Here are some shining examples of what we’ve achieved through our partnerships over the years. We’re grateful to work with some of the smartest, most passionate people out there. To see a full list of clients, click here.

Assessing Needs, Setting Strategy, and Recommending/Managing Grants


For the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Elaine on an interim basis helped manage and assist the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering Program in three separate engagements. And in 2008, as a subcontractor for Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Elaine conducted a needs assessment on disaster response and planning, which culminated in a report to coordinate disaster preparedness planning among Northern California grantmakers.


For the Blue Shield of California Foundation (as a subcontractor for Putnam Community Investment Consulting)…Elaine researched, interviewed and conducted a statewide needs assessment of the domestic violence field in California, and supported the funder in managing a $3.7MM grant initiative. This included crafting grantee-facing materials (RFPs, grant guidelines) and managing the proposal and report review, due diligence, funding formula and payments process.

For the Webb Family Foundation, as a lead consultant with a Denver-based philanthropic advisory firm, Elaine helped guide a two-generation Silicon Valley-based family foundation as it ramped up with an influx of assets. Working directly with the principals and family, Elaine led board retreats and guided the board through a new strategic framework, including creating values, and a vision and mission to better represent the interests of the next generation. Elaine managed the sustainability program area, identifying and connecting the board with partners that became grantees, and supported on the education and health program areas, conducting needs assessments, building relationships, and recommending grants. Elaine prepared board materials and key content for the foundation, and led the website redesign process.

For the Sandgaard Foundation, working as a lead consultant for a Denver-based philanthropic advisory firm, Elaine helped launch this new private foundation focused on funding solutions to the opioid epidemic. Elaine conducted a landscape scan/needs assessment to identify funding opportunities, and built relationships with partners who became grantees. Elaine led the board through a process to articulate their values, vision, and mission, and to develop a grantmaking strategy. She also worked closely with a PR firm to create key content for the foundation, including web and social media.


For the Josh Jerman Scholarship Fund…Elaine created the strategy, guidelines and press materials for the launch of an island-wide scholarship fund in the state of Hawaii. The scholarship fund has now been operating for more than a decade, and has awarded funds to dozens of outstanding students.

Building Internal Capacity


For the David Lucile Packard Foundation…Elaine conducted a Foundation-wide scan and developed, designed and branded an internal grantmaking and compliance manual (250+ pages) that documents the Foundation’s processes and policies. This evolving manual ups the efficiency and ease in how current program and compliance staff interface with the Foundation’s grantmaking software, and serves as an invaluable tool to onboard new staff.


For Exponent Philanthropy…In 2014, Elaine developed and conducted a Storytelling Webinar to build the internal communications capacity of the EP staff, bolstering their ability to capture member stories and best practices.

Creating a Philanthropy Movement


For the Natan Fund…Elaine strategized, curated content and developed a library of resources that help catalyze the launch and branding of a new network supporting Jewish giving circles called Amplifier Giving.

For the Global Family Office Community…Elaine co-developed, designed and branded a signature white paper Philanthropy in the Family Office: A Global Perspective–the first of its kind to capture and encourage the philanthropic practices of family offices worldwide. This research unveiled at the June 2015 Global Family Office Conference held in the U.K.

Educating Philanthropists & Sharing Best Practices


For the Council on Foundations…Elaine authored seven field-wide go-to books for grantmakers that have for more than a decade educated and inspired thousands of family, corporate and community foundations nationwide on issues related to governance, management, grantmaking and communications.


For Exponent Philanthropy…over an 11-year consultancy partnership, Elaine has authored 10+ primers, and contributed 50+ Essentials articles and 16+ PhilanthroFiles blog posts to educate the largest network of funders with few or no staff. She recently developed and branded a series of Teen Philanthropy Cafe toolkits to engage young philanthropists and contributed content and compelling funder stories for EP’s Outsized Impact Reports.

Toolkits for Advisors & Facilitators


For the philanthropic advisory firm 21/64…Elaine crafted language for a series of instructional tools that help multigenerational families talk about wealth, philanthropy, family dynamics, leadership and more (e.g. rolePlay, Generational Profiles Toolkit, Motivational Values Cards, Money Messages, Family Diagram, Family Quest Giving and Exploring Wealth Cards, Leadership Tools for Change). Thousands of families and philanthropic advisors worldwide have used these tools to facilitate challenging conversations, deepen their understanding of themselves and each other, and shape their philanthropic approach.


In 2016, for Hammer & Associates, in addition to writing blog posts, marketing content and a speaker kit to boost her client’s business, Elaine and team co-developed, branded and designed a new toolkit series for family offices called Engaged Philanthropy: A Family Office Guide to Meaningful Giving, which helped create a platform for her client to attract more clients and speaking engagements.

Writing Grants & Building Donor Relations


For Israel & Company, a nonprofit based in NYC…Elaine wrote winning grant proposals that increased the organization revenue by more than $250K. In addition, she developed two annual reports, marketing materials and website content that was used to attract donors and strategic partners.

Marketing & Creating Content


For Get Storied, a boutique training and advisory firm focusing on storytelling for businesses and entrepreneurs, Elaine served as Editorial Manager from 2013-2014. She developed an editorial plan and calendar, ghost-wrote blog posts and other compelling online copy, and co-wrote a storytelling toolkit for Pennsylvania libraries and an internal policies and procedure manual for an eight-facility healthcare system in Florida.


For Graphic Beans, a Baltimore-based graphic design and marketing firm, Elaine ghost-wrote blog posts to build relationships with potential clients and provide value to existing clients. Together, we developed a list of editorial topics and created a calendar to target content in a timely way to key audience segments.