News Release: American Express Awards $50,000 Leadership Development Grant for LIFT Fellows

By LIFT on May 14, 2015

Categories: News

We are pleased to announce that LIFT has received a $50,000 grant from American Express to establish the LIFT Fellow Leadership Development Program. The program seeks to foster the skills and professional growth our fellows require to excel in the non-profit sector and continue supporting their communities subsequent to their time at LIFT.

LIFT Fellows are “critical to LIFT’s success because they serve as the main touch point with LIFT’s Members and help us build programmatic and developmental capacity,” commented Hilary Stathes, LIFT’s Senior Vice President of Talent. She continued to share LIFT’s excitement in “having the opportunity to provide meaningful, coordinated professional development to our Fellows,” and the hope that “this opportunity will increase Fellows’ efficacy in the short term and their ability to be agents of change in the nonprofit sector in the long term.”

“We applaud the excellent work of LIFT, and hope our partnership will help develop the business and leadership skills of these Fellows, and inspire them to spread their learning to others in order to strengthen the social sector,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation.

Through workshops, virtual meetings, and in-person trainings, the program will allow LIFT’s 48 Fellows to cultivate their management and capacity building abilities. Eleni Refu, a 2014 – 2015 Shriver Corps Development Fellow, attested to the program’s impact: “Since I first joined LIFT, my professional development has vastly grown…whether by working directly with my manager, or through these cohort sessions, I have been able to identify and access the resources I need to improve my skills. Not to mention the fact that so many people at LIFT have been ready and willing to work with me whenever I needed particular guidance.”

After partaking in this inaugural cohort series, it is our belief that LIFT Fellows will have a deeper understanding of combatting poverty and a strong lifelong commitment to serving their communities.


About LIFT

LIFT helps lift families out of poverty for good. LIFT pairs rigorously trained Advocates with committed families to build the strong personal, social and financial foundations they need to get ahead. By setting their own goals and working hard to achieve them, families are equipped to get a decent job, a safe home and a quality education for themselves and their children. They also build a support network, confidence in what they bring to the table and the skills to manage tough times in the future. LIFT operates resource centers in six cities across the nation where members of the community can come get help: Boston, Chicago, DC, New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Nearly 100,000 Members in six major cities have already committed to do the hard work needed to achieve their goals–and it is working. Over the last year, LIFT helped put more than $9 million in wages and income supports into the pockets of struggling families. Learn more at


About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow

One of American Express’ three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social sectors, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 15,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector. To date, American Express has hosted over 50 Leadership Academy sessions in six countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Mexico and Canada, supporting more than 1,600 nonprofit and social sector leaders. In 2015, the Academy will extend with programs in China, Kenya and Senegal. To learn more, please visit

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,, and

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Patience B. Peabody, LIFT
Tel: (202) 560-2457