Scott Gelzer

Scott Gelzer is the owner and operator of Management Cornerstones. He has extensive program service, management, and governance experience in nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and the public sector. He served as Executive Director of the Faye McBeath Foundation in Milwaukee from 2004-14. At the donor’s direction, the Foundation spent all of its assets over a 50-year period ending December 2014. During 2015, Scott continued as the lead advisor for the Foundation’s grants, administrative closure and co-produced a history of the Foundation. He also served as the Summer Reading Champion of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County.

Prior to his experience with the Faye McBeath Foundation, he acted as one of two fund advisors to the Nonprofit Management Fund (1994-2003), a continuing collaboration of Milwaukee-area funders that supports capacity-building projects driven by smaller nonprofit organizations. He continued this collaboration approach at the Faye McBeath Foundation, serving as the convener for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Funding Collaborative at the Milwaukee United Way and leading two local funding collaborations with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and multiple local donors.

In early 2014, he completed his sixth year on the Board of the Wisconsin Philanthropy Network (formerly the Donors Forum of WI), where he chaired the Network’s Program Services and Evaluation Committee. In fall 2014, he was elected to the national Board of Exponent Philanthropy, formerly the Association of Small Foundations. The mission of ExPhil is to “guide, connect, and champion” donors with few or no staff. He also currently serves on its Membership Committee.

In 2015, Scott rejoined Management Cornerstones after a 12-year hiatus. His areas of concentration are philanthropy and effective strategies for solo and collaborative giving. Based on his past experience at the Nonprofit Management Funds of managing initiatives in technology and community ventures, he will also support efforts related to entrepreneurship and financing nonprofit organizations. His work will draw from experience in program and executive positions in nonprofit organizations, volunteer service on numerous Boards and committees. Early in his career, he was employed as senior staff for a bipartisan committee of the Illinois Legislature and on the program staff of the Governor’s Office in IL. The work of the firm will continue despite the death of Scott’s wife and partner, Pat Wyzbinski, in the fall of 2016.

Philanthropy is also a personal avocation that is fulfilled through the Brandon Gelzer Memorial Fund, a donor-advised fund, which is focused on targeted youth development projects, home rehabilitation and improving community mental health services. A second initiative has been launched in conjunction with Arts Wisconsin Inc., the Art$upport Fund.

Long-standing professional interests include housing, collaboration, program design, effective grantmaking, and user-friendly evaluation. As of 2016, he resides full time in Lake Geneva, WI after several years of part-time residence there.

Scott has a B.A. in Anthropology from Michigan State University, and an M.A. in Urban Policy and Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago. For 9 years, he taught a graduate seminar on nonprofit finance as part of the Trinity Fellows Graduate Program at Marquette University and has led numerous workshops on nonprofit management topics in Illinois, Wisconsin, and throughout the U.S.