Leah Ray, chief strategist of Social Capital, is a recognized leader in nonprofit fundraising with a track record of building sustainable revenue and high-performing development teams for large local and national organizations. Her experience spans direct response, mid-level and major individual giving, planned giving, corporate giving and cause marketing. Since joining Social Capital, Ray has served as chief strategist to leading nonprofit and foundations, including American Safety Council, American Cancer Society, Feeding America, FoodCorps, National Trust for Historic Preservation and the YMCA of the USA.
Prior to joining Social Capital, Ray built and led transformational fundraising teams at Feeding America, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and Greater Chicago Food Depository. As senior vice president of development for Feeding America, Ray led the organization’s fundraising efforts with corporate partners and major donors, responsible for annual revenue goals in excess of $80 million. During her tenure, Feeding America launched the Give a Meal initiative, which has raised more than $5 million to date, and grew cause fundraising from $4 million to more than $20 million.
Prior to Feeding America, Ray led External Affairs at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, where she grew annual fundraising from $10 million to $20 million over a three-year period through expansion of corporate and foundation partnerships and individual giving. While at United Way, Ray led a board task force to reimagine the organization’s positioning of its impact in Chicago’s neighborhoods and raised several major gifts.
Ray received a BA at Grinnell College and a master’s certificate in nonprofit management from North Park University. She is based in Chicago, Illinois.