Board of Directors

IMG_1020Shaun Robinson


Shaun Robinson has always had a passion for empowering girls and young women and her creation of the S.H.A.U.N. Foundation for Girls is the next chapter in that commitment. Her career in front of the camera as an anchor, reporter and talk show host has given her a platform to reach millions.
As a graduate of the all-girls school, Spelman College in Atlanta, she learned the value of a strong sisterhood among women and how, when united, it could be a powerful force for change. For her first book, Exactly As I Am: Celebrated Women Share Candid Advice With Today’s Girls On What It Takes To Believe In Yourself, Shaun held task force groups of teen girls around the country to discuss what they felt were the most pressing problems facing girls. These messages from girls led Shaun to create the online movement, “One Girl, One Voice: A Million Ways to Make a Difference” where girls were encouraged to share their stories of volunteering and how they helped the lives of others. Shaun also wrote, produced and directed the video, “10 Rules for Girls with Strong Self-Esteem” and created and directed the video, “Why I Bully You” which was performed by teen poets in Los Angeles and examined reasons why girls bully each other.

Shaun served on the national board of Girls Inc. and currently sits on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent.adolescent girl campaign, Girl Up.  A tireless champion for young women girls, Shaun is a frequent keynote speaker on female empowerment.


Melanie Schnoll Begun


Melanie Schnoll Begun leads Morgan Stanley’s Philanthropy Management and exemplifies her professional work by living a life of committed action. For over 18 years she has worked with the Firm’s wealthiest and most influential clients, including prominent business owners, venture capitalists, social entrepreneurs, professional athletes and entertainers, as well as family offices, foundations and nonprofits. She is instrumental in developing focus areas for client’s philanthropy; engaging senior and millennial generations in their foundation’s governance, designing customized domestic and international grant portfolios; aligning client values with impactful investing; and facilitating giving circles, board retreats and educational events.

Melanie is an insightful and tireless advocate. She is the current nominating chair and former board president of the JDRF New York City chapter and the vice president and grantmaking chair of Inwood Charities Fund, Inc. She serves as Morgan Stanley GIFT’s board president and oversees the donor advised fund’s strategic direction. She also serves on the advisory boards of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Quinnipiac University Law School, and Grameen America, a microfinance nonprofit. Melanie is on the founding council of TAMID, a progressive synagogue in downtown Manhattan, and was a board member and treasurer of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. She lives in New York City with her husband and two boys and has a passion for golf, marathons and triathlons, which she competes in to raise awareness and funding for her charitable causes.

Allyson McDonald


Allyson McDonald is a financial services industry veteran and recently a former Partner in Ellevate Asset Management LLC and Partner and Global President of Ellevate Network. With more than 18 years of business development, operations and management experience, Allyson has worked with and led teams at some of the leading financial services institutions in the country, including Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments and New York Life/Mainstay Investments. Allyson’s commitment to pursuing professional endeavors that can drive positive social impact led to her tenure as Head of Development and Communications for the Clinton Foundation’s climate and health access initiatives and, to her establishment and operation of a successful consultancy in the areas of impact investing and philanthropic services. Allyson is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Economics and a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. She holds the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 7 and 24 registrations. She currently sits on the board of the Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust and is an advisory board member for Komera.

Board of Advisors

Gunnar M. Crowell, J.D.

Attorney and Director of Legal Services

Gunnar is the Director of Legal Services for Renaissance Philanthropic Solutions Group (RenPSG) where he focuses on the legal, tax and compliance aspects of planned giving, donor-advised funds, and non-profit administration. Prior to joining RenPSG, Gunnar was a planned and major gift fundraiser for the University of Utah and Purdue University. Gunnar began his career as an attorney in private practice specializing in corporate law, non-profit organizations, and estate planning and administration. In addition, Gunnar has extensive experience volunteering on non-profits boards and committees.  Gunnar is a graduate of both the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and Hanover College. 

Caitlyn Morrison

Senior Client Executive – Legal Services

Caitlyn in a Senior Client Executive for RenPSG. She works with clients, staff legal counsel, and CPAs to ensure charitable giving vehicles are administered in compliance with trust documents, contracts, laws and IRS regulations. Previously, Caitlyn worked as an operational compliance specialist in the financial services industry. She is passionate about environmental protection and sustainability. Caitlyn holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.


Douglas W. Cox, J.D.

Attorney and Director of Client Advancement

For the past 21 years, Mr. Cox has provided trust, tax, and philanthropic planning counsel to attorneys and financial planners regarding planned gifts, including charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, private foundations, charitable gift annuities, and donor-advised funds.

Mr. Cox previously served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Indiana Department of Revenue where he was primarily responsible for adjudicating administrative hearings on state and local tax disputes. He was admitted to the Indiana Bar in October 1988 after receiving his Juris Doctorate Degree from Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana. Previously, Mr. Cox received a Bachelor of Arts Degree, magna cum laude, in Public Administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


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