Pi-Isis S. Ankhra
senior Consultant, Strategic Consulting
Pi-Isis S. Ankhra, founder and president of P.S. 314, Inc., brings over 20 years of experience developing strategic initiatives targeted at leveraging private and public investments. She has secured over $150 million for a diverse range of community-based and major institutions, specifically within the fields of arts, education, social justice, and advocacy. Ms. Ankhra’s strengths are centered around developing creative strategies and building alliances among diverse individuals and organizations serving the nonprofit, philanthropic, and commercial sectors.
“You’ll learn who you are at an early age. Just pay attention to the signs.”
Ankhra considers herself an altruistic strategist, one who is here to be of service. Her background is varied and impressive. She has held a wide variety of roles and titles throughout her career: Artist, Educator, Strategist, Philanthropic Advisor, Fundraiser, and Producer. However, when asked, she finds it easier to define herself as a Strategist and Humanitarian. She learned this at a very early age, when she came face to face with a young man living in poverty. Ankhra possessed very little of the knowledge she’d come to gain yet instinctively knew it was part of the world in which she lived. To this day, her first question is, “How can I help?” She earnestly cares and is invested in people.
“It is my belief that together we have the power to not only find but also implement solutions to support the greater good.”
This belief has led Ankhra to work in partnership with a multitude of institutions including the Ford Foundation, Democratic National Committee, and the NAACP, among others, on planning, fundraising, and event production to highlight and promote core social justice issues. An award-winning documentary producer, her expert skill set includes media development, working on both short- and long-form content projects. As an impact producer, Ankhra has focused her work on the design and delivery of strategic plans and initiatives to reach and engage targeted audiences with stories pertaining to social and cultural issues often underrepresented in mainstream media.
In 1998, Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign engaged her to raise awareness and funds on a national scale. Immediately following the campaign, Ankhra was hired by organizations such as the New Democrat Network and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In these roles, she increased revenue by up to 70% and boosted attendance at annual fundraising events by 40% while simultaneously cutting costs by 35%.
In 2001, Ankhra was selected as a member of the inaugural class of the District of Columbia Teaching Fellows Program. There, she developed online learning modules and multimedia lessons, and led countless presentations, which resulted in a 50% improvement in students’ ability to pass national standards—a top performance rating meeting 6 of 6 district-wide targets.
In 2005, Community Counseling Service (CCS) selected Ankhra as an Executive Director for its multimillion-dollar national capital and endowment campaigns. Ankhra’s work at all stages of the development process – capacity building, board development, feasibility planning, campaign strategy, and prospect research - led to numerous successful solicitation gifts from leadership, principles (six- and seven-figure gifts), and even staff members. CCS then asked Ankhra to launch and chair their Diversity Initiative, which would impact the organization at all levels. Diversity issues were effectively addressed, resulting in retention of staff, new business for CCS, and a friendlier, more inclusive, and rewarding work environment. E-partnerships were also formed and engineered by Ankhra with the Council for the Advancement of Support of Education (CASE) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
In 2007, Ankhra launched a consulting practice to drive social change while addressing the financial and organizational challenges for select clients. Recognizing the importance and power of collaboration, Ankhra established P.S. 314 to operate as a strategic partner with key clients. P.S. 314 brings together a consortium of thought leaders in the fields of philanthropy, media, and the nonprofit community to broaden and deepen the impact of their work. Her success has been fueled by sound decisions, a clear sense of the larger vision, and fusing the creative with the proven. She’s known for combining her passion with a disciplined methodical approach that is immediately clear and manageable for each client.
“I don’t think of myself as just a fundraiser; I’m also a matchmaker, bringing people and ideas together to create harmonious, fruitful relationships, always for the benefit of others.”
Impeccably educated, Ankhra holds the M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) in Education from American University and a B.A. in International Business from the University of Maryland at College Park. As a commitment to her role as thought leader within the nonprofit and philanthropic communities, Ankhra shares her career best practices and learnings with colleagues in the field through speaking engagements and tailored training programs. She currently serves on the Faculty of the New School University, where she teaches a course on arts management and social justice, and serves as a Visiting Mentor with New INC/New Museum. Proficient in French and conversational in Spanish, she studied French Language and Literature at the University of Nice in France and film production at the Digital Film Academy in New York. Ankhra is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., where she currently resides, volunteers, and donates to various causes. Formerly serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, Ankhra now supports local industry professional associations through membership in New York Women in Film and Television and Women of Color in the Arts.