Heather Grant

Heather McLeod GrantHeather McLeod Grant is the founder and principal of McLeod-Grant Advisors, and a published author, speaker/trainer, and consultant with more than twenty years experience in the social sector. Her current work focuses on creating transformative leadership and building networks and multi-stakeholder collaborations for social change. She has prior expertise in scaling social impact, social innovation/ entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and organizational development. She is the co-author of the best-selling Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, named a Top Ten Book of 2007 by the Economist (second edition 2012); and the articles Working Wikily: Social Change with a Network Mindset, Transformer: How to Build a Network to Change a System (The ReAmp Case Study), and Breaking New Ground: Using the Internet to Scale. Most recently she worked at Monitor Institute for four years, where she helped lead the nonprofit practice. Prior to that, she worked at McKinsey & Company and co-founded Who Cares, a national magazine for young social entrepreneurs published from 1993-1999. Heather currently serves on the boards of FuseCorp and Jacaranda Health, and recently chaired the Woodside Elementary School bond campaign, raising $13M for her local public school. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and an AB from Harvard University, and resides in the Bay Area. For additional information, publications and speaking engagements: heathermcleodgrant@gmail.com.


  • Strategic planning, social impact advising
  • Nonprofit scale and growth
  • Network strategy and development (collaboration, multi-stakeholder work)
  • Leadership development
  • Organizational development, capacity-building
  • Facilitation and training
  • Speaking (keynotes, workshops)
  • Case-study writing and publishing

Current Network and Nonprofit Clients (2013-15):

  • Irvine New Leadership Network: A network of mid-career civic leaders working across sectors, focused on collaboration. The program was piloted in Fresno, CA and will be replicated in other cities within CA. I’m the Managing Director and helped design the curriculum, build the backbone organization, and facilitate/ lead cohort convenings. I’m also developing the strategy for replication and scale.
  • The Early Childhood Innovation Network: A network of national funders (Packard, Buffett, Gates, Pritzker, Schusterman), government leaders, top academics, and practitioners who’ve come together to identify proven models, and to innovate new models around early childhood development. I ran a 2-day innovation lab and continue to provide capacity building support to the Hub, and to advise on a $15M program in three low-income communities in CA (Fresno, Oakland and Santa Clara).
  • Levi-Strauss Foundation, Pioneers in Justice: I spent nine months researching and writing up a 150-page report/ case studies of five nonprofit leaders working in the social justice field, funded by Levi-Strauss to develop approaches to “social justice 2.0.” These nonprofits are all working in more networked ways, and convening monthly (over five years) for capacity building, training, and peer learning.
  • Housing California – THE Network: A cross-sector statewide network of low-income / affordable housing providers (developers, nonprofits, government agencies and funders) working collaboratively to come up with more innovative solutions in their field, and better align their activities to meet current demand. I was the lead designer/ facilitator for two years, helping the network launch.
  • iZone Bay Area: Modeled on the iZone in New York City, this is a new network being catalyzed by local school leaders in San Mateo County (Office of Education), local philanthropists (Full Circle Fund and SV2), and technology providers to explore how schools are adapting to “blended learning” and the shift to new Common Core standards. I have been facilitating initial exploratory convenings.
  • Stanford GSB Nonprofit Governance Institute: A new initiative at Stanford business school focused on connecting and developing the leadership of alumni board members in the nonprofit sector: giving them tools and skills related to systems-thinking, collective impact and strategic leadership for social change. I designed the agenda and curated the content/ curriculum in 2014.
  • Stanford School of Medicine: I worked directly with the Dean and his Chief of Staff to conduct an organizational assessment, and help advise on some re-organization within their Department. I also advised them on hiring a new Chief Marketing Officer and on improving organizational effectiveness.
  • Center for Investigating Healthy Minds: An academic center at the University of Wisconsin focused on promoting mindfulness and wellness globally with his Holiness the Dali Lama. I ran a 2-day strategy workshop to help them figure out their theory of change, their strategy for impact, and how they can better execute on their ambitious plans.
  • DiaTribe Foundation: An early-stage foundation focused on preventing type-2 Diabetes. I ran a 1-day strategy workshop for the leadership/ board to help them figure out their theory of change, their strategy for scaling impact, and how to develop their organization as they grow.
  • Encore.org: A national nonprofit focused on helping the 55+ set transition to “encore careers” focused on helping youth and giving back to society. I worked with them over 4 months to set a new strategic direction more focused on impact. We went through a comprehensive strategic planning process, resulting in a new strategic focus, organizational alignment, and a new fundraising plan.

Shorter Client Engagements 2013-14:

  • The David and Lucille Packard Foundation: I’ve led their annual leadership team offsite for 2 years
  • UCSF Community Health Fellows program: I led two half-day training sessions
  • Leadership Learning Community: I led a 1-day innovation lab at the Stanford D-school
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: I’m part of a design team advising on their leadership strategy
  • Social Venture Partners International: I ran a 1-day training on “networks”
  • Social Impact Exchange: I ran a half-day workshop for 350 funders on collaboration and collective impact
  • Bay Area Alliance for Women and Girls: I led a 1-day strategic planning retreat for their board
  • Playworks: I led a 1-day training/ facilitation for their national team
  • Sinneave Foundation, Canada, facilitation of a strategy retreat
  • Living Cities, advising on leadership curriculum
  • Roberts Enterprise Development Fund, advised on strategy development

Speaking Engagements in 2013-14 (speeches, workshops or presentations):

  • SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Ventures), training/ workshop on strategy
  • Federal Reserve San Francisco, spoke at national conference on collective impact
  • Sobrato Foundation, training/ panel facilitation on leadership and culture
  • San Francisco Foundation Center, spoke on “Forces for Good”
  • Jim Joseph Foundation, spoke on capacity building
  • Center for Philanthropy and Policy at USC, spoke about leadership development
  • World Learning, Judge for fellowship selection
  • BoardSource, spoke at national conference, advising on advocacy strategy
  • GEO (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations), spoke at national conference
  • Presidio Institute, spoke at national conference
  • Council on Foundations Conference, spoke at national conference
  • Net Impact, spoke at national conference
  • Social Capital Markets (SoCap), spoke at national conference
  • Transformative Philanthropy, Medellin, Colombia, keynote at national conference

Previous Clients at Monitor Institute, McKinsey

  • Association of Junior Leagues International Strategy, change mgt. 2009-11
  • National Audubon Society Strategy 2010
  • Hillel International Center Strategy, org development 2010-12
  • Enterprise Community Partners Strategy 2011-12
  • NeighborWorks America Organizational development 2012
  • New Teacher Center Strategy, growth plan 2011-12
  • Build Strategy 2010
  • Sierra Club Organizational development 2011
  • Legacy Ventures Network strategy 2009
  • Jim Joseph Foundation Grantee strategy 2011
  • Schusterman Foundation Grantee strategy 2012
  • Business Alliance Local Living Economies Network strategy 2010
  • Stanford Social Innovation Review Business plan, strategy 2003-08
  • Stanford Center for Social Innovation Program strategies 2005-7
  • Pathways, Canada Strategy, growth plan 2009-10
  • Purpose Prize, Civic Ventures Program design 2006-2012
  • Irvine CA Leaders Awards Program design, facilitation 2004-11
  • Echoing Green Fellows Fellow, selection process 1993-2007
  • Omidyar Network Research 2003
  • Saga Leadership Foundation Research, design 2001-03

Note: this list is not exhaustive, and does not include some former clients, nor all publications, nor my 100+ speaking engagements prior to 2013.

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