This month, we’re welcoming Chelsey Souza, who is joining Pivotal as our new Chief Development Officer. A passionate fundraiser, Chelsey is known for her philanthropic development expertise, enthusiasm for ethical fundraising, and keen ability for inspiring volunteers.

Since entering the social sector in 2001, Chelsey worked as a staff member, volunteer, and consultant at robust organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Californians for Justice, and Community Solutions. Most recently, she ran the Essex & Drake fundraising consulting group where she specialized in capital campaign feasibility/planning studies, individual major giving, and board engagement.

Chelsey currently volunteers as an Expert Advisor for the Gratitude Network. She also serves as Grants Chair of the Pioneer High School Performing Arts Association.

Chelsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies from California State University, Chico, and a Certificate of Italian Language and Literature from the University of Pisa. In 2002, she completed Fundraising School through the Center on Philanthropy at University of Indiana, and in 2008 received a Certified Fundraising Executive credential from CFRE International. In 2019, Chelsey was named Outstanding Professional Fundraiser by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Silicon Valley Chapter. 

“I’m honored to join an organization that works tirelessly to make an invaluable impact in the lives of foster youth. I am committed to helping Pivotal realize its vision of a community where every foster youth has access to a great education, a fulfilling career, and can create the life they want for themselves. I look forward to using my philanthropic development acumen to support Pivotal and enhance the lives of the young people that we serve.”