My mission is to mobilize philanthropic resources in pursuit of equity and social justice.

A profile picture of Rachel Hamalainen.

Rachel has partnered with institutions in the advocacy and education sectors to plan and implement transformational fundraising campaigns with revenue goals ranging from $10 million to $1 billion. She has also directed principal and major gifts fundraising, led strategic planning efforts, and improved fundraising systems and procedures for several clients.

Among her client engagements at CCS, Rachel has completed a three-year fundraising growth plan for the Campaign Legal Center and subsequently provided major gift strategy and infrastructure support that resulted in the largest donation in the organization’s history. She also provided counsel to the NAACP on its historic $600 million comprehensive campaign and on major gifts strategy for its civic engagement program. Rachel stewarded the planning process and strategy for the first major gifts campaign for the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, where she helped secure the organization’s largest ever individual and corporate contributions.

Rachel is a skilled nonprofit management strategist with diverse experiences across the philanthropic sector. Prior to joining CCS, she worked as a grant maker at the Open Society Foundations. Most recently, she coordinated funding in the areas of government accountability, money in politics, judicial nominations, and civic engagement.

Rachel holds an MPA in nonprofit management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a BA in Black Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies from Amherst College. She was a NYC Fellow at the New Leaders Council, a national organization that works to recruit, train, and promote young progressive leaders, and now serves on its Advisory Board. She is also a 2016 alumna of NYU Wagner’s Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, and she serves on the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Young Professionals Council and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York’s Activist Council.

select client partners

  • Campaign Legal Center
  • Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
  • City Seminary of New York
  • Democracy Fund
  • East Harlem Tutorial Program
  • Greenwich Country Day School
  • Manhattan Country School

Headquarters: New York

527 Madison Avenue
5th Floor
New York, NY 10022

(212) 695-1175


Featured Insights


How One Nonprofit Organization is Turning its Annual Gala into a Major Online Event

April 9, 2020

Events and galas are instrumental in raising awareness and funds for nonprofits. With these events on hold during the COVID-19 crisis, organizations are questioning how they can replicate their impact. The good news is that we are seeing many organizations successfully pivot to using the digital space.