Meet Our New CEO: Q&A with Dana Textoris
Get to know the new CEO of Grants Plus, Dana Textoris! Learn more about her career journey, leadership style, and ambitions for Grants Plus.
What brought you to Grants Plus?
Dana: I've always been motivated to make a difference. For the first decade of my career, I worked within nonprofit organizations, mostly as a major gifts and foundation grants fundraiser in California. I moved to Cleveland in 2012 and soon after, I met Lauren Steiner. We discovered we had much in common and I was so impressed by her vision for Grants Plus. I wanted to be part of helping her build the business and join a team of people impacting many missions. Ten years later, I'm so proud of all the impact we've had!
What are you most proud to see Grants Plus achieve?
Dana: How we've grown without losing sight of what's most important. Helping nonprofits is the core of our mission. When I joined Grants Plus, we were a small team helping a circle of nonprofit organizations, most in Ohio. Today we employ more than 30 of the smartest, kindest, most talented grant experts you can find, and together we have helped hundreds of nonprofits in every corner of the country. Every single member of our team is propelled by a deep desire to help nonprofits make the world a safer, healthier, more equitable, more beautiful place for all.
What quality do you admire most in the nonprofit leaders you work with as clients?
Dana: Our clients are truly our partners. The nonprofit leaders we work with know they can rely on us to be their trusted advisors, and to bring honest, expert advice as well as fresh, compelling grant writing. But to be successful, we must rely on our clients to bravely build connections with grant funders and nurture those relationships over time, with our team's guidance and support. The quality I most admire in others, and strive to embrace myself, is a willingness to use simple, direct, respectful communication in our interactions as clients and consultants and even with funders. If we communicate openly and honestly, I believe we can face any challenge.
Who has shaped your approach to leadership?
Dana: I've had the opportunity to work with great leaders in both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds. Some have been my bosses--nonprofit Executive Directors who modeled confidence, tenacity, creativity, and compassion. Many have been my colleagues, including my team at Grants Plus, who demonstrate courage and commitment to guide their clients through hard work and tough choices to reach their grants goals. I believe some of our best teachers aren't our cheerleaders, but our challengers, and I'm grateful to those who've challenged me to become a better leader. I'm also especially thankful to our founder Lauren Steiner--a model of authentic, vulnerable leadership I've been able to learn from over these past ten years.
What do you see ahead for Grants Plus?
Dana: This year we've reached an exciting milestone of securing a quarter billion dollars in grant funding in partnership with our clients. Next we'll look towards reaching a billion dollars in grant funds raised--and celebrating the transformational impact that will enable nonprofits to make in their communities.