Elisa Rassen


Elisa Rassen, BA, M.Ed. is a consultant who specializes in helping nonprofit organizations improve opportunities and outcomes for vulnerable populations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s in education from Stanford University.


Elisa partners with organizations across the country in fields including higher education, K-12 education, workforce development, social services, and more, helping them further their goals by securing resources and articulating key messages. This work includes:


Creating fundraising strategies and grant proposals that over 10 years have garnered more than $25 million from foundations, corporations, and government agencies, empowering organizations to advance their missions.

Developing strategic arguments for change through white papers, business plans, strategic plans, and other written materials that articulate transformative ideas to a wide range of stakeholders.

Producing guidebooks, reports, and other tools that transform cutting-edge research concepts into practitioner-friendly ideas, empowering nonprofits to amplify the positive impact of their work.


With each project, Elisa is able to effectively and efficiently meet each client’s unique needs through rapid immersion in new fields and assessment of how each organization can best achieve its short- and long-term goals.


Clientele (Recent Sample)
Elisa works with a diverse group of clients that span the nonprofit sector, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Current and recent clients include:

• The United Way of the Bay Area

• The San Francisco Education Fund

• The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges

• The GRAMMY Museum

• Single Stop USA

• San Francisco State University

• Coaching Corps

• Contra Costa Community College District


Recent Publications

Leveling the Playing Field: Community Schools Confront Poverty to Improve Student Success, an exploration of the relationship between poverty and education and how community schools confront them together to close the K-12 achievement gap.
Understanding the Student Experience through the Loss/Momentum Framework: Clearing the Path to Completion (2013), a guide to improving community students’ success by looking through the lens of students’ own experiences.
The Nuances of Completion: Improving Student Outcomes by Unpacking the Numbers (2013), a guide to better understanding data and utilizing it to boost community college student outcomes.
Principles of Redesign: Promising Approaches to Transforming Student Outcomes (2013), an overview of the most promising practices emerging from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Completion by Design Initiative.
A Guide for Using Labor Market Data to Improve Student Success (2013), an exploration of the wide range of labor market data that community colleges can use to help students succeed.
“Serving Special Populations: A Study of Former Foster Youth at California Community Colleges” in the Journal of Applied Research in the Community College (2010).


Elisa Rassen Resume