Shannon St. John

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Shannon St. John "is the Founder of Second Star Philanthropic Services and a Senior Advisor to The Synergos Institute, positions she assumed in 2006 to focus on promoting philanthropy worldwide. Previously, she led the Triangle Community Foundation (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA) for 21 years while also serving in leadership positions in the philanthropic field locally, nationally, and internationally. She has also served as a Synergos Senior Fellow.

"Ms. St. John has worked with or presented to philanthropic organizations in 21 countries on six continents. Her particular topics of expertise are the basics of community foundation/community philanthropy organization development, asset development, donor engagement, sustainability, and promotion of philanthropy. She especially enjoys working one-on-one with philanthropists and emerging philanthropic organizations. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of the World Bank Community Foundation Initiative, which she helped create; a Board Member of the King Baudouin Foundation United States; a member of the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network, and a Senior Fellow of the Synergos Institute. She served as a Fellow in Philanthropy of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Ford Foundation in Germany and Chile in 2005-2006, studying sustainability of community philanthropy organizations. She also served as an Eisenhower Exchange Fellow to Bulgaria in 1996.

"As Founding CEO of the Triangle Community Foundation from 1983-2005, Ms. St. John was responsible for steering the Foundation’s growth from $3,000 to $100 million in 550 charitable funds and known deferred assets of over $112 million. She oversaw grants of more than $10 million per year. At TCF, Ms. St. John initiated Philanthropy Central (a web-based philanthropic marketplace,) the Triangle Center for Effective Philanthropy (providing tailored services for families, individuals, companies and foundations wishing to expand their philanthropic impact) and the Catalyst Project (a comprehensive program to triple the overall philanthropic assets of the Triangle community to $3 billion within two decades). She holds an M.A. in Public Policy from George Washington University and a B.A. in Economics from Emory University, where she graduated first in her class." [1]

Resources and articles


  1. Shannon St. John, Synergos, accessed July 9, 2007.