Member Spotlight: Kristi Reynolds, Community Foundation of Boone County
Kristi is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Boone County. Hear what makes Kristi such an enthusiastic cheerleader for her community.
How’d you get started in this work?
I always knew I wanted to work in nonprofit work and make a difference; to help people. I began as an opioid addictions counselor just out of college. From there I was a case-manager for adults with severe mental health diagnoses. My case-management experience led to a grant management position within the same organization. I managed a federal homeless grant where I literally drove around in my little Honda Accord and picked up homeless people off the streets and helped them with housing assistance, securing entitlements, and if possible finding jobs or other resources. It was very rewarding, but when my son was born, it was time to do something a bit…less dangerous. I started a position with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana in their development department with very little fundraising experience. What I was good at was making donors happy! Cheerleading! Helping people find joy and value in giving. I fell in love with helping others be philanthropic and make an impact. When a position came open to direct a mentoring program back in my hometown, I took the opportunity to come home and work part-time while my daughter was an infant. A few years later, The Community Foundation of Boone County created a position thanks to GIFT VI. I jumped at the chance to do what I love and work again full-time. The rest is history, as they say! This is my dream job.
What’s kept you there?
The people I work with and the impact we make! It’s so fun to help build relationships and make connections that make our community better! I love that every day is different and we are affecting so many areas of focus. From poverty, to art and trails. It’s FUN to help people find their passion and rewarding to help our nonprofits do their work more efficiently and effectively. Please don’t get me wrong—it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and leadership in this position is hard work. But I’m also grateful for my “Donut County Community Foundation” directors. We keep each other sane in times of struggle!
What’s the most exciting thing happening in your sector?
Our Capacity Building Initiative is one of my personal favorite pieces of what CFBC is focusing on. Having been in direct services, working at small nonprofits, and being “the guys with all the hats,” I know the stuggle first-hand of having to create programs, run the programs, fundraise for the programs, comfort the crying parents, and take out the trash. It’s no wonder there is so much turnover in nonprofit leadership—often times, they haven’t been trained on what it really means to run a nonprofit. I know I wasn’t prepared! Equipping our local nonprofit leaders with trainings and opportunities to develop their professional skills in their roles, as well as network and partner with other leaders has been TRANSFORMATIONAL for our county. We are seeing nonprofits thrive; board members understanding their roles and responsibilities; and partnerships forming for more effective and efficient programming—which means more effective and efficient use of donor dollars! Everyone wins!
What’s next on your agenda (workwise)?
Lilly GIFT VII, of course!
What’s your favorite on-screen guilty pleasure?
I just finished Haunting of Hill House—LOVED IT! I like scary, but not gory shows. “Jump scares,” my son calls them.
When and where are you happiest?
When I’m on my farm or in my Jeep, alone in nature and I can just breathe.
What’s keeping you up at night?
Lilly GIFT VII, of course!
Who/What inspires you?
Lilly GIFT VII, of course! HA!
What can you imagine in 5 years if your organization is successful?
What do you mean, “IF”!? I’m such a cheerleader and optimist! I can’t change the world—but we can absolutely make our little corner better.
What talent or superpower would you most like to have?
Oh, I WISH I could sing…I cannot. I WILL…but should not.
Tell us something your parents probably don’t know about you (yet).
Oh, I’ve told them all the times I snuck out of the house as a teen and they didn’t catch me.
Where are you on the introvert/extrovert scale?
Right smack in the middle! I can totally be an extrovert if the situation calls for me to step up---but then, I crash and need alone time. I would much rather be at home or at our family farm than in front of a crowd—despite what it might seem like to others. Fun fact: I hate concerts. I get overwhelmed with that many people around in an uncontrolled setting…maybe more introvert! Ha!
Where are you inviting collaboration these days?
Cheerleading Cheer: Collaboration is the key; Silence is the enemy!! Gooooooooo Nonprofits!!! We encourage collaboration EVERYWHERE in our community. When we and others collaborate, our products are better, our services are better, services aren’t duplicated and donor dollars go further. That’s my #1 talking point to nonprofits, donors, and our community. We really are better together. Drama wastes time. Talk, listen, get to know each other, collaborate, implement! Easy…right!?
Do you have questions for Kristi or ideas for collaboration? Connect with her below.
About Community Foundation of Boone County
The Community Foundation of Boone County was founded in 1991, with $15,000, the help of a few passionate and caring Boone County residents and a series of statewide matching grants from the Lilly Endowment initiative. Today, CFBC holds $21 million in assets and since 1991, has granted over $20 million from its various funds to nonprofit organizations and programs working to solve critical challenges in Boone County.
About IPA's Member Spotlight Series
Follow IPA's Member Spotlight Series to connect with your peers in philanthropy and find opportunities for collaboration. Blogs are written by members who share their personality, purpose, and passion for philanthropy. If you would like to be featured, contact Lissa Silotto.