Emerging Woman of Influence Ellie Moore Director of Grantmaking & Strategic Communications Community Foundation of Johnson County To say Ellen “Ellie” Moore was surprised on learning she was named the CBJ’s Emerging Woman of Influence for 2021 is an understatement. “It came out of nowhere,” she said. Ms. Moore has dedicated her life to philanthropy. […]
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Emerging Woman of Influence
Director of Grantmaking & Strategic Communications
Community Foundation of Johnson County
To say Ellen “Ellie” Moore was surprised on learning she was named the CBJ’s Emerging Woman of Influence for 2021 is an understatement. “It came out of nowhere,” she said.
Ms. Moore has dedicated her life to philanthropy. She says her family has done service together “since I was a little kid.” At the time, she didn’t think of it as service; it was just something the family did. She grew up in Blairstown, 30 minutes west of Cedar Rapids.
By the time she was in high school, she began leading service projects on her own, but she never thought it would end up being a career for her. She was able to continue to volunteer for different service organizations and clubs such as Dance Marathon when she was a student at Loras College in Dubuque.
Ms. Moore also was able to intern with “some great folks at the Community Foundation in Dubuque.”
“And that’s where it hit me that this service that I love doing and had a passion for could be my career and I could make my living doing that,” she said.
Ms. Moore ended up following a mentor who was working for the Community Foundation to the Iowa Council of Foundations, a philanthropy serving organizations at the state level.
“So we had a membership of community foundations and private foundations, really all types of funders across the state, and that gave me a broader picture of what’s going on in philanthropy across Iowa and nationally,” she noted.
When the Director of Grantmaking and Strategic Communications at the Community Foundation of Johnson County position opened, Ms. Moore was thrilled to have landed her dream job.
“I knew that community foundation work was something I loved, and I just seemed to be a really great fit,” she said. “I was finishing up my master’s program, and so I hopped in and have been rolling here ever since doing our grants and communications work.”
Ms. Moore earned her Master’s of Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in December 2020. Despite finishing school during a pandemic and while holding a full-time job, she continued to volunteer in the community.
When she and her husband moved to Johnson County, she said she had to familiarize herself with the nonprofit community. She set out to educate herself, and Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa stuck out to her.
“I’m a runner myself, not a very fast one, but I love to do it. And so I reached out, knowing that I like the idea of teaching girls social emotional skills through running.”
Ms. Moore sat down with Kelly Teeselink, executive director at the time, and volunteered her expertise. She began by coaching and then volunteered on the fundraising and development committee. Ms. Moore ended up with a larger role as board director as well as continuing to run the development piece for the group.
Ms. Moore has now coached Girls on the Run for five seasons.
“It’s really great to be part of the program and also in the behind-the-scenes pieces,” she said.
Ms. Moore says she gets so much more back than she puts in. She says it is not only a good feeling, but she supports how the program specifically targets the social and emotional pieces of being a girl in ninth to 12th grade.
“It really has shown a lot of improvements for girls who participate in the program and their mental health and their physical health,” she said, “and emotionally just making sure they have those skills to navigate as they get older and move into middle school, high school.”
2020 CBJ Woman of Influence Honoree Kelly Teeselink says this about Ellie, “She is a volunteer who goes above and beyond … she is an incredible woman who has given so much to her community in her short life.”
So what’s next for this new Emerging Woman of Influence? Ms. Moore says she will continue to bring people together. “I just really love connecting people and connecting resources toward common goals, so there’s always good people working on good things. Maybe they don’t have the support that they need or specific resources, but somebody else in our community does. So it really is just fun and engaging for me to be able to come to work every day and do that. Connect people, connect resources to make sure that our community is the best it can be. And it’s an incredible privilege to be able to do that.”