Philanthropy Southwest announced Thursday that Tony Fundaro is joining the organization as its top executive.
Fundaro, who has more than 20 years of leadership experience with foundations and nonprofits, including most recently with Social Venture Partners, will start his new role on April 1. At SVP, Fundaro served as vice president of development growing their partnerships, thought leadership influence and revenue base, according to a news release from Philanthropy Southwest.
Before that, he held leadership roles at Meeting Professional International Foundation, Life in Deep Ellum and Life Communities. Fundaro is also the co-founder of the emerging leaders conference “Engage Dallas,” and he serves on the Dallas Mayor’s Star Council Board of Directors.
“Our board is confident that Tony is the right leader to mobilize our association of hundreds of grantmakers — the first of its kind in the nation —s o we can maximize philanthropic excellence and trusted partnerships that impact our region’s most pressing issues,” Philanthropy Southwest Board President, EVP and COO of El Pomar Foundation Matt Carpenter said in the release.
Founded in 1949, Dallas-based Philanthropy Southwest, an association of grantmakers, has hundreds of member organizations across the Southwestern United States. The organization aims to promote a thriving region through the power of collaborative philanthropy and creating partnerships that attempt to tackle some of the area's top concerns.
Fundaro, 42, shared his thoughts about his new role with the Dallas Business Journal:
How did your time at SVP and in other roles prepare you to take on this new opportunity?
It provided an opportunity to be a part of a growing local organization making sustainable social impact within North Texas through required collaborative work with multiple stakeholders, including the business and civic sectors, as well as the philanthropic community. My last two years at SVP Dallas honed my philanthropy skills in a regional context and at a deeper systemic level. SVP is a community of philanthropists and one of my roles was to listen to why philanthropists wanted to get involved – it gave me a front row seat to individual philanthropists and foundations, and how and why they engage.
For 20-plus years, it has been a privilege to serve in leadership roles for organizations making lasting impact in local community contexts, through civil engagement, grantmaking foundations, educational events, and in global initiatives in multiple areas of influence. I’m excited because I think that my past experience, network, and recent time at SVP Dallas have given me a unique perspective that I believe will be significant for this role at PSW.
With hundreds of member organizations, what are some of the priorities for the Southwest region as a whole, and particularly, for DFW that you want to tackle in your first year? What are the pressing needs and where can your organization make a difference immediately in terms of making those critical connections?
For communities to thrive, there are major issues we need to understand from the perspective of the community itself, and that will require a commitment to listen and collaborate — to build from and with community leaders. Effective and sustainable work is what we are out for — systemic change and sustainable social impact.
We are committed to building partnerships with our members, and other like-minded organizations to broaden our message of the value of philanthropy and its vital role in our society. There is a significant generational shift and a historical transfer of wealth that requires thoughtful innovation. I’m excited to engage our members in developing new opportunities that will enable them to do the most good for our communities and beyond.
Can you talk a little bit more about Philanthropy Southwest and its role as a collaborator and networker – and how that impacts the broader community in terms of connecting key people and opportunities to each other? Philanthropy Southwest is the first association of grantmakers in the nation, with a membership that includes hundreds of grantmaking organizations and thousands of foundation trustees and staff in the Southwestern United States. Our members represent a significant portion – more than $77 billion – of philanthropic assets being used for good throughout our region and nation. Through educational programs, conferences, networking opportunities, and resources, Philanthropy Southwest serves this vibrant network of grantmakers so they can connect, collaborate, and strengthen their grantmaking.
In terms of your leadership style, what can Philanthropy Southwest's team expect over the next year? Give us a sneak peek into how you'll run the show. One value of my life is this: I cannot give what I do not have. As CEO of Philanthropy Southwest, we will lean into this idea. The concept that we live out what we say is important to our level of influence. A culture of trust, growth, innovation, and servanthood is what we will be aiming for on the PSW team. As a legacy organization moving into the future, it is vital that we take on an entrepreneurial mind-set with creative energy in all that we do.
This article was originally published in the Dallas Business Journal. View the article here.