Who We Are

We are your ally and a guide to effective giving.

We believe in the transformative nature of strong organizations. GMA’s strength as a professional services firm comes from our combined expertise, experience, and personal styles.

GMA Foundations was founded in 1982 by Newell Flather, Mary Phillips, and Ala Reid as shared professional staff to help private foundations increase their impact and efficiency. In our work through the decades, we have seen the value of strong communities and the power of unlikely relationships, and we have affirmed our faith in philanthropy’s role in sparking social change. We have grown into leaders in the field and earned the rank of trusted advisor.

Today, when asked why they continue to trust in GMA, our clients usually mention one of these four traits:


We are a team of 20 philanthropy professionals with clients across the country. As such, we stay abreast of news and developments in the field, around specific issues, and in the communities our clients care about. GMA staff members are teaching workshops, convening nonprofits, making site visits, developing relationships in the field, and sharing with our clients and with one another.


We design individualized scopes of service that weave each of our client’s priorities into our operational capacity.  Our clients experience the advantages of a fully staffed, full-time foundation office, tapping into a broad range of expertise and an online grant management system, for the cost of part-time services.


Our team approach is central to our ability to deliver a full range of high-quality services with continuity and flexibility. Each client has a dedicated staff member at GMA who coordinates our services, works directly with your board, and represents you to the community.

We like to get to know our clients well. In addition to supporting ongoing governance and operations, we become trusted allies, partners in anticipating future needs. As such, our working relationships evolve along with your changing needs or preferences.


We believe that strong partnerships yield the strongest returns; we learn from our clients, as well as advise. We ask hard questions and rigorously pursue sound answers. Success is earned and shared together.

“After 35 years, we are mature, organizationally sound, shaping new initiatives, and enjoying our most productive era yet.” – Mary Phillips, GMA President, at employee shareholders’ annual meeting 6/2017