Hull Fellows Highlight: Nicole Eovino Diebold

Earlier today, Nicole Eovino Diebold was slated to join her Hull Fellows classmates to present a Capstone Project on the next generation of philanthropy.

Nicole, however, wasn’t able to present live – but she was definitely focused on the next generation: A few days ago, she gave birth to a son. She didn’t let that small distraction get in the way of presenting, though: Thanks to the magic of pre-recorded video, Nicole was able to join the rest of her colleagues (so was her newborn, via a photo).

That dedication isn’t surprising – Nicole says the connections she’s made through the program are the type that will endure for years afterward.

“I have made valuable connections within this cohort of fellows with varied experiences across the Southeast, and I am confident that will continue to build into a network I will be able to call on for the entirety of my career in philanthropy,” she said. “It has also been interesting to learn about different perspectives and approaches to our work as a sector.”

For Nicole, this has been an eventful week coming toward the end of an eventful year. As a program associate at the C.E. & S. Foundation in Louisville, Kentucky, her work has been deeply affected by the news events that have reverberated throughout philanthropy in 2020.

“The pandemic and calls for racial justice have enabled us to work in different ways, with more flexibility and openness than ever before,” she said. “It has illuminated disparities and inequities that our foundation was already trying to impact, thus making the work with our grant partners and learning from one another even more relevant and important. It has also created new opportunities for funders as well as nonprofits to come together and collaborate, which I hope will continue to strengthen the work within our community and ultimately create a path for Louisville to be a more socially just, compassionate, and equitable city.”

Nicole has also benefited from the mentorship of another family foundation leader in the region: Robins Foundation President & CEO Kelly Chopus.

“It has been truly beneficial having the opportunity to connect with and learn from a leader at another family foundation with similar programmatic objectives,” she said. “She has shared resources and been a sounding board, particularly in the difficult times of this year’s pandemic and racial tensions, both personally and professionally.”

Even though this year has been difficult in many ways, Nicole says her Hull experience has left her feeling optimistic about philanthropy’s future.

“It gives me great hope for the future of this field knowing that there are capable, rising leaders dispersed throughout our region,” she said.


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