Advancing gender equity for women in nonprofit 

It’s not just the right thing.

It’s the smart thing.


of nonprofit professionals are women


of CEOs in the country's largest nonprofit organizations are women


wage gap for nonprofit women at every level

Women make the nonprofit world go ’round. Just not at the highest levels. The research is conclusive: when women are equally represented in leadership, organizations are more innovative, more productive, and more profitable.


You do the math.


Closing the wage and leadership gaps isn’t just right, it’s smart.
And it’s time.

Our mission is to level the playing field and advance gender equity in the nonprofit space.

Our vision is a strong and equal nonprofit sector where everyone’s efforts have greater impact.

What we do


Let's get together. We make it possible for women to meet, share their stories, challenges, and wins.  It's about strength in numbers and support in action. Having fun, doing good.

For ourselves, each other, and -- ultimately -- our organizations.


From negotiating to leadership development, public speaking to self care, Ellementary can help you hone your skills. The longer you wait to train up in areas to advance your goals, the longer it'll take to achieve them. So get on it.

Become an expert at driving your personal and professional agendas.  


We can't do this alone.  We need to get everyone involved -- that means the board and leadership, HR, and the men we know that want to find a way to support this movement.

Share and communicate at every level. Be willing to have an uncomfortable conversation.

The Founders

Erica Helphand

Erica Helphand

Erica has been a recognized leader in the Peer to Peer space for nearly 20 years. A relentless advocate for women and girls, she proudly serves on the Board for Girls on the Run. As Managing Partner and COO of a women-owned event production and fundraising consulting agency, Erica is all too familiar with gender disparity in the nonprofit space and all the ways it holds women back. Though LA-based now, this born and raised New Yorker was hooked on events after donating to cyclist friends—then joining them as a volunteer lead—on the Boston New York AIDS Ride. Beyond her extensive event production and fundraising consulting experience, Erica's passion for people—coworkers, client partners, event volunteers, and participants alike— is what drives her commitment to continuous improvement. Her teams have created two of the industry's most successful fundraising event series, but it's her background—steeped in development from the very beginning—and her focus on the highest level of customer service that keeps those fundraisers coming back. Erica was recently nominated for LASSO's "Top Women in the Event Production Industry" awards. 

Cathy Kestler

Cathy Kestler

Cathy is a brand, marketing and fundraising strategist, partnering with nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and board executives to spark innovation and grow their brands. Cathy’s career is a true amalgamation of strategizing, planning, and executing compelling fundraising, marketing, and leadership development programs that either position brands as market leaders or develop the next generation of business leaders. Cathy spent 18+ years working with some of the country’s largest health organizations raising funds and awareness in the fight against diseases — from HIV/AIDs and breast cancer, to Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and muscular dystrophy. No matter the cause, her goal is simple — to empower organizations and thought leaders to differentiate themselves and drive results in pursuit of their mission. Part of that differentiation is internal. “I’ve been lucky to work with some truly visionary women at the highest levels who insisted on market-based salaries and leadership development, two contributing factors in the nonprofit gender gap.” Cathy is a passionate advocate for women in the workplace. She didn’t have to think twice when Erica approached her to partner on Ellementary.

People are talking

Ellementary is sparking important conversations in the nonprofit space regarding gaps in representation and pay equality. Working with Ellementary has given me the tools and confidence I needed to advocate for myself and my potential – and I am a more dynamic and empathetic leader because of it. I’m grateful for their work and hope they can serve as a moderator of these conversations for organizations across the country.

Sarah Ober

Events Coordinator | Children’s Cancer Research Fund

I have been working in the nonprofit sector for 14 years. I have a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and I’ve held national fundraising positions at multiple large organizations across the US. I have seen first-hand how gender inequality plays a role in this industry, keeping women locked in middle management while our male counterparts rise to leadership positions – despite the fact that we make up more than 70% of the workforce. We need Ellementary more than ever to address gender equity and provide resources, education and mentorship so our industry thrives and leads the way for others.

Jennifer Cobb

Sr Customer Success Manager | Blackbaud

During my 9 years of working in the female dominated non-profit industry, growing beyond a "Manager" title has been a challenge. But the CEOs and Senior Management positions at my past organizations have primarily been filled with men. So, I was excited to learn about Ellementary, because inequity can be a challenging topic. If we're going to create a level playing field, it's important to have a safe space to discuss how women and other marginalized groups are affected.

Jessica Dean

Associate Director, Team Sierra | Sierra Club

Our Partners