One Hundred New Philanthropists: Megan Sall


She’s a native West Michigander who grew up in Grand Rapids. Megan Sall left the community to serve, explore and work before growing roots in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids.

“Prior to my current position I started last October at CQL, a company that connects people and data for good, I worked for The Right Place for nearly four years. Before that I was in Washington D.C. doing international development work on a USAID program in Afghanistan. And before that I worked for the City of Wyoming. After nearly a decade in the public and nonprofit realm, I certainly understand the importance and impact of philanthropy,” she said.

Megan also holds the distinction of being the youngest person to serve as a trustee for Grand Valley State University, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She serves on the Hello West Michigan board and is a mentor for GVSU Cook Leadership Academy.

Megan admits to being a bit of a bleeding heart and has a passion for organizations that do great things to build the community. The more passionate the leadership—the more engaged she’s likely to be. “I love people who love what they do, and I meet so many community leaders who are passionate about change and improving outcomes. I get excited every time I hear someone share their organization’s story!” What’s most important to her is providing opportunities—whether in education, community development, equality or faith-based issues. “I think everyone should have the opportunity to live an incredible life in Grand Rapids and succeed at every level.”

What do you get from giving?

“I was fortunate to grow up in a home where giving was a way of life, and I’m grateful to be able to play my part now. In a community like Grand Rapids, which is so full of worthy giving opportunities, it’s often difficult to decide where and how to give. But at the end of the day, I generally choose organizations and causes that affect my life, or those of family and friends, the most. Giving provides me an opportunity to think outside myself and be a part of the greater work that’s going on here. I may not have time to volunteer at every awesome nonprofit that I come across, but giving allows me to be a small part of the work they’re doing. In my own life, I know I’ve been given a lot and am so thankful for all that I’ve received. It feels good to be able to show my gratitude by contributing financially at this point in my life.”

Why Grand Rapids Community Foundation?

“I support Grand Rapids Community Foundation because I want to be a part of a story that’s bigger than me. Our community has been transforming itself in amazing ways over the last few decades, and there are exciting things on the horizon. For us to continue sustainable growth, we need to support the many organizations and initiatives that are serving as catalysts for this transformation. Our local nonprofits are integral to our success, and the Community Foundation is at the forefront of coalescing support and directing financial resources to causes that will benefit our entire community.”