Our Team

Sara Beggs

Senior Philanthropic Advisor

Years working in philanthropy or a related field: 20+
Years with IP: 4

What I bring to IP: Having supported and collaborated with foundations for 20 years, I have a deep knowledge of the legal, administrative, governance, and grantmaking functions of foundations. I bring an innate sense of what is practical when I work with clients on strategic grantmaking, landscape assessment, and family engagement. Specifically, my most recent work includes: helping a two-generation Board work together to make decisions for the first time; assisting a board to narrow its five focus areas to one; and defining a sustainable model for non-family engagement and board succession of an independent foundation.  Prior to 2016, I shared my time between Intentional Philanthropy and Exponent Philanthropy, where I focused my energy on helping funders increase their impact by evaluating their strengths with the 10-Minute Impact Assessment and then defining a clear focus and thoughtful strategy. Prior to the impact work, I authored The Foundation Guidebook, The Trustee Handbook, and several legal primers. My prior work was in the field of community and economic development, after receiving my BA with honors in economics from Boston College. 

What I love most about my work: I love to watch small groups of people build consensus to accomplish something so much greater than they could ever accomplish individually. I am thrilled when I have opportunities to learn about new fields when a foundation digs into different strategy options. And I love watching funders find the joy of giving that comes when they invest their hearts and minds in the work.

What I am most excited about learning right now: I am learning about Co-Active Coaching and the power of deep listening and asking meaningful, targeted questions. Each one of us is creative, resourceful and whole, which makes us capable of figuring out our own pathway to change - if only we are given the space and questions to explore.   

What I do in a typical week: I interview community leaders to understand the landscape; I develop trainings for funders on everything from Capacity Building to How to Say No; I coach executive directors to work with the board through their next transition of leadership.  I plan how I’m going to facilitate the next board meeting to help them define a clearer focus.

What I do when I’m not working: I’m wrangler extraordinaire of two teen-ish girls, one horse, one dog, one salt-water aquarium, and one awesome-but-absent-minded professor.  I’m still figuring out how to satisfy the changemaker in me now that I’m in a new city.

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