Kate Houstoun

Managing Director, Capacity Building

Kate Houstoun is UWGPSNJ’s Managing Director of Capacity Building, a role in which she is charged with developing and overseeing the organization’s strategy to reduce intergenerational poverty by helping  nonprofit partners enhance and sustain the impact they make on the community.

Among her duties, Kate is responsible for creating an impactful, investable model that will benefit nonprofit leaders, the organizations they lead and the people they serve. She works closely with funders and other stakeholders invested in the nonprofit sector’s success. She also is coordinating the creation of a common impact measurement framework that will allow UWGPSNJ to more effectively steward investments, make data-driven improvements to programs, and report progress against goals more efficiently to the community.

Prior to joining UWGPSNJ, Kate served for six years as program officer for The Barra Foundation’s Health and Human Services portfolios. At Barra, she led the redesign of the Community Fund, now known as the Barra Awards, which provides unrestricted funding to advance the work of exemplary organizations and now engages a diverse group of nonprofit leaders in Barra’s grant-making process. Through the Catalyst Fund, she supported a wide range of nonprofit innovations, as well as evaluation and dissemination of new approaches. Her work at Barra gave her a bird’s-eye view of the opportunities and needs of the region’s nonprofit sector.

Prior to Barra, she was  managing director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN), where she led research, policy, and business services to support companies working to improve their social and environmental impact. She joined SBN from The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program, a comprehensive approach to ending homelessness that provides paid work training, housing, education, and case management services. Prior to The Doe Fund, she served as an international volunteer coordinator in Mexico for American Friends Service Committee, which works to end discrimination, build peace, end mass incarceration, and build economic justice worldwide.

Kate sits on the Selection Advisory Council for GreenLight Fund Philadelphia and is a member of Philanthropy Network’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force and Impact100. Since 2015, she has co-chaired a lending circle that works to close the “friends and family” capital gap for Philadelphia entrepreneurs called the Circle of Aunts & Uncles. She was named one of Philadelphia’s “101 Emerging Connectors” by Leadership Philadelphia and one of “15 Young Philadelphians Shaping the City’s Philanthropy Sector” by Billy Penn. A graduate of the University of Delaware, she also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University.


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Delaware
  • Master of Public Administration, New York University
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