Leslie Karotkin is an award-winning and passionate philanthropic executive with more than 20 years’ experience in directing foundation operations and guiding philanthropic activities. She combines extensive industry expertise, proven business acumen, and proactive problem-solving abilities with a successful track record for exceptional leadership resulting in enduring and effective strategic relationships. Leslie is on a mission to make philanthropy a priority and to make it more accessible, efficient, and rewarding for families, foundations, and organizations.
Leslie’s history of achievement range from personal awards to organizational success, and showcase her dedication, commitment, and passion for the philanthropic community. Leslie was awarded 2015 Volunteer of the Year by the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable for her outstanding community engagement. Through Leslie’s leadership as the Executive Director of the InnovAge Foundation for five years, it was re-enforced for enhanced fundraising by building a strong network of constituents, growing an engaged board of trustees, and by creating policies and procedures based on nonprofit industry best practices. This organization transitioned from nonprofit to for profit and spent years of intensive strategic planning, brand development, and board engagement, and as a result solidified Leslie’s desire to work with other organizations to define philanthropic intent, develop strategies for community engagement, and determine processes to measure community impact.
Leslie was the Senior Philanthropic Planner and Director of Professional Advisor Programs at The Denver Foundation, and her talents for enhancing relationships resulted in one of the Foundation’s largest gifts of $21M. Through Leslie’s leadership at National Jewish, four new events were implemented and raised more than $1.2M in the first year. In early career roles, Leslie mastered fundraising success by surpassing annual goals, increasing volunteer and staff engagement, growing public event activities and creating and transforming events that were financially successful and helped build awareness for the organizations she served.
Leslie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas, and started her career in Dallas and Atlanta before moving to Denver. As an engaged member of the community, Leslie has held leadership positions with the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, the Anti-Defamation League, and several of the area estate planning councils. She’s a member of the Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council and is also actively participating on a few different nonprofit committees.
In her spare time Leslie enjoys spending time with friends, family and her Boston Terrier, Scarlet. She’s an avid exercise enthusiast, loves hiking and taking long walks, travels often and feels nourished by Denver’s cultural offerings and burgeoning food scene.