Celebrating Ellen Koenig’s Impact at the Women’s Foundation

Our Director of Grantmaking, Ellen Koenig, is entering her well-deserved retirement at the end of this year. 

On December 15th at the Kimball Jenkins Estate in Concord, over 50 friends, family members and colleagues in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, gathered from across the state to celebrate Ellen and the incredible work she has done for the women’s foundation and the community throughout her career. 

In recounting the phrase often credited to Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel,” nonprofit consultant and longtime friend and colleague Alan Cantor said, “Ellen, that’s who you are. I don’t remember specific moments, I remember how you made me feel.” His sentiments were echoed by many in the room who spoke up, praising Ellen’s mentorship, professionalism, diplomacy, authenticity and kindness.

Under Ellen’s leadership, the Women’s Foundation grantmaking program has more than tripled in dollars and grants awarded, and the grant review teams have increased in diversity and size. In addition, recognizing the need for peer support amongst organizations serving women and girls, Ellen created our Nonprofit Roundtable series, bringing together current, former and future NHWF grantees. These quarterly gatherings have been incredibly valuable to nonprofit leaders. Always looking for ways to lift up our grantees, Ellen also created our Women Building Community Grantee Showcase, which has become a very popular part of our annual event, offering our grantee organizations the platform to share their work with hundreds of enthusiastic attendees.

Ellen’s outsized impact at the Women’s Foundation mimics the positive impact she’s had at other organizations in the state, including the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits. Her kind spirit, endless wisdom, calm demeanor, wit and incredible ability to facilitate a group have been a gift to anyone with whom she has come into contact. Truly, the inimitable way that Ellen is able to connect with anyone — combined with her skill of communicating the impact of programs that serve women and girls in New Hampshire — is unmatched. 

Women’s Foundation CEO Tanna Clews said, “Ellen has been a steadfast champion of our Women’s Foundation grantees — serving as a sounding board, cheerleader, facilitator, friend and convener. She has also been a trusted friend, colleague and advisor to her NHWF team.” 

We are so excited for Ellen’s next chapter which includes travel with her husband Steve, continuing to serve on the Board of New Hampshire CASA, and continuing to be a Docent on Star Island tours. 

On behalf of the girls and women of New Hampshire, we extend our gratitude to Ellen for all that she has given to the Women’s Foundation community and the Granite State. Thank you, Ellen!

Although Ellen has left big shoes to fill, there are so many members of our community that are passionate about giving back and supporting women and girls of New Hampshire. If you or someone you know has experience working with nonprofits and the grantmaking process, we are currently seeking a new Director of Grantmaking.

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