What We’ve Done

Jennifer Dowley, the principal of Dowley Associates, has deep and seasoned experience with all aspects of nonprofit governance and management, as well as grantmaking strategies.  Having led nonprofit and philanthropic organizations for decades, she most recently served as president of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, based in Sheffield, Massachusetts for over 16 years. While there she grew assets from $10 million to $122 million and established equitable and transparent review processes for the distribution of over $8 million in grants each year.  Jennifer launched the Foundation’s leadership initiatives, raising over $7 million to establish education enrichment funds for each of the 32 public school districts in the region; built unrestricted endowments for the various rural areas in the region; started an affordable housing project for working families; and launched an early childhood development initiative.  She also created the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which provides high-quality professional development opportunities for nonprofit leaders in the community.  In so doing, she established an ongoing relationship with the Harvard Business School, which now underwrites four scholarships for leaders of regional nonprofits to attend its renowned, week-long training programs.

Before moving to the Berkshires, Jennifer spent five years as Director of Museums and Visual Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC.  She oversaw grantmaking of $8 million annually to museums, visual arts organizations, and visual artists; compiled A Creative Legacy: A History of The National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists’ Fellowship Program published by Harry N. Abrams; and shaped national cultural policy in the visual arts field.

Prior to that, for ten years Jennifer was the first director of Headlands Center for the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, a nationally known, innovative artists’ community.  Previously, she founded and directed public arts commissioning programs in Sacramento, California as well as for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority through the Cambridge Arts Council in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Having advised a number of foundations and arts agencies around the U.S., she continues to work on the boards of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and The Wassaic Project.  In addition, she is an advisor to the Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative.

More details can be found on Jennifer’s LinkedIn page.