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Richard Mittenthal

President and CEO (Foundations Strategy & Grantmaking Services Lead)

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Leading, guiding, and informing strategy to achieve philanthropic excellence and address critical societal needs

A veteran business leader, effective philanthropy expert, and enabler of social-sector impact, Richard is an early and fundamental advisor to some of the largest and most successful charitable foundations in the country.

Standing at the forefront of philanthropic giving, he counsels leaders on the development of strategy, effective board governance, and grantmaking policies, and he identifies opportunities to streamline operations and deepen social impact. For nonprofits, he guides positioning for growth and elevates organizations to reach their potential.

Eschewing a career in banking, Richard leveraged his business background for good, working on the 1972 presidential campaign to mobilize the anti-war movement and later consulting for the Volunteer Urban Consulting Group on issues of social change, including a drug addiction program and clients reaching underserved communities.

He is distinguished as an industry pioneer with a career history of working to further the capabilities and reach of foundations and drive innovations in philanthropic giving. An expert on the national philanthropic sector, Richard is quoted regularly in publications including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Economist, the Chicago Tribune, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Active in civic and cultural affairs, he currently serves on the board of directors of multiple organizations.

At TCC Group:
  • Children’s Defense Fund (CDF): Richard was asked to lead the strategic planning process for one of the most important organizations in the country working on behalf of needy children. At a particularly critical point in its development, he advised the organization on opportunities to focus its resources where it could make the most impact and strengthen its board, as well as on the issue of sustainability. The years following the strategic plan were instrumental in securing the organization’s position as a leader in the field.
  • Margaret Cargill Foundation: Under Richard’s leadership, the TCC team was instrumental in the establishment of the Foundation, now one of the country’s largest. The team was retained shortly following the donor’s death to help prepare for a significant increase in assets. Not his first time building a foundation from scratch, Richard smoothly led the team in establishing an operational framework and grantmaking policies. Infusing his strategic know-how, he also advised on preliminary program strategies for many of the Foundation’s designated focus areas, including the environment, disaster relief, arts education, and services to the elderly.
  • Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation: Upon the death of the donor, the trustees sought Richard and TCC’s counsel as experts in establishing and advising foundations. Serving as grantmaking staff, Richard guided fundamental elements of the Foundation’s development including how to operate strategically and assess donor interests to inform program areas. Under his leadership the team established foundation policies, a mission statement, and target geographic areas. With a clear direction, the Foundation has already made major contributions within a signature program to provide support to female composers, choreographers, and playwrights by commissioning grants to organizations in the performing arts.
Before TCC Group:
  • New York Community Trust: Richard led the discretionary grant program for New York’s largest community foundation and one of the largest funders of city nonprofits. Advising on and making grants for a huge range of charitable activity, he helped build the foundation for important contributions that continue to support the well-being and vitality of the city.
  • Northwestern, Kellogg School of Management
    • MBA
  • Roosevelt University
    • BS, Economics
Board Service:
  • Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration
  • New York State Council on the Arts
  • Symphony Space, Vice Chairman
  • Alliance for the Arts (past)
  • American Assembly (past)
  • The American Symphony Orchestra League (past)
  • The Dalton School (past)
  • International Network of Strategic Philanthropy (past)
  • Meet the Composer (past)
  • New York City Commission on Cultural Affairs, Mayoral Appointee (past)
  • Orchestra of St. Luke’s (past)
  • Summer Academy of Philanthropy, Faculty (past)
Additional Works:
  • Using Management Consultants for Nonprofit Organizations: Promises and Pitfalls. (2007). Speech given at the Baruch College School of Public Affairs.
  • Mittenthal, R. (2005). Chapter on Strategic Program Design. In Rethinking Philanthropic Effectiveness: Lessons from an International Network of Foundation Experts. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung.
  • Success and Failures in Philanthropy. (2005). Speech given at The Philanthropy Workshop.
  • Grantee/Consultant Engagements: What Doesn’t Work, Principles for Success, and What Funders Expect. Keynote address delivered at the United Way of New York City conference.
  • Strategic philanthropy and foundation management: What are the issues? (2002-2003). Guest faculty course taught at The European Foundation Center’s Summer Academy on Philanthropy.
  • Mittenthal, R. (2002). Effective Philanthropy: The Importance of Focus. TCC Group Briefing Paper.
  • Testimony Submitted to the Independent Commission Reviewing the National Endowment for the Arts. (1990).
  • Philanthropy and Corporate Support of the Arts in the United States. (1988). Speech delivered to the Italian Federation of Industrial Employees.
  • From Routine to Ready, Set, Go: Engaging the Board in Making Meaningful Plans. Panelist at the National Leadership Forum for the National Center for Nonprofit Boards.
  • Mittenthal, R. (1977). Getting Management Help to the Nonprofit Sector. Harvard Business Review.
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