Title and Organization:
Caren Croland Yanis has been advising high net worth families and institutions on best practices for meaningful giving for over twenty years.
Caren served as President of Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP) for close to eight years as the first professional, non-family leader. While there, Caren managed organizational redesign and growth, engaged multiple generations of family members in philanthropic activities, planned and facilitated meetings, and guided strategic initiatives in education, environment, human needs and global health. In addition, she oversaw many projects specific to Jewish and Israel giving with a focus on science, education, and shared society.
Prior to joining CFP, Caren spent close to nine years building and running Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropies including Oprah’s Angel Network (a public charity), the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation (private foundations). She was involved in development of numerous programs on and off the Oprah Winfrey Show. Projects included the building of several schools and economic development initiatives in South Africa, the building of the Oprah Winfrey Boys and Girls Club in Kosciusko Mississippi, and disaster recovery and rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Caren is a board director and finance committee member of The Poetry Foundation, a Founding Director of Leading Edge, a group formed to build organizational strength in nonprofit agencies. Caren is a Founding Director of Project&, a creative agency with a lens on highlighting critical social issues through the arts. She is an Accreditation Advisory Committee member at the Spertus Institute, a President’s Circle member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a member of the Aspen Institute’s Society of Fellows, and a member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Advisory Council. Formerly she served as a Board Director of the Jewish Funders Network and Forefront, (previously the Chicago Donors Forum), where she chaired the board development and new leadership selection committees. Caren chaired the Council on Foundations’ 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago, as well as the Council’s Critical Impact Awards Committee. She also served on UNICEF’s Committee on Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Caren enjoys facilitating meetings, speaking at universities and association meetings, mentoring and working with people who believe they can change the world.
Caren has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College and studied strategic leadership at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.