Who We Are

Lynn Calder (Co-Founder, Grant writer) has twenty-five years of experience in development and communications for a variety of nonprofit organizations.  Before Shoestring Solutions, she was a freelance grant writer.  Lynn previously was Assistant Director, Foundation Relations at Winterthur Museum and Country Estate.  Prior to moving to Delaware, she served as Director of Communications, North America at the American University of Beirut’s New York Office and Assistant Director of Communications at the American University in Cairo. An active volunteer, Lynn is a Board Member of Saint Mary Magdalen School, serving on the Development Committee.  She earned an MA in Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Michigan and graduated from Drexel University with a BS in History-Politics.

Ellisha Caplan (Co-Founder, Grant writer) turned to nonprofit consulting after fifteen years in mostly small not-for-profits. The “all hands on deck” nature of small organizations afforded her extensive experience in all areas of fundraising, leadership development, marketing, communications, and event planning. Before Shoestring Solutions, Ellisha was the Director of Young Leadership at the Jewish Federation of Delaware. Prior to that, she was Annual Campaign Director at The Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Federation, Associate Director for Planning and Community Outreach, and Director of Young Adult and Women’s Divisions at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washtenaw County. Ellisha is deeply devoted to volunteerism. She has served on the Boards of Directors of Congregation Beth Emeth and the Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, Delaware, and she currently sits on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Sommerschule Wust, is Co-Chair of the Jewish Federation of Delaware’s J-VOICE Monthly, and serves on the Membership Committee of the Delmarva Grant Professionals Association chapter. She holds an MAJCS from Gratz College, with certificates in Non-Profit Management and Jewish Education, and earned a BS in Family and Child Development at Virginia Tech.

Kate Burris (Grant writer) comes to nonprofit consulting after a career in corporate recruiting and in college admissions, advising, and fundraising.  Each of her roles have allowed her to get a full picture and understanding of how to market yourself to organizations and companies. She has worked for Capital One, Tufts University, Union College, University of Richmond, Middlesex School, and Teach for America. Throughout Kate’s career there is a common thread, which is that she loves connecting people and organizations with their passions. She brings this same passion to grant writing, seeking the best strategy to match our clients’ needs and passions with available grant funding opportunities.  Kate is an active mother of two boys and enjoys running, biking, reading, and playing board games. She serves as the Head of the Parent Association at Christ Church Episcopal Pre-school and is a member of the Board of Trustees there as well.  Kate holds a BA in Government from St. Lawrence University and MA in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Jennifer Steinberg (Associate) is a social media and development consultant who started her professional career in banking and moved into the world of not-for-profits, managing social media and communications for an organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers before going out on her own, offering her expertise to other organizations. An active volunteer, Jennifer served on the Board of Directors of the Siegel Jewish Community Center for six years, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington, Delaware. She is also a Jewish Council for Public Affairs Frank Fellow. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College.