ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > Janis Foster

Janis Foster Richardson

Janis Richardson has experience working with place-based funders and community-based organizations on community and resident engagement. Her special expertise is in using micro-granting as a community engagement tactic and working with organizations to realign organizational culture and practice to support the organization’s community engagement goals. 

Janis is the Executive Director Emeritus of Grassroots Grantmakers, a network of place-based funding organizations, practitioners and grassroots leaders in North America that supports learning and knowledge development on community and resident engagement, and advocates for funding practice that invests in the informal groups that residents form for mutual aid and collective action and is designed to work from a “we begin with residents” orientation. Prior to her work with Grassroots Grantmakers, Janis served as Executive Vice President at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and as Director of Memphis’ Center for Neighborhoods.  She has a Masters Degree in Urban Anthropology from the University of Memphis, and a certification in personal and executive coaching from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara. She is an emeritus faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute. 

Janis currently serves on the League of Women Voters of Texas’ Board off Directors and as founder and President of the League of Women Voters of Lavaca County – now directing her volunteer time and experience with community building and organizational development to the League’s mission of empowering voters and defending democracy in her home community. 



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