SVP of Growth

Team Growth 323 697 5341 rebecca.ellis@50can.org

I love knowing that what I do on a daily basis gives advocacy leaders the resources they need to be powerful: funds, knowledge, training and support.

As 50CAN’s SVP of Growth, Rebecca leads two overlapping teams: development and trainings. The development team functions as an internal consultancy for 50CAN’s network of states, working with state leaders to build and implement fundraising strategy. The team is a one-stop shop for everything related to fundraising, including strategy, events, grant documents and research. The trainings side of the team builds and delivers programs that seek to educate and empower advocacy leaders, both within 50CAN and across the nation. This team manages the Education Advocacy Fellowship, the YouCAN program and a host of other leadership development programs.

Rebecca has been a member of the 50CAN fam since 2010, when she joined the ConnCAN team to build and lead their fundraising shop. She has been with 50CAN national since 2014.

A native Californian, Rebecca traded in palm trees for maple trees when she moved to Connecticut in 2009. She lives in a tiny village on the Connecticut River with her husband, two daughters and dog.

Rebecca attended the University of California, Santa Barbara for her undergraduate studies, where she double majored in cultural anthropology and photography. In 2010 she earned her MBA in sustainable management with a focus on social justice from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

I aspire to be like Wangari Maathai. Here’s why:

Wangari Maathai was a Kikuyu woman born in colonial Kenya during the 1940s. She founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which sought to combat deforestation, erosion and poverty by organizing rural Kenyan women to plant trees, which then provided soil binding, firewood and an income source. In the nearly 40 years since it was founded, the Green Belt Movement has trained tens of thousands of Kenyan women and has evolved into an advocacy organization that monitors environmental policy in Kenya. Dr. Maathai was the first East African woman to hold a doctorate and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and she was eventually elected to parliament with 98 percent of the vote. She was a staunch advocate for democracy, women’s rights, sustainable development and environmental conservation.

I am inspired by the way Dr. Maathai created projects and campaigns that sought to address all of these issues in a holistic way.

Why I love my job:

I love knowing that what I do on a daily basis gives advocacy leaders the resources they need to be powerful: funds, knowledge, training and support.

 

My connection to public schools:

For two years during and after college, I worked as an instructional aide at a public school in Santa Barbara, CA. I was assigned to kindergarten and first grade classrooms, and I felt privileged and humbled (and slightly terrified) by the responsibility of guiding kids through their first year of public education. My oldest daughter will begin the same journey when she enters kindergarten this fall at our local public elementary school.

What I’m bad at:

Cartwheels, dancing, speaking French, multiplying and dividing numbers in my head and knowing the real lyrics to songs (which does not prevent me from singing along, mind you).

The image that represents why I work at 50CAN:

This is our second cohort of YouCAN Advocates on the day of their orientation. It has been the joy of my career thus far to identify, recruit, train, support and connect diverse advocacy leaders from across the nation.

Rebecca why I work at 50CAN