Executive Transition Team Lead

Trella Walker

Trella Walker has been a servant in the nonprofit sector for over twenty years and is dedicated to sharing knowledge and information to those committed to service and leadership. She has garnered a wealth of experience across a variety of fields including arts and entertainment, youth, social services, education, healthcare, veteran affairs, and law.

Trella currently serves as NFF’s Vice President/Chief Strategy Officer from the Los Angeles office. In this role, Trella is helping to lead NFF’s strategic transformation as it moves from planning to action, with a focus on the implementation of strategic goals and support of external partnerships that further NFF’s commitment to equity in finance. In addition to her work in strategy, Trella is also the inaugural leader of NFF’s Social Innovation and Equity Council, a group of enterprise-wide staff members who are dedicated to supporting the organization and holding it accountable to its equity commitments both internally and externally.

In 2019 The Chronicle of Philanthropy published an article co-authored by Trella, her colleague, Claire Knowlton, and Fred Ali (CEO – Weingart Foundation) entitled “The Smartest Way to Promote Diversity: Pay for Overhead at Charities Led by People of Color.” that focused on advocating for full cost support for organizations, and particularly led by people of color who have been denied access to large, flexible funding. The three were then again elevated as “Innovators in the Field” for their work on the Full Cost Project in the Chronicle’s December 2019 series.

Some of Trella’s specific bodies of work include team promotion of the full cost work through the Full Cost Project; leading national initiatives like the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI) with the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) that helps provide support and access to organizations that have traditionally been denied access to capital; and supporting continued messaging regarding the learnings garnered from these bodies of work through workshops and writings in the field.

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There is so much to learn and do at NFF. It is truly inspirational to work in an organization that sincerely commits to exhibiting its values in every aspect of its delivery. I am excited about working on the Mellon Foundation initiative to strengthen arts organizations. The arts are a window to our souls; without them we have limited capacity to innovate and create.