Page Header Graphic

Four Nonprofit Leaders Receive Transformational Fellowships

December 9, 2013

Four Nonprofit Leaders Receive Transformational Fellowships
Piper Trust Selects its 2013 Piper Fellows

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has named its 13th class of Piper Fellows—four nonprofit leaders dedicated to improving and enriching lives throughout Maricopa County’s communities. The newly selected Piper Fellows, chosen via a competitive process, will complete their sabbaticals in 2014 and become part of the larger and enduring “Piper Fellows community.”

The 2013 Piper Fellows are: Kathryn Blake, director of education, Phoenix Art Museum; Patricia Klahr, president and CEO, Chrysalis; Kimberlie McCue, program director, conservation of threatened species and habitats, Desert Botanical Garden; and Cindy Ornstein, director, City of Mesa’s Department of Arts and Culture and executive director, Mesa Arts Center. Bios and further information about the 2013 Piper Fellows are available here.

“Piper Fellowships help nonprofit leaders build organizational muscle and agility so they can adapt to relentless change in their fields. Sabbaticals offer personal renewal as well as new visions of what could be possible for the Fellow’s organization,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The 2013 Piper Fellows will participate in a Piper Fellowship—a self-designed, professional development sabbatical focused on strengthening leadership skills and learning about innovative programs that can help nonprofits become more effective and resilient.

Fellowships range from study with renowned thought leaders and innovators (e.g., at MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Disney Institute, Sesame Street Workshop) to immersion programs that expand cultural knowledge and insights. Sabbaticals have led, for example, to development of new revenue generating programs, streamlining of social services, and reimagining how a health clinic can better serve patients.

Piper Fellows, from all 13 classes, also have the opportunity to meet monthly in facilitated Leadership Circles to share professional issues and challenges common among nonprofit leaders. These monthly gatherings focus on building community among nonprofit leaders. Fellows frequently cite the relationships gained among peer colleagues as the most rewarding aspect of the program—many new collaborations and partnerships have resulted that otherwise would not have happened.

A Piper Fellowship offers each selected organization potential grant awards up to $90,000; the first $30,000 provides each Fellow with expenses for study, travel, and opportunities to visit best practice sites around the country. The Trust also awards up to $10,000 for new or increased professional development for the staff of Fellows’ organizations.

In addition, Fellows are eligible to apply for a $50,000 Organizational Enhancement Award to implement a program developed during the sabbatical.

Up to five new Piper Fellows are selected each year; 55 nonprofit leaders have participated in the program to date.

A committee of three community leaders, including a Piper Fellow from the 2012 class, made Piper Fellow recommendations to Piper Trust’s Board of Trustees. Judges this year were: Christine Girard, executive vice president, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (2012 Piper Fellow); Marianne Cracchiolo Mago, president, The Steele Foundation; and Merl Waschler, CEO, Valley of the Sun United Way.

About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust:
A private independent foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors Virginia Galvin Piper’s philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening community in Maricopa County (Arizona). By investing in nonprofits and encouraging strategic planning for the future, Piper Trust strives to make Maricopa County a stronger, more nurturing, and vibrant community. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $313 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @PiperTrust / Like us on Facebook.

Further Information about the Piper Fellows Program:

Piper Fellows Program—Brochure
Piper Fellows—Rosters and Bios
A Journey That Doesn’t End—History of Piper Fellows Program/Annual Report Story



Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 / [email protected]
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
1202 East Missouri Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona  85014