YVONNE THOMAS is the Founder and Principal of Proximity. Proximity helps companies and individuals give with confidence by finding the intersection between their interests, values and philanthropic goals, and the needs and interests of the issues, causes and communities they care about.
Having spent more than two decades working in and across philanthropy, communities, nonprofit organizations, and the private and public sector, Proximity is centered in the most important learnings Yvonne has gained in working with people and communities throughout the U.S. and around the world. That is, you can only truly be a good partner when you get close and develop an understanding of the issues, causes and communities you care about and then determine how you can uniquely make an impact.
Well-traveled and well-versed in a range of issues and causes, Yvonne has worked with people and organizations across every corner of the globe. She has deep expertise in corporate philanthropy, strategy, program design, relationship and partnership management and capacity building. She has a unique ability to bring together diverse stakeholders, solicit input, and design strategies, partnerships and programs that are authentic, clear, responsive to the needs of the community and deliver results that create meaningful impact with measurable outcomes.
Respected as a leader in philanthropy, Yvonne was recently named Executive Director of the Generosity Commission, created jointly by the Giving Institute and the Giving USA, which aims to “ignite America’s spirit of generosity” through increase giving, volunteering, and civic engagement. Yvonne has served on the boards of The World Bank Solutions for Youth Employment Initiative, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the Central Area Community Festival. She currently serves as an advisory member of the King County Play Equity Coalition.
Prior to launching Proximity, Yvonne spent nineteen years in a variety of roles within Microsoft Philanthropies. Most recently, she was the director of global programs, leading Microsoft’s Digital Skills and Computer Science Education efforts. She was responsible for global strategy, programs and partnerships in more than 40 countries. Throughout her work at Microsoft, she developed and led high-impact, global and national initiatives and teams spanning a range of issues areas.
Before joining Microsoft, she worked in the nonprofit sector with a focus on youth development.
Yvonne lives in the Seattle area with her family.