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Kelsey Roebuck Neilson

Supervising Director of Client Partnerships
Hometown: Davenport, IA

As Supervising Director of Client Partnerships, Kelsey supports Elevate’s senior consultants, strengthens the company’s relationships with current clients, and leads work to continuously improve all client services. Day-to-day she oversees the management and training of a department of nearly 30 staff, cultivates new client relationships, and contracts with new and existing clients for short-term projects. Her leadership of the Client Partnerships department has resulted in smarter, more strategic grant writing services that help to strengthen nonprofits that are making the world better.

Kelsey first joined Elevate as a Grant Writer in August 2014 at a time when the company could still fit all staff around a single conference table. From that position, she grew and adapted along with Elevate, taking leadership roles on client teams and, eventually, as a member of the management team. In her current role, Kelsey strives to support staff members’ professional growth within the company, navigate the growth and evolution of the Client Partnership  department structure, and build relationships with other consultants and nonprofit leaders working to strengthen the sector. “Getting Better at Everything, All the Time” remains her favorite Elevate value.

Kelsey remains an active and avid fundraiser, with a particular focus on children’s welfare and legal services. She has also enjoyed grant writing for organizations working in early childhood education, the arts, and Jewish social services.

Kelsey serves on the board of Jubilee JumpStart, an award-winning early childhood education center in Adams Morgan. She is a graduate from Grinnell College in Iowa.

What’s your hidden talent?

I make amazing ebelskivers – Danish pancake puffs best enjoyed with large groups of people and lots of sugar.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Kate Winslet. Of course, this is a movie in which the director took serious liberties with my life story and made me British instead of Iowan, but I think I’d be ok with that.

Who is your hero?

My hero is Nancy Drew. She saved me from long family care trips and boring days at school. She taught me that a little ingenuity, some great friends, and a sincere desire to help others was enough to solve even the most baffling of problems.

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