Bio

Susan Grinel

Susan Grinel is a strategic consultant to private family foundations in the United States. Her work helps family foundations focus their giving on projects of integrity and effectiveness throughout the world. Her strategies include helping families determine the issues they want to address, researching agencies and organizations, establishing priorities for giving, researching alternatives, developing measures to ensure proper use of funds and appropriate follow-up for accountability.

In 1995, Dr. Grinel began her fifteen year tenure at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation, initially by supervising all organizational grants, and later as the Founding Director of the Family Foundation Center.  As Center Director at the Jewish Community Foundation, she provided consulting support for a wide range of family foundations, advising them on philanthropic best practices and opportunities to support innovative community projects.   These services closely mirror the scope and variety of work she now provides to independent family foundations through her sole-practitioner consulting practice.

Prior to 1995, Dr. Grinel worked for United Way of Los Angeles for eight years, the first half as Director of Planning for the Western Region, and the second half as Vice President for Planning.  She designed broad-based social initiatives, including the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles and the business education module “AIDS in the Workplace”. Dr. Grinel worked closely with corporate leaders and agency executives to ensure that philanthropic dollars had the greatest possible community impact.  Susan was a key participant in designing the community strategies that helped United Way Los Angeles weather turbulent times.

Dr. Grinel’s expertise in social services was enhanced by two years (1981-83) in The Netherlands as consultant to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Finance.  Susan’s synthesis of wide-ranging information into critical, cutting-edge issues was invaluable.  Her analysis of key areas of American social policy provided expert insight for Dutch officials considering new strategic directions.

Dr. Grinel served in 1976 as City Planner for the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of Los Angeles.  Dr. Grinel and her team were charged with the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles, with a focus on the Skid Row community plan. She supervised the design and construction of Single Room Occupancy housing in Skid Row, the development of a small business incubator facility, and the establishment of the Skid Row Development Corporation. This non-profit corporation still provides services for the Skid Row residential community.

Susan received her doctorate in City and Regional Planning with a special emphasis on Social Policy Planning from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975.  With over thirty years of experience in the field of social policy and non-profit management, Dr. Grinel has developed a sterling reputation locally, nationally and internationally as an innovator and expert in her field.

Dr. Grinel is a member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.

For help ensuring your Family Foundation meets your intended results, please contact Susan Grinel, Ph.D., Philanthropy Advisor, susan@susangrinel.com or 310-838-5131. Susan is dedicated to helping her clients meet their philanthropic goals.

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