Melissa Johnson, MSW ’02, was recently named the new executive director of Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG), a membership association dedicated to strengthening the capacity of organized philanthropy to support community-based efforts advocating for policies and practices that advance social and economic justice.
A national nonprofit boasting over 250 foundation members from across the U.S., NFG celebrates its 30th anniversary with Johnson taking over the reigns. She is the youngest executive director of any of the 42 philanthropic infrastructure groups that currently exists.
Prior to NFG, Johnson served as the national field director for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Her career in philanthropy began in her work with community foundations in North Carolina where she served as a program officer and other key roles in grantmaking, funding collaboratives, and major community initiatives in the Greensboro and Charlotte areas. Additionally, her prior work at the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits grounded her commitment to build nonprofit capacity and strengthen the sector as a whole.
While at UNC, Johnson concentrated on the study of community practice and community development and she continues to be mentored by emerita faculty member Dorothy (Dee) Gamble. Johnson’s voluntary service has spanned several organizations including Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Guatemala Human Rights Campaign-USA, North Carolina’s Youth for Tomorrow (ncyt), NCNG Emerging Leaders Network, United Way of Greensboro, YWCA of Greensboro, Resource Generation, and the University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work Alumni Council. She recently hosted a class of social work students from the University of Maryland at College Park and looks forward to mentoring other social worker students in the nonprofit sector.