The Pittsburgh Foundation

Chris Ellis Consultant, Grantmaking and Special Initiatives

In August 2023, Chris Ellis began his role as a consultant, Grantmaking and Special Initiatives for the Program and Community Engagement department. Prior to that, he spent almost three years as the program officer for healthy children and adults, where he participated in designing and refining initiatives such as our Juvenile Justice and Single Women Raising Children projects. He also responded to applications for funding across our various grant-making portfolio. Chris began his time at the Foundation as the social change in philanthropy fellow where he conducted research on policy issues to inform the Foundation’s efforts to reform systems that create barriers to individuals exiting poverty.

Throughout his work and volunteer history, Chris has demonstrated a genuine commitment to improving communities. He has held various roles in philanthropic and community development efforts, including as a public policy liaison for the Colorado Association of Funders, where he facilitated communication between Colorado’s foundation community and state policy leaders to maximize the impact of local funding. More recently, he was partnership director for Early Learning Outcomes at the United Way of Salt Lake in Utah. During his three years in that role, his responsibilities included the development of a strategy to increase the number of minority and refugee students who were enrolled in high-quality preschools and supporting the creation of an innovative financing model to fund their access. He also helped to establish partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including nonprofit and local government representatives. 

Chris is a member of the inaugural cohort of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s New Philanthropic Leaders program, which launched in 2018 and awarded funding to organizations serving single women raising children.