013.

From 2004 to 2008, Westhoff worked in planned giving and major gifts at the New York Public Library (NYPL). At the NYPL she developed the campaign strategy for all Library Trustees during a $500 million capital campaign. Among the Trustee gifts during her tenure was a $100 million commitment to name the landmark building.

Westhoff is a member of the board of directors of the Commonwealth Foundation and a member of the Forum of Executive Women. She has participated actively in The Philanthropy Roundtable since 2015 and joined the organization’s board in 2019.

Westhoff earned a B.A. in history, criminal justice and political science from Indiana University.

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