Zanele Sibanda

Monitoring and Evaluation and Grantmaking Lead

Zanele has been working at the intersection of community development, child and youth development, both in the United States (urban communities) and in southern and eastern Africa (rural communities). Over the last twenty years she has provided leadership in program development, grantmaking, capacity building, learning and evaluation, as well as and advocacy to catalyze systems change.

Zanele developed her experience working with the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago United, Rural Craft Cottage Industries in Zimbabwe, and the Firelight Foundation. As the Director of Programs for Firelight Foundation, where she led a seven-member team in identifying, funding, and building the capacity of grassroots organizations in southern and eastern Africa. Zanele transformed the foundation’s funding model by defining a long-term to partnership model, capacity building strategy, and learning and evaluation approach.

Most recently Zanele has been working as a philanthropic adviser with private foundations and public charities, bringing in her expertise in strategy development, grantmaking, monitoring and evaluation, as well as capacity building and design of collective impact initiatives.

Zanele received her undergraduate degree from Grinnell College and completed graduate studies in social policy at the University of Chicago.

Education is the instrument of peace and prosperity.

Zanele Sibanda