Join us for a panel discussion with local leaders in philanthropy. Hear about the issues that shape grantmaking today. Meet the people who understand what drives decisions at the top levels of philanthropic giving.
Learn first-hand how grant makers determine their giving priorities, how they prefer to build relationships with charities, what they look for in proposals, and what they expect in communication. This program will be highly interactive in nature and encourage open dialogue between panelists and attendees.
Cathy McCann (Moderator) has served as a Program Officer for the Topfer Family Foundation since 2015. In this role, she manages over $1m in annual grants to 40 nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland, Denver, CO, and Broward County, FL communities. Cathy has over 19 years of experience in nonprofit administration as a staff member, consultant, board member, and grant maker. She began her nonprofit career at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she was responsible for overseeing the Theater’s arts education programs. As Program Director for the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, NC, she was responsible for managing the grant making processes for local arts organizations and individual artists. For the past 10 years, she has also served as a grants consultant for various foundations and nonprofit organizations.
She is an active volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House Charities and received the 2019 WSPN Distinguished Service Person of the Year for her volunteer work with the West Suburban Philanthropic Network. Cathy and her husband, Adin, manage The Sadie McCann Fund, a charity started in memory of their daughter, Sadie Elizabeth, which is dedicated to supporting families who have a child with Aicardi syndrome. Cathy received her B.S. in Arts Administration from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN.
Laura Coy is the Head of Philanthropy Strategy and ESG Integration, William Blair and Vice President of the William Blair & Company Foundation. Laura joined William Blair in 2016 to elevate the firm’s philanthropic culture and to create opportunities to engage employees and clients in strategic philanthropy. Since then, Laura has taken on a global role leading the firm’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs to meet the growing need for social and environmental innovation, and the opportunity to build multigenerational purpose. Laura leads the firm’s client philanthropy practice, acting as a trusted advisor to families, family offices, and nonprofits focused on high-impact philanthropy and companies prioritizing ESG as a tool to create shared value. William Blair believes that All Capital Has Impact and thus, an integrated approach to human, social, and financial capital can truly make a lasting and positive difference. Laura also oversees the William Blair & Company Foundation and community engagement initiatives with a mission to inspire the next generation of philanthropists through its employee-centered matching and global signature grants programs.
Prior to William Blair, Laura was the senior manager of corporate social responsibility (CSR), public affairs manager and senior corporate philanthropist for W.W. Grainger, Inc. Laura has also worked for nonprofits in a variety of major gift fundraising capacities including the National Alzheimer’s Association, the American Red Cross, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Laura serves on the leadership committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the advisory board of ShowerUp, the leadership council of Loyola’s Baumhart Center, and is the current board chair North Park Elementary School. She is the former board chair of the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals.
Vicki Morcos is the President & CEO of The Dunham Foundation. Vicki began her career with the Dunham Foundation in 2013 as the Partnership Officer. She collaborated with foundations and corporations that have similar missions to leverage resources. Through these partnerships, nonprofits have secured an additional $5 million in funding for programs and projects in the Dunham Fund's Fox Valley service area. For the past seven years, Morcos has overseen professional development workshops for local nonprofits that foster collaboration between organizations to deepen and leverage their impact within the community. Fundraising and "Friendraising" are critical for nonprofits to continue to provide high-quality services.
A huge focus has been on the annual Fall Workshop Series that helps organizations prepare for GivingTuesday. Through these efforts, local nonprofits raised $460,500 in 2016 - the first year Dunham Foundation educated nonprofits about the fundraising opportunities and promoted it throughout their Service Area. Amid a global pandemic, financial resources are even more crucial for nonprofits to provide basic human services. With fundraising guidance from the Dunham Foundation, Fox Valley nonprofits raised over $1.7M during the 2021 GivingTuesday campaign. The total donations raised has almost quadrupled over the last five years!
Vicki has honed her skills in building relationships and networking in commercial interior design and contract furniture sales. At 30 years old, she purchased Black Office Interiors, a well-established Aurora company that she ran for close to 10 years before selling it. During her 28 years living in the Aurora area, she has sat on many committees and boards, including:
Amita Mercy Medical Center's Foundation Board and Auxiliary, Breaking Free, Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, Aurora Economic Development Board, CASA Kane County Chairman's Advisory Committee, and others. Because of her experience volunteering with organizations in the area, she has a broad understanding of their mission and needs. She uses that knowledge when connecting service agencies with other funders to sustain their organizations and business-to-business.
Vicki has been married to Michael Morcos for 28 years and lives in Sugar Grove; they have two dogs, Joshua and Imelda. She was born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and is an avid University of Arkansas Razorback fan and alumnus.
Serena Moy is the Executive Director at the Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation, a private independent foundation located in Schaumburg, IL. The Foundation’s funding focus areas are Health Care and Housing (Homelessness), and awards over 80 grants and Program-Related Investments totaling over $1.1 million annually to Chicago area nonprofit organizations. Serena currently serves on Exponent Philanthropy’s Membership Committee and is a member of the Chicago Chapter of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Serena is a co-founder of the Asian Giving Circle, an individual donor circle that utilizes collective giving to fund Chicago area Asian American organizations. Serena was a past recipient of AAPIP’s 25 Leaders in Action Award.