Michael A. Sand passed away on May 15, 2022, surrounded by loving family. Mr. Sand was beloved by family, friends, by many co-organizers in the civil rights organizations he founded or co-founded, and by the countless members of community organizations he advised in his more than 55 years of devoted justice-focused work. Mr. Sand dedicated his professional life to applying the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pioneering the consumer rights, anti-poverty, and community action movements that arose from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. After “retiring” from decades of work consulting nonprofit agencies to help them increase their positive impact on their communities, Mr. Sand committed himself passionately to campaigns for economic and social justice. With great optimism and humor, Mr. Sand chose to assume the practical role as logistical coordinator – planning and facilitating effective meetings, promoting efficient and effective communication. His coordination enabled organizations to advance their missions to better the world. Mr. Sand endeavored to be, in the words of Dr. King, a "Drum Major for Justice."
Mr. Sand cherished the time he spent with family, especially Diane, his wife of 54 years, his sons, Jay and Marc, their spouses Lauren and Kelly, and grandchildren Molly, Lilianna, Adaline, and Luke. He never missed attending special events with his extended family, valuing Thanksgiving, Jewish holidays and any opportunity to celebrate with his sister, Janet, and his many cousins, his in-laws, and nieces and nephews. He also had a special ability to maintain long-term friendships, keeping relationships with friends from his childhood, some of whom had been a consistent part of his life for over 70 years.
Mr. Sand was born on May 20, 1942 and was raised in Philadelphia and Upper Darby, attending Upper Darby High School. He received his B.A. and J.D. Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.A. degree from Penn State University. While at law school, he served as an editor of the Law Review.
Mr. Sand began his career in 1966 when he served as a Program Planner for the
Philadelphia Anti-Poverty Action Commission. He then served as Assistant Director of the Montgomery County Community Action Agency and Deputy Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Justice, Bureau of Consumer Protection.
He was the first Administrator of the Law Bureau of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the first Executive Director of the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania.
In 1982, Mr. Sand founded Sand Associates, a nationwide management consulting firm
which provided training and consulting to nonprofit agencies. Mr. Sand led more than one thousand workshops for nonprofit organizations on topics including grant writing, fundraising, strategic planning, board development, effective supervision, personnel management, and establishing a volunteer program. He and his Associates assisted more than three hundred nonprofit and government agencies in areas such as conference planning, program evaluation, and grant management. Mr. Sand ultimately shared his nonprofit consulting knowledge as the author of three books--How to Manage an Effective Nonprofit Organization, The Essential Nonprofit Fundraising Handbook and How to Manage an Effective Religious Organization. Sand also applied his organizational abilities in his roles as President of Beth El Temple, President of the Board of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, and the American Society for Public Administration-Central PA Chapter, and chair of the Governor's Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust.
In his recent years as a committed community organizer, Mr. Sand was a member of the Community Responders Network (CRN), the Central Pennsylvania Diversity Forum, the InterReligious Forum, the Progressive Jewish Voice, and the Minority Bar Committee and the Charitable Organizations Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He was also a board member of the Martin Luther King Leadership Development Institute and the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education.
Mr. Sand is survived by his wife, Diane, their sons Jay (Lauren) of Philadelphia, PA, and Marc (Kelly) of Bearsville, NY, and grandchildren Molly, Lilianna, Adaline and Luke.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in the chapel of Beth El Cemetery, 1100 South Progress Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17111. Burial in Beth El Cemetery.
Donations in memory of Michael Sand may be made to Beth El Temple - Sand Family Fund – 2637 North Front Street Harrisburg, PA 17110.