Meet Our Staff


Laura Svolos

Hometown: Palm Desert, CA

Laura comes to Elevate with 17 years of institutional giving experience in which she has directed programs on behalf of local, national, and international nonprofits. Throughout her career, she has gravitated to organizations serving children and the environment because she is most passionate about giving a voice to those or that which don’t have a voice. Most recently, she directed the institutional giving program at, an international environmental advocacy organization that campaigns in the areas of forest and ocean protection, climate and energy, and environmental justice. Earlier in her career, she owned a nonprofit consulting business in Chicago that provided comprehensive institutional giving services to organizations representing issue areas such as child abuse prevention, early childhood development, children and family services, school reform, workforce development, health care, and juvenile justice reform. In addition to her nonprofit experience, Laura has worked on Capitol Hill for a US Senator, as a Certified Professional Coach, and as mindfulness meditation teacher.

Laura graduated from Northwestern University where she earned a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. As a graduate student, she received grants from the Renee Schine Crown Scholarship, Josephine Baskin Minow Scholarship, and the Institute for Modern Communications to study the effects of glasnost on press freedom in Moscow.

Outside of work, Laura enjoys cooking, painting, and hiking the trails of the Coachella Valley where she loves to spot bighorn sheep in the wild (see photo!).

What is your hidden talent?

I'm a practitioner and teacher of mindfulness meditation.

What punctuation mark would you be and why?

The parenthesis. I use it a lot (probably too often).

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

Writing in a passive voice.

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

A leisurely brunch followed by an afternoon of painting, then cooking dinner.

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