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Kate Houstoun

Chief Impact Officer

“I’m grateful to the many partners - nonprofit, foundation, government, and corporate leaders - who came together in the face of the compounding crises of the past year. You saw the need, rolled up your sleeves, and worked fast to get communities the relief they needed at a scale that made a sizable impact. There is no reason that we cannot continue to work together in this way. Our missions demand it and our communities deserve it.”

Kate serves as Chief Impact Officer of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) but might be better described as the Advocate’s Advocate. Kate leads our Mission Delivery team, guides our regional grantmaking strategy, and constructs multi-sector partnerships to achieve greater impact.

For twenty years, Kate has worked to forge partnerships and support solutions that improve the lives of people experiencing poverty in our region. She seeks leverage in the intersecting missions of nonprofits, business, government, and philanthropy. Her experience on “both sides” of the sector as a nonprofit manager, fundraiser, and grantmaker, gives her an important perspective on the challenges that nonprofit leaders face. She holds immense admiration for United Way’s legacy and our team of poverty-fighting champions.

Kate joined UWGPSNJ in 2019 as Managing Director for Capacity Building and in 2020 led our COVID-19 crisis response partnerships, including PHLCOVID-19Fund and PHLConnectED, which raised and invested more than $20 million in new resources across the region. Her combined experience in nonprofit management, grantmaking, fundraising, and operations make her uniquely suited to lead our Mission Delivery team.

Previously, Kate worked at The Barra Foundation, an innovation-focused private foundation, where she served as program officer for their Health and Human Services portfolio. Prior to Barra, Kate served as managing director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, where she led the implementation of the organization's strategic plan and oversaw research, policy, and business services to support companies working to improve their social and environmental impact. She joined SBN from the New York-based nonprofit The Doe Fund, where she served as Deputy Director for Ready, Willing & Able Philadelphia, which provides paid work training, housing, and case management services to people experiencing homelessness. Kate has also served as an international volunteer coordinator in Mexico for American Friends Service Committee.

Kate is a graduate of University of Delaware (B.A.) and New York University (M.P.A.). She sits on the boards of United Way of Pennsylvania, PA-211, and The Nonprofit Repositioning Fund, on the Selection Advisory Council for GreenLight Fund Philadelphia, and is a member of Philanthropy Network’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. In 2015, Kate co-founded a “friends and family” lending circle that works to close the capital gap for Philadelphia entrepreneurs called the Circle of Aunts & Uncles. In 2023, Kate was awarded the Above and Beyond Award by City & State, which recognized 50 Pennsylvania women leaders blazing new trails. 

Outside of work, Kate loves the outdoors and is an avid hiker, confident stern paddler, and (at-best) aspiring birdwatcher.

Awards & Certifications   

  • 2023 City and State: Above and Beyond Award 
  • 2014 Center for High Impact Philanthropy: High Impact Philanthropy Certification
  • 2010 University of Pennsylvania: Essentials of Management Certification
  • 2007 Bryn Mawr CollegeNonprofit Executive Leadership Certification

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