• Ratay Consulting Partners



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


  • Who We Are

    Trusted advisors to nonprofit leaders and philanthropists


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    Jen Ratay, Founder

    Executive Coach. Social Impact Strategist. Facilitator. Team Builder.


    Jen is a veteran nonprofit CEO, philanthropy advisor, facilitator and executive coach. For two decades, Jen has developed and guided high-performing organizations, teams and leaders who are passionate about unleashing vital social change in their communities and around the world.


    As founder of Ratay Consulting Partners, Jen provides a range of customized coaching and consulting services to nonprofit boards, founding executives and leadership teams. She also regularly advises individual philanthropists and charitable foundations. Jen serves on the Northern California Grantmakers’ board of directors and has been named by Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Woman of Influence in Silicon Valley for her leadership in the region and the social sector.


    Jen led the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2) as Executive Director from 2013-17. Under Jen's leadership, 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. Jen has been a guest lecturer on leadership, philanthropy and nonprofit management at Stanford, and also co-taught a Stanford MBA course, Critical Analytical Thinking. Jen’s speaking engagements have included the Churchill Club and Stanford PACS at Peking University, among others.


    Prior to leading SV2, Jen was a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where she collaborated with the foundation's leadership team on organization-wide strategy, evaluation and learning. While at Hewlett, Jen built and ran a grantmaking program that strengthened grantees’ effectiveness and managed Office of the President grants, including a $110M grant to the University of California, Berkeley. Jen also worked as a legislative aide to a U.S. Congressman and at the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford's Graduate School of Business where she engaged the next generation of socially-minded business leaders.


    Jen has an MPA from Princeton University and a BA in Government from Dartmouth College where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Dartmouth, Jen played varsity soccer and was president of the Mountaineering Club.


    Jen is dedicated to weaving wellness, laughter and joy into her work with clients. She is a trained life coach and yoga instructor. A life-long athlete who is happiest in the mountains, Jen recharges in nature on a mountain bike or telemark skis. She enjoys organizing mountaineering trips for women and coaching youth basketball. Jen lives in Portola Valley, CA with her family.

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    Shelley Ratay, Partner

    Environmental Leader. Program Director. Board Member.


    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.


    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, CA 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

    sample clients 



    The Heising-Simons Foundation


    Children's Funding Project


    Fit Kids


    The Libra Foundation


    The San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund


    Stevenson House


    Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2)


  • what people are saying



    Jen has provided invaluable strategic support, thought-partnership and coaching to me and others at the Heising-Simons Foundation for the past three years. Her field leadership, expertise in grantmaking and nonprofit management and collaborative style have made Jen the ideal person to work with. She serves as an ongoing expert coach to both program officers and grantees alike.


    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 needs and helped us create two innovative responsive funds for grantees.


    In addition to being strategic, Jen is flexible, nimble and responsive. She's a true pleasure to work with and a terrific ongoing 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

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    Social Velocity Interview: Putting Wealth to Work for Social Value Creation

    Churchill Club Panel: Socially Conscious Careers

    Sobrato Family Foundation: Thriving Nonprofits Series

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    Philanthropy Hour Podcast: NextGen Philanthropy

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    Northern California Grantmakers: Member Spotlight

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    Gentry Magazine: Philanthropy Feature

  • Interested in connecting?


    We'd be delighted to hear from you!


    Ladera, California