Caren Yanis


  • Fundraising
  • Strategic Management


  • Certificate in Nonprofit Strategy, Stanford University Graduate School, Stanford, CA
  • BS, Emerson College, Boston, MA


Caren Yanis is the principal of Croland Consulting, where she helps families and foundations navigate the philanthropic landscape. She is a member of the Spertus faculty and also teaches about philanthropy at Tulane’s School of Professional Advancement and University of Chicago’s Booth School. From 2009 to 2016, Yanis was President of Crown Family Philanthropies, guiding strategic initiatives. Before that, she was Executive Director of Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropies.

Yanis is the board chair of The Poetry Foundation, which received a $200M bequest from Ruth Lilly. She was a founding director of Leading Edge, a group formed to build organizational strength in nonprofit agencies. She is a member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Advisory Council and a MacArthur Foundation adviser. Yanis presents on issues related to family, celebrity, and corporate giving at a variety of venues including Northwestern University, New York University, Duke University, and at wealth management conferences.