The Conrad Prebys Foundation

Alexa, in less than a year you provided us with a great strategic roadmap, a valuable learning plan and assisted us in finding an outstanding CEO; and you have created a level of philanthropic sophistication that did not exist before. We would not be where we are without you and Kate. Thank you so much. We interviewed several consultants, and I am so happy we chose you. You are a pleasure to work with, your guidance is invaluable, and your leadership style gives just enough direction for us to reach consensus. We look forward to our continued growth working with you.

Alan Sorkin, Trustee

About the client

The Conrad Prebys Foundation is the largest private grantmaking foundation in San Diego County, with $1.6B in assets and nearly $100M in grant commitments in 2021 alone. Its focus areas include visual and performing arts, higher education, youth development, healthcare, and medical research.


The Board of Directors, with a majority of members serving for less than a year, was seeking to define its legacy of impact and align around its future focus areas in order to lay the groundwork for bringing onboard a new CEO.


Open Impact led the Board through a series of conversations to develop a strategic roadmap for scaling up the Foundation’s impact, which included working through issues of legacy and donor intent, confirming the Foundation’s mission and areas of focus, clarifying its community role and approach to grantmaking, updating its governance plan, and defining the requirements, characteristics, and role of its next CEO. Open Impact then worked with the Board to guide a national search process in partnership with Good Citizen, a leading executive search firm, and supported the onboarding process.


The work resulted in:

  1. A Strategic Roadmap that synthesized the Board’s deliberations and decisions
  2. A Governance Plan outlining roles and transition plans as a new CEO onboards
  3. A successful search that resulted in a new CEO, who is a nationally recognized philanthropy leader with decades of experience in place-based philanthropy.