Jaclyn Kaiser

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Driven by empathy and authenticity, Jaclyn looks beyond the data to see the comprehensive story of the people behind it. She has spent the past 20 years as a documentarian and small business owner, cultivating relationships and developing long-term growth and sustainability strategies. Most recently, she developed the database, marketing, and fundraising strategies for the Liberty African American Legacy Memorial, a grassroots campaign to honor the Black members of the community who were buried in mostly unmarked graves. The memorial is designed to further educate the public about the segregation of historic cemeteries and promote the protection and preservation of Black cemeteries throughout the country.
Jaclyn is a member of The Outdoorist Oath, a nonprofit committed to individual action for planet, inclusion, and adventure in the outdoors. Climate change advocacy and inclusion efforts are an integral part of her daily life as she continues to volunteer her time and skills towards local organizations.
In her spare time, Jaclyn thrives when spending time outdoors with her husband, two teenagers, and a dog (who is more like a tame goat). As a cooking enthusiast, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and sharing meals with friends and family. Or you may find her cuddled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a stack of books (usually a mix of insightful memoirs, historical critiques, social or climate justice essays, and unbelievably cheesy young adult fantasy novels).

Pronouns : he / him / his

Theo is passionate about writing and facilitating the distribution of wealth to organizations working to uplift marginalized communities and create artistic beauty in the world. His work in the field of grant writing includes jobs with the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, a Black civil rights history and civic engagement organization, and Stories Without Borders, a nonprofit that uses the power of personal narrative to effect positive social change in areas of immigration and mental health. Previous to his nonprofit development work, he was a Digital Crisis Counselor with The Trevor Project, where he provided compassionate support and resources to LGBTQ+ youth on their text-based crisis hotline. 

He is a curious person and lifelong learner who has studied grant writing through Prescott College and holds a self-designed BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Psychology from Naropa University. 

Outside of work, he enjoys many pursuits, including cooking, working out, reading vast numbers of books, and sharing quality time with his loved ones, including his beloved dog, Nomi.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Joanna has a career history working in the public (state government) and nonprofit sectors. Much of her work has focused on her passion for creating opportunities for affordable housing and addressing homelessness. She has held positions in nonprofit social service agencies administering housing programs and writing grants to support the agencies’ work. She has also worked as a consultant assisting local units of governments and nonprofits in designing and implementing affordable housing programs using public and private funding sources and helping organizations develop internally to ensure strong program delivery. Joanna worked for the Wisconsin State Division of Housing for a period of time before moving across the county to California. Prior to joining Elevate, Joanna had been working for a community-based organization, writing grants to support the agency’s overall work and providing programmatic support to the agency’s transitional housing programs for homeless families and youth aging out of the foster care system. 


Joanna continues to be passionate about her belief in the importance of affordable housing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Smart Share Housing Solutions, a local organization devoted to finding affordable housing solutions. She completed a master’s program in Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and graduated from the University of Michigan with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Before beginning graduate school, Joanna spent a year as a VISTA working for a nonprofit affordable housing developer. This experience was the beginning of the marriage of her interests in grant writing and affordable housing. 


Joanna has lived all across the US but is happy now to call California home, where she enjoys the proximity to the ocean and the mountains.

Pronouns : she / her / hers

As an experienced project coordinator, Claire brings a passion for increasing educational equity to the Elevate team and its clients. In her former role with Americorps, she managed a maker-focused education program and associated grants for an Oakland, California school.

She has also contributed her skills to various education nonprofits in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, most recently, serving as a teaching artist at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, where she designed and implemented a middle school-making course.

A Bay Area native, Claire holds a BA in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley, where she graduated with honors. Outside of work, Claire enjoys hanging by one of Pittsburgh’s many rivers, cooking meals with friends and taking her dog Rollo out on the town.

Pronouns: he/him

On Peter’s first day as an AmeriCorps VISTA, his boss explained their nonprofit’s fundamental rule: anyone who walks through the office door gets a free cup of coffee, a chair to sit in, and that day’s newspaper. This philosophy of empathy and support is why Peter has always loved his experiences working for and volunteering with nonprofits, and it’s why he’s excited to be supporting nonprofits as a grant writer with Elevate. During his time in AmeriCorps, Peter identified and drafted grants in order to support his nonprofit as they opened a community-owned grocery store in a food desert. Prior to that, Peter worked in development roles with a variety of environmental nonprofits, strengthening their initiatives in areas as diverse as energy conservation education for elementary school students, and the rewilding of natural forestlands.

Peter continues to assist in these environmental efforts, volunteering with local organizations to maintain trails and preserve wild spaces. He earned his BA from Wake Forest University in Anthropology with minors in Creative Writing and Environmental Studies, graduating summa cum laude.

Beyond his work with Elevate, you’ll find Peter outdoors! He loves hitting the trails for a long run on the weekend and reading—preferably fiction and short stories—in public parks.

Mathea has an interest in both public health and fundraising. Prior to joining the Elevate team, she worked with two Minnesota-based nonprofits. At the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project she was introduced to grant writing and worked on two grants with the Executive Director. She went on to serve as a Health Intern at the International Institute of Minnesota, where she connected refugee clients with health resources and aided in the refugee resettlement process. To further explore her interest in public health, Mathea interned at the Minnesota Department of Health, where she analyzed the projects proposed by statewide grantees as part of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.

Mathea recently began volunteering on the Communication and Fundraising Committee of WellShare International, an international public health nonprofit. This role enables her to explore her interests in public health and development. She graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College, where she earned her BA in International Studies and French with a concentration in Community and Global Health.

When she is not working, Mathea likes to run, hike, and camp around the Pacific Northwest. She loves chatting with her friends (even if it is over Zoom), listening to podcasts, reading outside, and baking.

Jane came to Elevate with experience teaching and volunteering both stateside and abroad. Before joining the Elevate team, Jane worked as an English teacher in Spain creating dynamic bilingual lesson plans and tracking student progress as well as being a panel leader for onboarding orientation. Working so closely with Spanish students gave her a nuanced understanding of bilingual education at the primary school level.

Jane graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and a minor in Spanish. Notable achievements include coauthoring a published report on cybersecurity, being the property manager of her sorority that housed over 80 tenants, and accidentally taking Norwegian and Spanish back to back for one quarter.

In her free time Jane enjoys volunteering with adults and children with disabilities. If you call her on the weekend she is probably on the other line with her mother. If you call her again, she is likely watching the West Wing, cooking something from memory with questionable results, or making a PowerPoint about her favorite Muppet.

Pronouns: she/her

Janelle has a passion for social justice and fairness in the global community. Her commitment to this ideal manifested in her work as a paralegal in Hawaii working for fair credit reporting laws. After relocating to Fredericksburg, Virginia, Janelle joined the staff at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center where she sought to inspire justice through her support of art and story at the Museum. While at the museum, Janelle worked as the volunteer coordinator, development assistant, and, most recently, as the education coordinator where she developed programs that used art education to confront historic and current injustices in her community. In an effort to expand the program’s reach to marginalized communities, Janelle began writing grants to fund scholarships for low income students.

In 2015, Janelle took a leap of faith at an opportunity to reduce her carbon footprint and bought a vintage sailboat to live aboard while undertaking its restoration. She apprenticed with a marine engineering company and learned the basics of sailing, marine electrical and mechanical maintenance, solar and wind power technologies, woodworking and varnishing, and crewed several coastal and offshore deliveries. In the summertime, Janelle teaches sailing in down east Maine and is working toward her Mate’s license through the US Coast Guard. Janelle also writes and edits articles for maritime publications.

Janelle holds BAs in Philosophy and American Studies from the University of Mary Washington, formerly Mary Washington College. She graduated cum laude and was the honors graduate in the American Studies department where she focused her studies on the political and cultural causes of the Civil War and the War’s lingering legacy. For her academic contributions in the civil rights field and her stated career goals, Janelle was awarded the James Farmer scholarship and was elected president of the college’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter.

When not at work, Janelle can be found at Fred’s Theatre where she acts, sells tickets, cultivates donors, cleans floors, or performs one of the other multitudes of jobs needed to ensure the show goes on! If Janelle had one piece of advice to give the world, it would be to find your creative self and nurture it.

Lauren comes to Elevate with a strong background in global public health and sport for development. Prior to joining the Elevate team, Lauren spent a year in Northern Togo as a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Integrate Health, an international nonprofit focused on community based maternal and child health care. She worked on grant reporting and communications in addition to working on their Monitoring and Evaluation Team, where she focused on database management and quality improvement.

Lauren earned a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University, where she earned All-Conference honors as a D1 NCAA cross-country and track student athlete. Throughout her four years at GW, she volunteered on the leadership team of The Grassroot Project, a local nonprofit focused on teaching health education to underserved youth in DC through a dynamic facilitation model. She continues to volunteer with them as they work to expand the scope of their curriculum development throughout DC middle schools.

When she is not prospecting and meeting grant deadlines, Lauren can be found bouldering at her local rock climbing gym, road biking along the Potomac, and attending concerts in her neighborhood on U Street.

Sarah comes to Elevate with a passion for social justice issues. She is a current senior studying Law, Economics, and Public Policy at the University of Washington in Seattle. Previously, Sarah has worked as a congressional intern for Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) in her Washington State and DC offices where she gained a broad understanding of policy and legislation. Most recently, she worked as an assistant paralegal for the City of Seattle Prosecuting Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, where she developed a passion for criminal justice reform policy. Sarah has also worked in her local community as an affiliate leader for Girls Learn International, a charter club program of the Feminist Majority Foundation tackling global women’s issues with an emphasis on girls’ education.

Outside of school and work, her favorite things to do include anything outdoors. She especially enjoys hiking summits in Washington’s multiple National Parks or heading north for kayaking in the San Juan Islands. On more relaxed days, Sarah enjoys lounging on patios with friends, music, and plenty of snacks.