Leslie Silverman

Partner, The Giving Practice

Leslie brings over a decade of experience with private and public grantmakers and in roles touching all areas of grantmaking. She joined The Giving Practice in early 2014. Leslie is thrilled to work with funders in helping them improve and streamline their grantmaking practices and create grantmaking solutions that best advance their strategic interests. As a founding committee member of the national Project Streamline initiative, Leslie also enjoys working with funders interested in strengthening funder-grantee relationships and fostering peer learning among funders and grantees. With years of experience as a Program Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service working across five states, and Grants Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Leslie applies her cross-sector experience to help organizations be more efficient and effective in how they approach their philanthropy. By ensuring that both funders and grantees feel comfortable adapting and working together, Leslie aims to bring authenticity to the work and more meaning in the “giving.” She has worked closely with a wide range of clients including Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente. Leslie has a B.A. in Accounting from Emory University and a master’s degree in social policy from Catholic University. In her spare time, Leslie and her ten-year-old enjoy paddling around in their kayaks, exploring new bike trails, and kitchen experiments.   

Leslie Silverman's blog posts

December 21, 2016

I always love the last two weeks of the year, partly because the December holiday I observe falls well before the one everyone else celebrates — so I get to relax while everyone else engages in perfectionist Christmas tree trimmings and card creations, messy baking bonanzas, stressful Santa sittings and last-minute shopping sprints. But this year, for the first time in three decades, Christmas and Hanukkah overlap. We will all be in this frenzy together! As in years past, however, I remain determined to stay clear of most of this frenzy and dedicate this time for our family as one of giving, not receiving. In philanthropy, we focus on helping others all year long. But if there's ever a time to bring a little extra kindness and cheer to those around us, it's this time of year. Inspired by my work with family foundations, I'm aiming to make the holiday season more meaningful for my son. more »

December 9, 2015

Growing up, I was the only "Hanukkah kid" in my class, so my parents felt compelled to offer me a similar experience in what kids talked about most — the gifts! So, they would give us a gift each evening after we lit the candles. Often, this would amount to seven small toys and games, then a big gift on the eighth and final night. A few years ago, inspired by my work with family foundations, I started to think about how to make the holiday season more meaningful for my son. We created a new tradition: planning out what each night of Hanukkah should be about, beyond buying and exchanging a lot of presents. After a little brainstorming, my 7-year-old son and I came up with eight days of themes: more »