Nancy Racette is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of DRi. Driven by the belief that every person can have a fundamental impact on the world, Nancy spent decades designing innovative fundraising and communications programs to fuel the growth of sustainable non-profit organizations. In 2001, she began providing executive search and development consulting to help non-profits across the country build their own capacity to grow, thrive, and excel.
Nancy’s development consulting has helped numerous non-profit organizations design and fill powerful staff structures. Working with national organizations such as AAUW, the Armed Services YMCA, and Help Hospitalized Veterans, Nancy has advised Boards of Directors and CEOs on how to identify their most transformative initiatives and invest in staffing structures that advance them.
Nancy’s advice has turned strategic plans into strategic hires for start-ups and established organizations engaging a new generation of stakeholders in imaginative ways.
In addition to designing staff structures, Nancy has also led executive searches for more than 150 leaders who have reshaped critical non-profit operations. Some of Nancy’s most recent executive searches have placed executives who are creating new digital models of youth engagement at the award-winning public health organization Truth Initiative; reimagining national operations for Kids in Need of Defense, a rapidly growing legal services organization defending unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children; and building a development program from the ground up to support influential research at the Urban Institute.
Nancy’s commitment to social impact organizations has led her to build DRi‘s partnerships with major environmental organizations, such as Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund; top-ranked hospitals and healthcare organizations, such as MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the National Council on Aging; and to internationally recognized cultural institutions, such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the National Building Museum.
Nancy’s development consulting and executive search draw on her decades of experience developing initiatives that reshaped fundraising at the American Red Cross and Girl Scouts of America. A Certified Fund Raising Executive, Nancy has broad expertise spanning cause marketing, disaster fundraising, major giving, and fundraising campaigns, and she continues to mentor non-profit innovators today.
Beyond DRi, Nancy has been an innovative volunteer in the non-profit sector. She has been a past president for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) – Washington D.C. Metro Area Chapter. She served on the Board of Directors of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, has chaired AFP’s Education Advisory Committee, and has been a member of the Professional Advancement Division committee. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Ellington Fund for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Nancy is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Public Communications and attended the Executive Management Program at Harvard University. Nancy lives with her husband, a math teacher for special needs children, in Falls Church, VA.