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Connected Communities: Pairing Responsive Grantmaking with Actionable Data

For your convenience, you can download the webinar slides here.

No matter how much great work you’re doing in your community, if your story isn’t connecting with the people and organizations you’re serving, the work is falling flat.

In this on-demand webinar, hear how St. Luke’s Foundation in Cleveland, OH is taking community connectedness to the next level. Kristen Summers, Senior Grants Manager shares how intentionally listening to what their community needs and responding to that need via their grantmaking has turned their community relationships around.

She shares the story of:

  • How leaning into their Resident Advancement Committee (RAC) for discretionary budget decisions in the community has resulted in better decisions and more trust.
  • How they identified the data needed to tell a story that connected with the community.
  • How they have been able to act on that data to drive meaningful impact.
  • How they formatted that data in a way that connected to all stakeholders and brought their board along.
  • How they will continue to build on this work in the future and where they see that evolution taking them and their community.


Kristen Summers | Former Senior Grants Manager, St. Luke's Foundation
Kristen joined the Foundation in February 2016 as Grants Manager and was promoted to Senior Grants Manager in 2020. Kristen appreciates streamlined systems with an equity focus. She knows that grantmaking need not be overly complicated to achieve impact. Kristen is always asking her colleagues "how are we going to use this data that we're collecting?" and striving for increased knowledge sharing throughout the community. Kristen is a long-standing member and proponent of PEAK Grantmaking and has served in a leadership capacity of the PEAK Mideast Chapter since 2018.

Prior to working in philanthropy, Kristen worked in the international education field, both directing a small English as a second language school and leading a team in the international admissions department at a large public university, recruiting international students and processing their applications. She also spent considerable time volunteering in animal rescue and honing her grant writing skills, which served as the catalyzing force to work in the nonprofit sector.

Kristen earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in French Translation from Kent State University. While not working, Kristen enjoys spending time with her husband and energetic toddler, hiking the many beautiful trails in Ohio, or just putting her organizational skills to the test inside her home.

About the Author

In her time with Foundant (since 2011) Sammie Holzwarth has taken on many roles in her path to becoming the Product Manager of Grants & Scholarships. Starting as an intern with Foundant’s Marketing Team, Sammie then moved into a Client Success Manager role - successfully implementing well over 150 clients. Her Foundant adventure next took her to the Sales Team as Foundant’s GLM/SLM Product Implementation Engineer. Her breadth of knowledge and extensive experience working with a plethora of clients and in varying roles at Foundant fuels her passion and excitement to continually improve GLM/SLM, and herself which she now brings to her role as the Product Manager for Grants and Scholarships! Sammie has a passion for youth philanthropy and has spearheaded the Youth Giving Project in Bozeman, MT as well as serving as an Exponent Philanthropy Next Gen Fellow for 2016. Montana holds a special place in Sammie’s heart as she is a born and raised Montanan; from rolling plains to mountain tops, this is where she feels most at home and takes every opportunity to soak in the outdoors. When traveling beyond the Big Sky State, Sammie loves anywhere with a vibrant culture, and delicious food. Connect with Sammie directly at or on twitter @SammieHolzwarth.

Profile Photo of Sammie Holzwarth