Building Relationships, Protecting Colorado

New Director of Philanthropy at local Nature Conservancy

Boulder, CO | March 22, 2013

The Nature Conservancy in Colorado is excited to announce Melissa Grumhaus as the new Director of Philanthropy. In this post, Grumhaus leads Colorado philanthropy staff in planning and implementing a comprehensive plan that secures significant funding to support the Conservancy’s the Conservancy’s conservation priorities in Colorado and around the world. 

The Boulder resident started with the world’s largest conservation organization just out of college and has held many philanthropy positions at the Conservancy including writer, fundraiser and major gifts officer. After taking some time off to raise children, Melissa rejoined the Conservancy in 2011.Through strong relationships, leadership and inspiration she has been making a difference in conservation across the state of Colorado and around the globe. 

Melissa helped complete the Heart of the West Campaign in 2003 the largest campaign ever taken on by the chapter at the time, reaching $75 million. Conserving Zapata Ranch and helping turn the Great Sand Dunes into a national park are two keystone projects from that campaign. Additionally, she helped launch the conservation of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve in Chile, an ancient forest which is home to incredible wildlife including the world’s largest woodpeckers and smallest deer. The Reserve also supports local economies. 

“We’re thrilled to have Melissa on board in this role,” says Tim Sullivan, the Conservancy’s Colorado state director. “She has a wealth of experience with passion to match.” 

Melissa says this is an exciting time to be part of the conservation movement “At one time, we focused on protecting a preserve here and a river there. Now, we’re tackling whole systems such as the Colorado River Basin which are at a scale large enough to make a difference. The Conservancy’s non-partisan, science-based approach makes it possible to move the needle in the right direction more quickly and efficiently.” 

Grumhaus graduated from Indiana University with degrees in Environmental Studies and English. As a child, she spent countless hours on the Billy Goat Trail along the Potomac River, a place the Conservancy has been protecting for years. Her love of the outdoors also came from time spent on her father’s farm in Virginia and skiing in Colorado. She and her husband have three boys.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Tracey Stone
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado


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