5 Questions With: Lexi Oestreich

July 29, 2020

Lexi Oestreich

Program Officer
FM Area Foundation
Fargo, ND


This year has been incredibly demanding with change and challenges coming at faster and faster speeds. It was great to sit down with Lexi for this issue of the newsletter’s “5 Questions with a Program Manager” and see how she manages to stay calm and focused on her mission, as well as hear what she misses most about the Pre-Covid days.


What trends excite you/alarm you in your field?

Participatory grantmaking is something I think will take off as well as a move to more general operating grants. One positive thing that came out of the Pandemic in our community was a more collaborative network of funders that had weekly call ins to share, learn and respond to needs collectively.

What recent grant are you most proud of and why?

In the midst of COVID19 Pandemic and stewarding a variety of response funds I needed to adapt the way we take applications to better respond to the need of our local nonprofits but also a wide range of New American organizations. I ended up taking verbal phone grant applications where I then summarized the information they said on the phone and put them into a format that worked for our selection committee. It allowed me to not only get to know the organization better but to build a relationship with them via phone that may not have happened if they would have submitted electronically.

Is there a quote that really speaks to you either in your personal and professional life? Why?

Early on in my career I heard someone talk about what it is like working for a Community Foundation and they described it as “We are all temporary stewards of community generosity..” this quote has came up several times in my career and has helped ground me in the promise of helping be a good steward of generosity in the philanthropic sector.

What one place did you miss the most during quarantine?

Lunch Dates and my office full of coworkers 😊

What do you like to do outside of work?

I live in Minnesota. We are the land of 10,000 lakes so most of my family’s free time is spent at the Lake fishing, kayaking and enjoying the sunshine!

We are all temporary stewards of community generosity…