Vanessa Schnaidt

Vice President Cause Communications

Vanessa Schnaidt is Vice President at Cause Communications, a role that combines program development and communications strategy to advance the field of social impact. In this role, Vanessa is responsible for leading the organization’s training programs and the ongoing development of new capacity building tools that help change-makers leverage the power of strategic communications. Additionally, she provides oversight for account teams and contributes to the Cause’s broad range of consulting services.

Vanessa has particular expertise in strengthening internal communications, where her skills as a creative and diplomatic collaborator have enabled her to facilitate activities with clients that increase knowledge sharing and positively influence their organizational culture. Vanessa also recently oversaw the expansion of free resources that are part of Cause’s efforts to teach nonprofit professionals how to be effective communicators.

Prior to joining Cause Communications, Vanessa held leadership positions at nonprofit organizations and grantmaking public charities, where she honed her skills in communications, branding, marketing, fundraising, and grassroots advocacy. Most recently, Vanessa served as the Director of Communications at Foundation Center (now known as Candid), where she oversaw the development and implementation of internal and external communications strategies.

Working with partners as varied as the United Nations and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Vanessa helped launch campaigns that cultivated strategic collaborations, enabled grantmakers to use groundbreaking research to make effective funding decisions, and connected nonprofits to innovative resources. She was also a key member of the team that earned a Webby nomination for the redesigned website of Glasspockets, an initiative that champions greater transparency in philanthropy.

Vanessa graduated summa cum laude from Scripps College with degrees in Gender & Women’s Studies and Studio Art, and earned a Master’s of Professional Studies in Arts & Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. In her free time, you can find Vanessa visiting art museums, competing in 5k races, and perfecting her guacamole recipe.