Meet Our Staff


Elena Keates

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Elena came to Elevate with a passion for nonprofits and nonprofit leadership as a catalyst for social change. Prior to joining Elevate, she worked for nonprofits in Denmark and the US, in the global health, environmental, civic engagement, and democracy sectors. Elena has five years development experience, including direct marketing, building fundraising capacity, major gifts, and grants, at organizations such as Indivisible, League of Conservation Voters and League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and Greenpeace.

Elena holds a MSc in Technological and Socio-Economic Planning from Roskilde University, Denmark, and a BA in History and Russian Studies from Bucknell University. She is currently pursuing a PhD, exploring her interest in non-profit leadership and change.

When not wrapped up in the world of grants, Elena can be found learning Arabic, spending time with the family dogs and cats, and streaming British TV and movies whilst enjoying a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea. She also enjoys growing wildflowers and native plants, reformer Pilates, and interrupting her husband whenever he watches YouTube videos.

What is your hidden talent?

I solve mysteries. Specifically, the kinds of mysteries you find in books, on TV, and in movies. I'm also a good person to have on your trivia team.

What punctuation mark would you be, and why?

I would be a question mark. I ask a lot of questions, including multi-part questions. I like to make connections between data points, uncover information, and think about contextual elements in new ways. Questions are how I get there.

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

Underuse of commas. Let's eat kids. Let's eat, kids. Commas save lives. I am team Oxford comma, and proud of it!

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