Carolyn Wall Sakata

Senior Program Staff

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Carolyn joined PFS in 2014 and is a member of the senior program team. She serves as the managing director of Sunlight Giving, a family foundation that supports local and national organizations that provide services to low-income families with children ages 0-5. Before joining PFS, Carolyn worked as Program Officer for five years at the Medina Foundation, a Seattle-based family foundation that supports issues of homelessness, youth development, economic development, and food security. During her time at Medina, she led the Foundation’s rural grantmaking and capacity building efforts, and was involved in the launch of Seattle’s first low-income credit union, Express Credit Union.

In addition to her experience in private philanthropy, Carolyn has worked in public grantmaking with San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth and their Families. She has participated in state-wide and regional collaborative funding efforts such as the Washington Youth & Families Fund and SVP Seattle’s Statewide Capacity Collaborative, and has spoken at numerous events on trends in philanthropy.

Prior to her work in philanthropy, Carolyn worked in the nonprofit sector and as a clinical social worker. She has a BA in History and Spanish from Vassar College and a MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work. In her spare time, you can find Carolyn cheering on the 49ers with her husband, volunteering with several local nonprofits, and spending time with her identical twin sister.

Carolyn works for the following foundation: