Meet our members!  AFN’s greatest asset is our members—a diverse network of national, regional, and community-based foundations, financial institutions, and grantmakers—investing in advancing economic opportunity and prosperity.  Check back each month and meet your peers!   

1: What’s your main interest/focus on asset building in 2021?

In 2021 we are focusing on recovery, both shorter term crisis responses and longer term, equitable recovery strategies, particularly in the areas of financial capabilities, affordable, quality housing/homeownership, and economic development/small business development. In my role at Charles Schwab Bank, I have the opportunity to partner with organizations that provide direct assistance and resource navigation to individuals and families in need right now as well as with organizations that provide policy and advocacy leadership for long term, equitable change.


2: What’s the most “ah-ha” provoking new book or research that you’ve read in the past year?

This year I read and worked through Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly alongside The Daring Way curriculum. It helped me learn that strong leadership is contingent upon bringing my whole self into my work; and that having the courage to be vulnerable is critical to connection, creativity, and success in my career and life.


3: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from a grantee or a colleague?

One of my favorite initiatives that I have had the opportunity to work on is called Listen for Good, led by the Fund for Shared Insight. This initiative provides funding and technical assistance to build feedback loops into service delivery. I have learned how important including client voice into an organization’s metrics and business decisions can be. It can lead to subtle changes in practices that are very meaningful and impactful to clients and client outcomes. These practices help us, as funders, prioritize clients and client experiences, not just outcome reports.


4: What is your favorite vacation spot or most memorable leisure trip? 

I will always remember a road trip through the Balkans. While in Montenegro, a friend had encouraged me to go on an overnight backpacking/hiking trip and I absolutely fell in love with hiking and the outdoors. That trip changed the way I vacation.

About Elaina Mulé, Senior Manager, Community Development, Charles Schwab Bank

Elaina identifies and works with community partners to strategically administer grant funds and plan service projects to help meet the Bank’s community development goals.