)

Sharon Schneider

Individually Directed Program Director

Sharon Schneider

Individually Directed Program Director

Sharon is director of the Individually Directed Program. Before joining the foundation, Sharon was the co-founder and CEO of e-commerce innovator Moxie Jean. An online destination for gently used clothes, Moxie Jean was voted by moms nationwide as the “Most Awesome” resale site and is the winner of several innovation awards. Moxie Jean was a 2012 portfolio company of tech accelerator Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago) and was acquired by Schoola in August 2015. 

Sharon has also been an instructor in entrepreneurship, a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Technology Diversity Council, and a founding advisor to Impact Engine, the Chicago-based accelerator for social enterprises. She helped launch Women Tech Founders, which highlights role models and provides mentoring and inspiration to keep women in the tech industry. Sharon was named one of the “Top 100 Names in Chicago Innovation” by the Chicago Tribune in 2015.

Before starting Moxie Jean in 2011, Sharon spent 12 years as a staff member and consultant to private foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and dozens of small family foundations. Sharon’s specialty is getting donors excited and engaged in philanthropy by combining grants, PRI’s, mission-driven investing, social entrepreneurship, and other creative, non-traditional approaches to using social capital for social good. She consulted to families and foundations on issues ranging from strategic planning and outcome management to engaging the next generation. For four years she wrote the influential blog “The Philanthropic Family,” which provided inspiration and resources to integrate philanthropy into everyday life.

Sharon holds an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in English and linguistics (summa cum laude) from the University of Toledo.