Sara Gibson is Co-Founder and CEO of 20° and President of StickPile LLC. Sara excels in bringing a resource-focused and innovative capital lens to changemaking efforts.
Considered an innovator within the development field, Sara excels at creating a culture of fearlessness around revenue within organizations. She brings deep technical knowledge of fundraising and a record of success to her work in impact investing. In her various leadership development roles, she has a record of establishing successful development shops, tackling tough governance issues as a Board Chair, recruiting and retaining high-quality development staff, founding multiple Leadership Councils with high-profile business leaders, and successfully completing comprehensive capital campaigns. Sara also has deep nonprofit governance experience, serving as a former chair of Jubilee Jumpstart’s Board of Directors, current co-chair of Sitar Arts Center Leadership Council and member of numerous other community boards.
Sara’s 20-year career spans service in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, having worked at the Advisory Board Company (later Corporate Executive Board) and award-winning service organizations, including Miriam’s Kitchen, AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, Sitar Arts Center and Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, as well as L’Ecole Koenig in Paris. Sara’s issue expertise includes homelessness, early learning, arts, youth development and District of Columbia politics.
Sara pioneers new approaches to resource cultivation and believes in making impact investing accessible to new audiences. She was an early leader in Pay for Success (PFS) within the service provider sector with experience in socializing the concept and feasibility work across two different deals. In a similar way, Sara is engaged in elevating the community voice in Opportunity Zones through her work in educating and ensuring nonprofits are ready to participate in OZs.
From engaging business leaders in grasstops advocacy efforts to ending legacy practices that no longer serve current needs, Sara keeps hard questions on the table to ensure organizations evolve to realize their boldest goals. Sara’s work has been highlighted as a best practice in the book Engaging Your Board in Fundraising: A Staff Guide and in the Washington Business Journal. She is an EnVest Foundation 40 Under 40 honoree and a proud member of the Leadership Greater Washington class of 2015.
Sara hails from Indiana and graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She still maintains deep roots in the Midwest, where she learned to skip rocks on Lake Michigan and shoot free throws. An avid Francophile, homecook, and Polka fan, Sara happily calls the District of Columbia home, living in Adams Morgan with her husband and daughter.