A. Nicole Campbell

Founder and President

A. Nicole Campbell

Founder and President


A. Nicole Campbell has over a decade of legal and operational experience in the social sector and has worked in private practice, private philanthropy, and the public sector. Because of her extensive nonprofit tax and legal expertise and experience, philanthropies have relied upon Nic to thoroughly vet fiscal sponsors and other intermediaries in order to ensure that charitable dollars were being managed and spent appropriately.

Nic strongly believes in Build Up, Inc. and its unparalleled ability to incubate brave ideas for positive socio-economic change.

Private Philanthropy

Most recently, Nic was the Senior Director of Operations and Foundation Counsel for Dalio Philanthropies, the philanthropy of Ray Dalio, where she was responsible for the Philanthropies’ infrastructure build-out, management of the Philanthropies’ legal affairs, and programmatic leadership of the Philanthropies’ China portfolio of grants. In her inaugural roles, Nic designed creative protocols and processes to increase the efficiency and impact of the Philanthropies’ grant making and streamlined operations in order to help the Dalio family create a multi-generational, sustainable family philanthropy. She also created special diligence processes and legal frameworks for staff to effectively use different philanthropic vehicles both here in the United States and internationally, including fiscal intermediaries, and safely navigate complex regulatory requirements.

Immediately prior to joining Dalio Philanthropies, Nic was the Deputy General Counsel of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), where she was responsible for providing strategic legal, governance, and operational advice to the global network of over 35 charitable organizations and foundations created by George Soros.

Nic served as the Primary Legal Advisor for OSF’s grants management team, which facilitated over $700 million in grants annually. Nic advised on matters concerning grants processes, international grant making, third-party and government funding, scholarships/fellowships, fiscal sponsorships, fiscal agency relationships, and complex grant structuring.

Nic also served as the Lead Legal Counsel for OSF’s Africa regional foundations, helping with governance, contractual, grant management, operational, systems, and funding matters. She was also Secretary and Lead Legal Counsel for the network‘s public charity and social welfare organization, responsible for all legal and operational matters, and building the capacity of those institutions, which resulted in more robust governance and stronger internal controls for both organizations, and an increase in net assets from $400,000 to over $20 million for the public charity.

Thought Leadership

Nic is frequently asked to lecture and speak at professional meetings and conferences on a variety of topics impacting the social sector, including fiscal sponsorship structuring and trends. She has spoken in almost every region of the world on these topics.

Nic regularly speaks at the annual Georgetown Law Exempt Organization Conference, the leading exempt organization conference in the United States, and was appointed to the U.S. Secretary of State’s Global Philanthropy Working Group, comprised of select U.S. foundation leaders and senior government officials.

Because of her deep infrastructure design expertise, Nic was asked by OSF’s President to join a select group of OSF leaders and grantees to analyze, evaluate, and re-design OSF’s grant making policies and practices, which led to the revamping of the network’s approach to grantee assessments, delegation of grant-making authority, monitoring and evaluation, and flexible funding awards.

Nic was also an adjunct professor at Rutgers University School of Law where she taught a course on the operational, governance, and tax aspects of charitable nonprofit organizations.

Private Practice

Prior to joining the Open Society Foundations, Nic was in private practice as an associate tax attorney, helping both for-profit and nonprofit clients with organizational and tax structuring. Her nonprofit clients consisted of foundations, museums, public charities, social welfare organizations, universities, hospitals, and trade associations. Nic advised her clients on formation, governance, employment law, grant making, intellectual property, charitable giving, investment management, unrelated business income tax, and excise taxes. She was also instrumental in building the capacity of the firm’s nonprofit practice group.

Public Sector

Nic has also worked as Associate General Counsel at the New York Community Trust where she advised donors on donor-advised funds and charitable giving.


Nic received her B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

Outside of Work

Nic resides in Connecticut with her husband, Kevin, their daughters, Kayden and Nova, and their cats, Soleil and Helios.