Donita Volkwijn


As Senior Director of Member Engagement, Donita leads member engagement and recruitment, understands member goals and learning priorities, and facilitates several of PNY's signature networks and leadership development programs. Donita brings to this role great skills in facilitation, an orientation toward relationship building, and experience supporting organizations in their racial equity practices.

Donita began her career in philanthropy in 2012 at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), where she most recently served as Manager, Knowledge Management. At RPA, she focused on leveraging knowledge management tools and methodologies to ensure that access and information (and, as a result, power) were and are distributed fairly and equitably across organizations to drive engagement and performance. Through previous roles at RPA, Donita has advised individual donors and family foundations on grantmaking strategies. She holds extensive experience in the performing arts as an opera singer and has sung in such varied places as London, Paris, Harare, San Francisco, and Tulsa.

Donita is a board member at the Loveland Foundation, an organization committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. She is also the co-founder of Circle of Change, an informal, and increasingly strong network that supports the BIPOC community in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.  

Before joining Philanthropy New York's staff, Donita was an active member and leader within the PNY community. She serves on PNY’s Committee for Equitable and Inclusive Philanthropy, serves as a mentor for PNY’s Young Leaders Breakfast Club, and has been a frequent contributor to the Insights column.

Donita attended Oberlin College for her undergraduate studies and The Cleveland Institute of Music for her graduate work, studied German literature, and holds a B.M. and M.M in vocal performance. She was born in South Africa and has lived there as well as in Germany, Belgium, and the United States.