As a managing director, Melanie Torres oversees Arabella’s Advisory team, which works with institutional, family, and corporate clients to develop, implement, and assess effective grant-making programs, as well as to launch and manage efforts that go beyond grant making to further their philanthropic goals. Arabella’s Advisory practice works with many of the nation’s leading foundations, helping them achieve impact in education, health, international development, conservation, and more.
At Arabella, Melanie has spearheaded a number of high-impact strategy and evaluation projects on behalf of both domestic and international philanthropic initiatives. She has led an evaluation of a women’s donor network that funds global health interventions, assessed a donor-driven advocacy initiative to increase foreign aid, and conducted a community health needs assessment for a major nonprofit hospital system. Melanie also partnered with a place-based funder to develop a plan to evaluate organizational capacity-building efforts across a diverse portfolio of grantees, and she worked with one of the nation’s largest education funders to design and implement a grantee learning network. Currently, Melanie is working with a corporate foundation to establish an evaluation framework that will help the company monitor, interpret, and communicate the impact of its social-sector initiatives.
Prior to joining Arabella, Melanie worked at Grameen America and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, managing corporate and foundation partnership initiatives to improve financial literacy and economic development opportunities among low-income communities. Her other professional experience includes working with Newman’s Own Foundation to identify investment opportunities in the social enterprise sector, and with the Maverick Capital Foundation, a corporate funder focused on poverty-alleviation programs in New York.
Melanie holds a BS in communication studies and international studies from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. While at Yale, she served as the co-chair for its annual conference on philanthropy, and was a member of the Global Social Enterprise program.