Zanele Sibanda, has spent her career supporting local communities to solve their own problems as a researcher, facilitator, and funder. She evaluated community driven change on a research team at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. She led the social and education components of Invest in Chicago, a community revitalization initiative on Chicago’s South Side. She also supported a women’s social entrepreneurship program, which supported women’s personal, social, economic, and political empowerment in Zimbabwe. Over the last ten years Zanele served as the Director of Programs for Firelight Foundation, where she led a seven-member team in identifying, funding, and building the capacity of grassroots organizations in southern and eastern Africa. Zanele transformed the foundation’s funding model by defining a long-term to partnership model, capacity building strategy, and new approaches to learning and evaluation. Zanele is also the co-founder of Africans in the Diaspora, which focuses on increasing philanthropy in the diaspora community. She currently works a s consultant, facilitating transformative relationships between philanthropy and grassroots leaders in Africa.