Elise Westhoff is President and CEO of The Philanthropy Roundtable. Before joining the Roundtable in June 2020, Elise was the executive director of The Snider Foundation, a family foundation based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, founded by the late Ed Snider. She joined The Snider Foundation in May 2013 as grant program director and was named executive director in November 2015.
As the first non-family staff member of The Snider Foundation, Elise worked closely with the board to build a professional team and refine governance and operations. With Ed Snider’s donor intent at the forefront, the foundation defined program areas and developed a cohesive grantmaking strategy during her tenure. After Ed Snider’s passing in 2016, Elise oversaw the transition from a founder-led foundation to an engaged, multi-generational family board.
Prior to joining the foundation, Elise directed major gifts fundraising for neuroscience programs at the Indiana University School of Medicine from 2009 to 2013. In this role she worked with a wide array of donors including grateful patients, alumni, former residents, current and former faculty, corporations, and foundations to more than double the funds raised for the program between 2009 and 2013.
From 2004 to 2008, Elise worked in planned giving and major gifts at the New York Public Library (NYPL). At the NYPL she developed the campaign strategy for all Library Trustees during a $500 million capital campaign. Among the Trustee gifts during her tenure was a $100 million commitment to name the landmark building.
Elise is a member of the board of directors of the Commonwealth Foundation and the State Policy Network. She has participated actively in The Philanthropy Roundtable since 2015 and joined the organization’s board in 2019.
Elise earned a B.A. in history, criminal justice, and political science from Indiana University.
Involving the government in charitable giving is neither wise nor innocuous—and it poses the greatest risk to DAFs and small foundations.