• Ratay Consulting Partners



    We help nonprofit teams, funders and social change leaders amplify their impact and thrive


  • Who We Are

    Trusted advisors to philanthropists

    and nonprofit leaders

    Jen Ratay

    founder & principal

    Jen is a veteran nonprofit CEO, philanthropy advisor, retreat facilitator, and executive coach. She's passionate about developing high-performing organizations, individuals and teams that create positive social change in the world.

    As co-founder of Ratay Consulting Partners with her sister Shelley, Jen provides coaching and advisory services to philanthropists and nonprofit executives. As part of her community leadership, she serves on the board of directors of Northern California Grantmakers.


    Jen is also trained as a life coach and yoga instructor. Through LifeVista Coaching, she facilitates personal and professional development and wellness workshops and retreats. 


    Prior to launching her consulting and coaching practices, Jen served as chief executive of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), a community of families who learn about effective giving while pooling resources to fund social ventures. Under Jen's leadership from 2013-2017, SV2 expanded its grantmaking and impact investing, doubled revenue, and launched field-leading educational programs that helped hundreds of donors and their families become more strategic, confident and generous in their philanthropy. The Silicon Valley Business Journal named Jen a top 40 Under 40 leader and also a "Woman of Influence" in Silicon Valley for her community leadership.


    As a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Jen worked with the foundation's leadership team on organization-wide strategy, evaluation and learning. She built and ran a grantmaking program that invested $14M to help nonprofits strengthen their effectiveness and managed Office of the President grants, including a $110M grant to the University of California, Berkeley.


    Jen's 20+ years in the social sector also include working for the Pew Charitable Trusts, a U.S. Congressman, the United Nations, and the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. She has been a guest lecturer on leadership, philanthropy and nonprofit management at Stanford and co-taught a Stanford MBA course, Critical Analytical Thinking. Jen has spoken at the Churchill Club and Stanford PACS at Peking University in China and been quoted in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Gentry Magazine, and Chronicle of Philanthropy.


    Jen holds an MPA in International Development from Princeton University and a BA in Government and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, she was a starter on the Varsity women’s soccer team that won the 1993 Ivy League title, served as president of the Mountaineering Club, and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.


    Jen lives in Portola Valley, California, with her family.  A life-long athlete who is happiest in the mountains, Jen is often outside exploring on a mountain bike. She also enjoys coaching her kids' basketball teams and cheering on the Boston Celtics. 

    Shelley Ratay

    co-founder & advising partner

    Shelley is program director for the Change Leadership for Sustainability Program at Stanford University's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. The program offers executive education courses and a masters degree to prepare leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to intervene in complex systems in service of human well-being around the world and across generations.


    A co-founder of Ratay Consulting Partners with her sister, Shelley has also served as a social impact and environmental sustainability consultant for a number of years. She has broad nonprofit management experience and domain expertise in the fields of land conservation, affordable housing development and green building.


    Shelley has held a variety of executive leadership, strategy development and project management roles. Among them, she served as executive director of California's oldest land trust, Sempervirens Fund, where she led the organization’s efforts to protect the majestic redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains and create opportunities for people to enjoy them.


    As project director at First Community Housing, Shelley oversaw the financing, green design and construction of affordable apartment buildings, providing safe and healthy housing for hundreds of low-income families in the Bay Area. In her 15+ years in the social sector, she also worked for Beartooth Capital Partners, The Trust for Public Land, Conservation International and Opportunity Fund.


    Shelley is a founding board member and treasurer of Legacy Philanthropy Works in Santa Barbara and serves as board treasurer of Canopy, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the life-giving benefits of trees to schools, neighborhoods and public spaces throughout the San Francisco mid-peninsula. Shelley's recent clients include the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund and the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences at Stanford University where she wrote a series of case studies on systems change leadership.


    Shelley holds an MBA and certificate of Public Management from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. She earned her BA, magna cum laude, from Brown University, where she captained the women's ultimate frisbee team and wrote for the Brown Daily Herald.


    Shelley lives in Palo Alto, California , with her family and enjoys yoga, playing soccer and coaching youth sports.



    leadership + life



    executive coaching


    team building


    retreat facilitation


    social sector career advising




    board governance & effectiveness


    nonprofit leadership & management


    organizational design & change





    grantmaking strategy design & evaluation


    grantee capacity building


    new grantmaker training

    nonprofit & philanthropy clients



    The Heising-Simons Foundation


    The Libra Foundation


    The San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund


    Stevenson House


    Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2)


  • what people are saying



    Jen has provided valuable strategic support, thought-partnership and coaching to me and others at the Heising-Simons Foundation for more than a year. Her field leadership, deep expertise in grantmaking and nonprofit organizational development, and highly-collaborative style has made Jen the ideal person to support us on high-priority lines of work.


    As one example, Jen has been instrumental in helping the Foundation strengthen and scale our grantee Organizational Effectiveness efforts. She designed and helped us execute a grantee survey to better understand our grantees’ most pressing organizational health needs. Jen then used the survey findings to facilitate insightful focus group conversations with each program team which, in turn, led to a new vision for us to create two innovative responsive funds for grantees.


    Jen also created and led a well-received training workshop for Foundation grantmaking staff on how to assess nonprofit organizational health and build thriving nonprofits. She is a dynamic and skilled facilitator and trainer. Jen also serves as an ongoing expert coach to program officers and grantees to help them craft high-value grantee capacity-building projects. Flexible, nimble and responsive, Jen is a pleasure to work with and a terrific partner to the Heising-Simons Foundation.


    – Holly Kreider, Program Officer, Local and Emerging Opportunities, Heising-Simons Foundation

    developer of strong teams


    Jen is a remarkable leader, a skilled builder of strong teams and networks, a strategic thinker and a roll-up-your-sleeves doer, and a compassionate, values-aligned manager.


    – Carrie Boyle, former Director of Operations, SV2


    While Jen is a visionary leader, she is also a skilled and trusted manager. Jen thrives when she is helping to guide and coach individuals to discover and pursue their life’s purpose and to be the best that they can be. She sees mistakes as learning opportunities, and makes sure team members are guided and developed to be the best that they can be.


    – Shalyn Eason, SV2 Board Member, Eason Consulting

    intellectual fire power


    Shelley excelled as a key part of the leadership team and brought great gifts to the work: her ability to understand systems and see the big picture, intellectual fire power, empowering leadership style, and great communication skills. She was key to the project's success, and to its transformation into a new venture called LegacyWorks Group. We're thrilled to still have her on the team as Secretary of the Board of our nonprofit, Legacy Philanthropy Works. I can't recommend Shelley highly enough for her effectiveness, commitment, integrity and passion.


    – Carl Palmer, Founder & Executive Director, LegacyWorks Group

    emotionally intelligent


    Working with Jen over four years I discovered that she has a very high emotional intelligence quotient with the ability to forge authentic and meaningful relationships with a diverse set of people, whether it be staff, board, nonprofit executive directors, foundation leaders, or a diverse set of philanthropic individuals. She has a broad and deep knowledge of the social sector and continues to have the curiosity and drive to learn more. Jen is an inspiring leader who leads with both integrity and humility. She is a consummate collaborator and a joy to work with.


    – Kelly Pope, SV2 Board Member

    bridge builder


    Jen’s deep knowledge of the nonprofit sector and empathetic nature has positioned her as a trusted liaison between the foundation/ funder and nonprofit communities. She strives to build bridges across and among groups, and help individuals, organizations and communities to better understand how they can work together towards a common purpose.


    Jen is an absolute joy to know and work with!


    – Shalyn Eason, SV2 Board Member, Eason Consulting



    As executive director of the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund, a rapidly-growing nonprofit organization in its start-up phase, I desperately needed some wisdom, coaching, and practical implementation approaches to organize and strengthen the work of our board of directors. The Ratay sisters quickly offered valuable new insights, expert prioritization, tailored strategic thinking, and practical, easy-to-use tools that I could implement immediately with my board and across my organization. For example, Jen and Shelley created high-quality new board member orientation materials, revamped our annual board calendar, and designed our first-ever ED review process. Their coaching and deliverables not only 110% met our needs but also helped strengthen the relationship between me and my Board Chair. I can't recommend Jen and Shelley highly enough!


    – Rebecca Center, Executive Director, San Francisco Affordable Housing Accelerator



    I worked with Jen over the five years while she was the Executive Director of SV2 and I was a Board member and then the Board Chair. Jen did an outstanding job in growing and strengthening SV2, building a top notch team, innovating in our programming, and increasing our social impact. She is highly professional and effective, very collaborative, passionate about what she does, and overall a joy to work with.


    – Bill Brownell, Board Chair, SV2



    One of Jen's trademark qualities is a fearlessness in the face of something that's never been done before. Where others might be intimidated or deterred by a blank canvas, Jen runs toward these opportunities with enthusiasm and energy. We leaned into this brave leadership heavily during a period of significant growth and innovation for SV2.


    – Carrie Boyle, former Director of Operations, SV2



    I had the pleasure of serving on the board with Jen for over four years when she was CEO of SV2. She skillfully led two strategic planning processes that launched SV2 into a highly successful growth phase. Jen’s inclusive leadership style motivated and engaged an already effective board and staff to reach even higher levels of performance and creativity. Jen thinks and plans strategically and is an action-oriented driver of outcomes.


    – Kelly Pope, SV2 Board Member



    Jen is masterful at balancing the needs of the organizations she has overseen and the many stakeholders involved in solving complex social problems. Her off-the-charts emotional intelligence combined with the deep investment she makes in each relationship creates an environment where people can truly thrive. Jen's reputation is impeccable, and that is in no small part due to her ability to connect and empathize with a wide range of constituencies.


    – Joey Gutierrez, former Chief of Staff, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation

  • Thought leadership

    Social Velocity Interview

    Putting Wealth to Work for Social Value Creation

    Churchill Club Panel

    Socially Conscious Careers

    Sobrato Family Foundation

    Thriving Nonprofits Series

    Philanthropy Hour Podcast

    NextGen Philanthropy

    Northern California Grantmakers

    Member Spotlight

    Gentry Magazine

    Philanthropy Feature

  • Upcoming Workshops









    A four-week personal and professional development outdoor workshop series with optional all-levels yoga


    Are you in transition or at a crossroads professionally or personally?

    Do you feel stuck, exhausted or overwhelmed?

    Would you be served by investing in greater self-care and mindfulness during these uncertain times?

    Are you ready to create a life you love filled with greater meaning, health, connection and joy?




    ... coming soon


    Workshop Outcomes


    Participants will gain:

    • easy-to-apply tools and strategies to support your best daily living by bringing more fulfillment, connection, mindfulness, health, ease and joy to you and those closest to you, including your immediate family
    • greater self-knowledge of your passions and core values, personality strengths, and life's work
    • deepened understanding of the efficacy of your current health and wellness practices, plus new ideas and techniques for enhancing them
    • clarity and support for designing and manifesting a life you truly love, including aligning professional and personal goals and plans for the year ahead
    • connection with an inspiring, supportive community of new friends


    The 50 minute all-levels yoga class will offer:

    • mindful physical movement that is flowing, aligned and playful
    • guided meditation and breath work 
    • yoga philosophy and optional hands-on assists
    • a bright, inviting outdoor location with views overlooking the Ladera hills near Stanford
    • music of various genres, including beats that you just can't not dance to

    email jen@ratayconsulting.com for inquiries or to reserve your spot


    Facilitator Background


    Jen is a life and leadership coach, retreat facilitator and yoga instructor. She is fueled by a life-long passion to unleash positive change in individuals, teams and mission-driven organizations while helping them thrive. Jen specializes in facilitating professional and personal development and wellness workshops. A former grantmaker and nonprofit CEO, she also regularly serves as an executive coach to nonprofit CEOs and philanthropists. Among her awards, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Jen a "Women of Influence" in Silicon Valley for her community leadership.






    San Diego, CA

    JANUARY 23-26, 2020

    Values In Action: Unleashing Character Strengths

    Ikigai Exploration: Reason for Being

  • Interested in connecting?


    We'd be delighted to hear from you


    Ladera, California