Nina Zenni is the Grants Associate at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. She works with the Operations Team, where she is responsible for supporting all of Democracy Fund’s investment and grants management systems to help scale and optimize grantmaking strategies for more impactful and effective philanthropy.
Nina joined Democracy Fund in October 2018, after serving as the Program Officer for the Susan Crown Exchange in Chicago, IL, where she supported the advancement of strategic grantmaking for digital learning and social and emotional learning programs. She has extensive experience across the nonprofit sector, working in corporate social responsibility, direct social service case management, youth development, and foundation grantmaking.
Previously, Nina worked at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, FL for the journalism and media innovation departments, managing a portfolio of nonprofits, social startups, and civic innovators building digital solutions for more informed and engaged communities. She also managed the Knight News Challenge, the department’s largest grantmaking competition, funding projects in civic tech, library innovation, democracy, elections, and open data.
Nina has also worked as a private nonprofit consultant and adviser with several organizations, developing and managing grant challenge programs, stewarding grants administration, coaching organization leaders on development initiatives and Foundation partnerships, and conducting comprehensive emerging funder market research.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in social work from New York University.