Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens


Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens

Causes/Issue Area(s): Nonprofit fundraising

Honors/Achievements: Former president (2009-2010) of the Junior League of San Jose; named one of America’s Top 20 Women in Philanthropy & Civic Engagement in 2015; and Chief Business, Development and Brand Officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens’ success as a nonprofit development professional is clear to see – the Junior League of San Jose sustainer (and former President) was named one of America’s Top 20 Women in Philanthropy & Civic Engagement, an honor she shared with Oprah Winfrey, in 2015.

But she is also more than willing to point to the value of Junior League leadership training in her professional life. Mari Ellen’s leadership roles at the Junior League of San Jose have included VP of Future Planning, Nominating Committee member and Member Resource Advisor. However, she points to the training she received to become President of JLSJ as particularly valuable to many aspects of my life, both professional and personal.

After a start in the nonprofit world as a research technician in Rockefeller University’s genetics lab and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s molecular biology lab, both in New York City, Mari Ellen had a range of senior level fundraising positions in New York, including director of major gifts and planned giving at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Before joining Silicon Valley Community Foundation, she was director of development at Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties in California. Since Mari Ellen joined SVCF in 2004, the organization has raised over $6 billion and won numerous awards for its marketing and communications work. 

Mari Ellen has also been honored by the Silicon Valley Business Journal with a 2012 Women of Influence award and is a former board president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley. Further demonstrating her commitment to leadership in nonprofit development, Mari Ellen started a LinkedIn group in 2010 for graduates of her college, Mount Holyoke, who are or aspire to be in the nonprofit field!