Sarah Gauger

Sarah Gauger is a philanthropic adviser working with individuals, families, foundations, and non-profits: helping big thinkers think even bigger; advising multi-generational philanthropists; catalyzing new ideas for high impact collaborations; and designing and building creative programs and organizations. She has brought energetic and stable leadership for nearly two decades to campaigns, initiatives, and programs to promote social justice philanthropy, balancing long-term planning with deep operational expertise.

Prior to her consulting work, Gauger served as president of Hunt Alternatives Fund, an operating foundation based in Cambridge, MA advancing innovative and inclusive approaches to social change at local, national, and global levels.  Currently advocating for inclusive peace processes, combating the demand for purchased sex, inspiring women to political leadership, supporting social movement leaders, and strengthening youth arts organizations in Eastern Massachusetts, the Fund convenes allies, builds their capacity, and empowers them to achieve systemic change. Previously, she served ten years as the foundation’s executive director, during which time she grew the organization’s operations ten-fold to support the programs’ outreach initiatives.

Gauger’s involvement with the international community is extensive, and includes work at the US Chamber of Commerce in Austria, and later coordination of special projects at the US Embassy in Vienna. There she organized numerous humanitarian initiatives throughout Central and Eastern Europe, including the “Bosnian Women’s Initiative” (to which President Clinton pledged $10 million for women’s post-conflict enterprise development) and “Vital Voices: Women in Democracy,” which convened some 300 European and US women leaders in business, law, and politics (and continues today as its own stand-alone global platform.) She also co-organized programs bringing together women leaders from opposite sides of violent conflicts for intense coalition building and leadership training.

Inspired by the women leaders and their stories, Gauger later returned to the US to participate in the creation of major fundraising efforts benefiting women and girls. She served on the core committee of Women Moving Millions, a bold philanthropic initiative inspiring million dollar or higher donations to organizations and initiatives supporting women and girls. The first phase of the initiative raised more than $200 million, and a passionate network of like-minded philanthropists was born.

Gauger has served as a consultant and adviser to Pax Global Women’s Equality Fund, New England International Donors, MassCreative, UMass Boston Center for Collaborative Leadership, Salzburg Global Seminar, among others. She is a graduate of Colorado College, and pursued additional studies at Lueneburg University (Germany) and the University of Vienna (Austria). Gauger and her husband, a Boston-based consultant working to eradicate homelessness, are governed by their two young, colorful, independent, and opinionated children.


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