In Tribute to the Magnificent Donna P. Hall

Image: Donna P. Hall, WDN President & CEO Emerita

Donna P. Hall has worked at the cutting edge of public health at the Kaiser Foundation, incubated women’s funding at Rockefeller, earned her MBA from Stanford University in an era when women were marginalized to a mere 10% of the student body – and, over the last two decades, she has transformed Women Donors Network from an organization with a “start-up” feel and a small footprint to an effective and growing force in progressive philanthropy. 

Donna began with a budget of $300,000, a collective of fewer than 50 members, and a staff of two (herself included). Under her leadership our community has blossomed into the hundreds, stretching across 32 states. We have founded six grantmaking initiatives, and incubated and grown our 501(c)(4) sister organization WDN Action into a true resource for the progressive movement. In 2022, our combined c3 and c4 financial impact was over $25 million.  

The story of Donna is the story of many women in our network. A changemaker who looked at the world of today and said, “I must work to make this better.” A leader who, when she couldn’t create the impact she knew was possible inside of male-dominated institutions, worked with other women to blaze a more just path. She has lit the torch of many over her career. As her 20th year with WDN comes to a close, she lights the torch of our new President & CEO Leena Barakat, a fearless and determined leader, herself. We say farewell to Donna as WDN’s President & CEO and we treasure her all the more as a member of our network and a pillar of our community going forward. Our collective fire brightly burns.

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