Leadership, Track Record & Sustainability: How Does Your Nonprofit Stack Up? (Tom Lawrence)

July 2021

It's common for a nonprofit leader to wonder what a prospective funder is thinking as he or she evaluates your organization for a potential investment.  Fortunately, Tom Lawrence is happy to share the framework The Leon Levine Foundation uses to evaluate hundreds of grant applications it receives every year.  Tom serves as the President of the Foundation, and he and his team use a framework for evaluation that you'll find valuable to prep for ANY donor or prospect meeting or grant application.  Tom and I discuss what amounts to the "big three" for the Foundation: evidence of Leadership, evidence of a Track Record, and evidence of Sustainability.  Tom defines each, and provides practical insight that will help you assess where you stand in each category.  

"We look at our philanthropy as an investment in nonprofit leaders."


Tom Lawrence is the President and a member of the Board of Directors with The Leon Levine Foundation as well as Chief Financial Officer of the Levine family office. Tom joined the family office in 2002 to oversee the personal finances, tax compliance and investment portfolio management for the family and its Foundation. As President, Tom is responsible for directing the overall staff, program, and administrative activities of the Foundation. He works closely with the board to develop the Foundation's vision and strategies. He previously worked in the Family Wealth Planning division of Arthur Andersen in Charlotte and with the general services group of McGladrey & Pullen in Richmond, Virginia. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Tom is a graduate of the University of Richmond. He and his wife, Gina, have two children.