Our Staff

Joanne Kelley

Chief Executive Officer

Joanne leads the organization in its efforts to provide education and advocacy for Colorado’s philanthropic sector. Before transitioning to her role at CAF, Joanne spent much of her career in journalism with news agencies, magazines and daily newspapers in Denver, Washington, DC, New York City and Chicago, working to inform the public about a wide range of subjects including Wall Street, Congress, high technology and the social profit sector. Joanne brings other experience to CAF including several years working for a management consultancy on the Innovation team that planned and hosted CEO summits and educational seminars for diverse groups of executives.

Joanne serves on the board of the Washington-based United Philanthropy Forum, the national network of philanthropy-serving organizations, and previously served on the board of Colorado Society of Association Executives. She also serves as a Trustee of Wells College in upstate New York and is the Board Chair of Food and Environment Reporting Network, an independent, non-partisan investigative news organization. She received a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and graduated from Wells College with a B.A. in Spanish and History. She completed a nonprofit journalism fellowship sponsored by the Knight Foundation at the University of Mississippi and completed El Pomar Foundation’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in 2012.

Kaitlin Johnson

Rural Network Director

Kaitlin directs Colorado Association of Funders’ Rural Funders Learning Network, connecting funders working to support rural philanthropy and community-based, participatory grantmaking and also serving and convening funders outside of the metro areas. Prior to joining the CAF team, Kaitlin worked as a program manager at El Pomar Foundation where she oversaw the management and internal staff coordination for the regional partnerships program. Kaitlin also facilitated the regional advisory committee made up of community leaders from a nine-county region in northeastern Colorado to help develop a strategy, identify targeted investments and develop partnerships with local organizations. She previously served as deputy director of the foundation's fellowship program upon completion of her own two-year fellowship.

After earning an MBA from University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, she was a management trainee and then a banking officer for FirstBank. She graduated from DU, where she was a Boettcher Scholar majoring in English and Spanish and part of the honors program. Kaitlin grew up on the eastern plains in rural Wray, Colorado and is now married to Charlie, a cattle rancher from Kit Carson. They have one daughter, Sofia.

Mari Tanabe

Program & Membership Manager

Mari manages Colorado Association of Funders’ education and training programs, workshops, peer groups, and forums while providing support for the 85-plus member organizations. Mari joins CAF from El Pomar Foundation, where she served as a Program Associate directing several of the Foundation’s community stewardship programs. Prior to her work at El Pomar Foundation, Mari coordinated development activities at Intercambio, a nonprofit in Boulder, and taught English as a second language in Taichung, Taiwan through the Fulbright Taiwan program.

Mari serves on the Direct Service Grantmaking Committee at The Women's Foundation of Colorado. She holds a B.A. in English from Stanford University.

Jaser A. Alsharhan

Program Associate

Jaser coordinates many of our expanded activities and manages several technology and communications needs. He will be providing support to the IT peer group and Arts & Culture Funders group. Before joining the CAF, Jaser completed a one-year U.S. Fulbright Program Fellowship in Rubavu, Rwanda, where he coordinated with the U.S. Embassy to conduct weekly programs and presentations at the American Corner, a resource center that aims to increase understanding between Rwanda and the United states. Prior to working in Rwanda, he participated in the Duke University India Summer School for Future International Development Leaders. This field research position in Udaipur, India allowed him to propose and analyze creative, locally sourced approaches to rural development. He also was a Curatorial Assistant for the Biennial of the Americas and interned for Children’s Future International, writing and researching grant opportunities for the organization’s expansion of education and basic needs services for disadvantaged youth in Cambodia.

Jaser received a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and graduated from the University of Denver, where he was a Boettcher Scholar majoring in International Studies and Political Science. He enjoys hiking, swimming, running, watercolor painting, and giving back to diverse communities throughout the state as a Colorado native.