Steve Lew
Steve Lew
Project Director


Bachelor of Fine Arts: Printmaking
California State University Long Beach

Certification: Professional and Personal Coach
Leadership That Works

About Steve
[Pronouns: he/ him/ his

Steve Lew is a project director at CompassPoint. He helps positional and emerging leaders increase their effectiveness in fundraising, governance, leadership, strategy, and multicultural group development. Steve brings over 18 years of training and consulting experience to each of his projects, along with a decade of hands-on experience in managing nonprofits.  Steve was CompassPoint’s development director and a senior manager for several years, and previously served as executive director and development director in HIV and cultural arts nonprofits in San Francisco.

Steve’s work at CompassPoint has been deeply connected to building the strength of organizations, leaders, and networks in communities of color. He has co-designed and led the Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color and the Next Generation Leaders of Color Program and has been a fundraising and leadership coach for many of these participants for over a decade. He deeply appreciates nonprofit leaders who are on a path to align their personal values, practices, and impact more closely to the change they are working toward in their organizations.

His work has also been informed by his experience in developing and leading richly diverse nonprofit organizations, advocacy coalitions, and planning bodies for over a decade in response to the AIDS and HIV epidemic in San Francisco. As the executive director of an HIV service organization, he led the growth of their direct services and advocacy work from a volunteer operation to a thriving organization with an annual budget of $1.8 million and an annual donor and major gifts program rooted in the San Francisco's Asian & Pacific Islander community. He also served for five years on President Clinton’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Council as a voice for culturally competent community-based programs and for people living with HIV. These experiences sharpened his own understanding of the unique role that community-based organizations and constituent advocates can play in changing policies and systems to be more equitable and to serve the common good.

Steve was born in Watsonville, grew up in Sacramento, and lived in Los Angeles and Long Beach before settling with his life partner in the Outer Mission neighborhood in San Francisco. He volunteers as a fundraiser for the Chinese Progressive Association and as a trainer for Class Action. He has previously served as a board leader for Project Inform, the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, and continues to serve as an advisory council member for the Horizons Foundation and the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center.