"My mission is to educate and empower nonprofit leaders with the knowledge and tools to elevate philanthropy and drive social change."
Elizabeth Abel is an expert in nonprofit fundraising and thought leader in philanthropy. She has designed, advised, and directed development initiatives and capital campaigns that have collectively raised nearly half a billion dollars, positively impacting tens of thousands of lives.
Since joining CCS in 2013, Elizabeth has partnered with institutions to plan and implement large-scale fundraising campaigns with revenue goals ranging from $5 million to over $1 billion. In this role, she provides counsel on strategic planning, major gifts fundraising, and board engagement. She has directed campaign planning studies, served in interim development roles, and managed annual campaigns and special fundraising events.
A global citizen and community leader, Elizabeth is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches “Fundraising & Philanthropy: The Donor Journey” to graduate students in the Nonprofit Leadership Program. Elizabeth serves on the Board of the Nonprofit Leadership Program Alumni Association, and in 2020, she was inducted into the School of Social Policy and Practice Alumni Hall of Fame for her work with mission-driven organizations. Beyond the classroom, you can find Elizabeth offering her fundraising expertise at industry conferences, on nonprofit podcasts, and on social media platforms including LinkedIn and Instagram.
Elizabeth holds a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter and is an avid hiker, traveler, and tea drinker.
Elizabeth’s Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access:
Elizabeth’s belief in social justice and equity has influenced her global leadership experiences and career trajectory: In rural Rwanda, she volunteered at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a residential home and school community for vulnerable Rwandan youth that was founded in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. In Jaipur, India, she lived and studied the generational empowerment of Indian women, developing relationships with mothers seeking to build lives of dignity and prosperity for themselves and their families. These powerful experiences—grounded in the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access—influenced Elizabeth’s career to improve the world through philanthropy. She incorporates these values and intentional practices daily, as she leads projects and teams at CCS and as she raises a global citizen of her own.
- ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Columbia University School of Nursing
- Friends Academy
- The Hewitt School
- The Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
- The Newark Public Library
- NYU Stern School of Business
- The Parkinson’s Foundation
- The Police Athletic League
- The Ramaz School
- The Spence School
- The Speyer Legacy School
- Professional Instagram: ElizabethBerniAbel
- Building a Career in Nonprofit Leadership Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership (Podcast)
- Click Here to Donate: The Power of Online Giving in Today’s Digital World CCS Fundraising (Article)
- Fundraising Fundamentals in A New Fiscal Year The Development Debrief (Podcast)
- Inspiring Board Members to Fundraise The Nonprofit Jenni Show (Podcast)
- Philanthropy Executive Elizabeth Abel Offers Trends in Charitable Giving from the First Year of the Pandemic The Center for Social Impact Strategy (Article)
- Philanthropy Trends: Breaking Down the Giving USA 2021 Report We Are For Good (Podcast)
- Reimagining Fundraising in a COVID-19 Landscape: Lessons for Success in 2021 CCS Fundraising (Article)