CICF News / 2010 / May / News Post
May 5, 2010
Tara Seeley named outstanding program officer by Center for Effective Philanthropy

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is pleased to announce CICF Grants Officer Tara Seeley was one of five high-performing program officers profiled nationally in the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s (CEP) research report, "Working with Grantees: Keys to Success and Five Program Officers Who Exemplify Them."

The report reveals the keys to strong foundation-grantee relationships and includes profiles of five high-performing program officers. Seeley was among the highest performing 20% in CEP’s data set and the only candidate nationwide to represent the community foundation field. Tara, the other profiled grant officers, and CEP’s report are featured as the cover story for this week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy, the leading journal of grantmaking, charitable giving, policy, research and other philanthropic issues.In terms of forging strong relationships with grantees, Tara comments, “There are organizations where it really is a partnership. It’s not just the foundation writes a check and the organization implements the program. You hope that it’s a part¬nership where we’re all learning from what the organization is doing. So often organizations are just working with too few resources, and I’ve been on that side of the table. So, I always go into meetings with grantee organizations with a whole lot of respect for what folks are doing and a whole lot of empathy for what they’re trying to do.”

Tara is the program officer for The Indianapolis Foundation's Library Fund, a $24.3 million field of interest fund supporting Marion County libraries. In addition to her Library Fund portfolio, Tara is CICF's program officer for housing and community development, hunger relief, services to homeless populations, and domestic violence. Previous positions included serving as executive director of Interfaith Housing Coalition in Montgomery County, Maryland, and as program and leadership development staff for social mission in a large suburban church. Tara holds a joint J.D./M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University and a bachelor's degree in English Literature, with honors, from The University of the South. Read the report at