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New Beacon Hill Foundation Executive Director

Beacon Hill Foundation Names Libby Wahlstrom as Executive Director

The Beacon Hill Foundation is delighted to announced experienced fundraising professional Libby Crabb Wahlstrom as its new Executive Director.

Libby comes to the Beacon Hill Foundation with more than 18 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising. A native of Grand Rapids, Libby knew from a young age she wanted to go into nonprofit work. Her parents were public school teachers, and her dad worked at United Way for a number of years, so Libby has “always had community service in her blood.”

Libby earned a bachelor’s degree in history and women’s studies from Albion College, where she focused on public policy and already had an eye on nonprofit work. During her time in college, Libby completed an internship in Washington D.C. in the development department at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, where her passion for helping others through philanthropy ignited.

“That was my first introduction into the world of development,” Libby explains. “I loved the connection with people, and I loved the varied nature of the work. I’ve always enjoyed writing and research, and it just married my favorite skills and activities.”

After graduation, Libby moved to San Francisco and began her professional fundraising career as a development associate for Habitat for Humanity where she wrote and submitted foundation grants – including a successful $450,000 grant – and helped grow the annual Blueprints and Blue Jeans gala. Even after moving back to Michigan, she continued working remotely for Habitat for Humanity for another year.

When a position opened with her alma mater, Libby couldn’t resist the opportunity to support the place where she fell in love with her craft. In 2009, Libby was hired as the Senior Director of Annual Giving at Albion College. During her time, Libby stewarded a portfolio of donors who made leadership gifts, and planned and executed the college’s inaugural alumni Grand Getaway on Mackinac Island. She also supervised a fundraising team of three.

For the past 12 years, Libby served as Development Director for Literacy Center of West Michigan – the largest community-based organization in Michigan teaching adult literacy – where she directed all fundraising efforts. Having teachers as parents, she was naturally drawn to the nature and mission of the organization. Libby led fundraising strategy, significantly increasing revenue over her tenure. In 2023, she helped the organization raise $2.3 million.

In addition to serving as the Development Director, Libby used her commitment to serve as a one-on-one literacy tutor for English language learners in our community, including adults from Egypt, Somalia and other parts of the world.

“It was one of the most powerful volunteer experiences I’ve ever had,” Libby recalls. “It was an eye-opening experience to get introduced to such a different world. It gave me such a different perspective on Grand Rapids, the community, and the way we serve those who are newest to this country.”

After an overwhelmingly successful tenure at Literacy Center of West Michigan, Libby was ready to use her skills to help a new audience. Over the years, Libby grew to know the team at Beacon Hill and admired its mission reflected through them. She was drawn to apply for the position of Beacon Hill Foundation Executive Director because of the team’s quality of care and deep respect for residents.

“We’re not just coming to work every day just to work,” she says. “We’re coming into the home of our residents and ensuring we’re here for them. Beacon Hill has cultivated a beautiful space where people want to spend time, create community, and feel at home. The hospitality is unmatched when compared to any other retirement communities I’ve seen.”

“I’m excited to join an organization with a really solid base laid. Andi Allen has done an amazing job with the Foundation, I look forward to building on her work and using the leadership skills I’ve gained over the years to strengthen engagement with the community, raise some good funds and grant some funds as well.”

Libby has already been hard at work putting systems into place, forming relationships with residents and staff, and planning fundraising efforts for the upcoming capital campaign. A few of Libby’s main goals are to grow connections in the community and increase the visibility of the Beacon Hill Foundation so more residents and members of the Eastgate and greater Grand Rapids communities are aware of the support it provides.

 “The position really speaks to me in terms of being able to not only engage with the residents but also strengthen the relationship with the larger Eastgate community,” she says. “I love the senior population. It’s a population that often gets overlooked, and I am excited to be able to do something that can speak to that group and really help them feel seen, heard, and valued.

“I’m just thrilled about the change that we can see in the community – both internally and externally – with additional fundraising.”

Active professionally within the community, Libby serves on the board of the West Michigan Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she is also a member of the Mentorship Committee. She is a graduate of the Leadership Grand Rapids class of 2023 from the Grand Rapids Chamber and a past member of the Park Congregational Church board of trustees.

Libby lives in northeast Grand Rapids with her husband, Andrew, and their 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Ellen. In her free time, Libby enjoys reading, knitting and being out in the community.

Please join us in welcoming Libby to Beacon Hill!

You belong here.

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Beacon Hill at Eastgate is a distinctive, not-for-profit retirement community located in Grand Rapids’ desirable Eastgate neighborhood.

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