Gwyn is known for her “Jib Jabs” that celebrate colleagues. Here’s one for her!
In the last two decades, the Foundation has evolved from a small grantmaking shop to a convener and catalyst for civic change – and behind the scenes of it all has been Gwyn Gallagher. A longtime Cambridgeport resident and our director of grantmaking and operations, Gwyn steps down this week to focus on family after administering thousands of grants to Cambridge’s nonprofit sector during her 23 years with the Foundation.
“Gwyn’s the one who has quietly, graciously put in long nights to make sure $1.2 million goes to 150 community nonprofits each year,” said Lori Lander, co-chair of our Programs Committee, who has worked closely with Gwyn on CCF grantmaking.
Lori recalled countless Zoom meetings in 2020 for our COVID-19 Emergency Fund allocations, an intense process of organizing a high-volume of grant requests that was orchestrated almost entirely by Gwyn. “It was funny,” Lori mused, “because we never saw her face on video! And that’s Gwyn; she does it all and doesn’t look to be seen or get credit.”
“The essence of CCF”
Gwyn first joined the Foundation as part of a two-person team with former Executive Director Bob Hurlbut. Over her tenure, she has been involved in nearly everything the Foundation does – from back-of-house administration and data gathering to supervising interns to building nonprofit relationships and spearheading grantmaking from a myriad of funds. And as Bob attests, she took on each task with a uniquely high level of thought, care, and dedication.
“She had a job to do, but she always did it well beyond what was being asked – put in more time, thought about the men and women who were doing the work, and had a great ability to spot people in Cambridge doing good things,” Bob shared.
While it’s rare for one staff person to leave as indelible a mark as shaping an organization’s identity, that’s precisely what Gwyn has done. “Gwyn gave the Foundation a real personality: embodying service above self,” Bob said.
Our president, Geeta Pradhan, echoed the sentiment. “Gwyn, you are the essence of CCF – your compassion, kindness, and thoughtfulness have infused the organization with these values, your commitment to our nonprofits, and your sense of humor will continue to inspire and energize our team,” she said.