Meet The Team


Ella Mahler

About Ella

I jumped into nonprofits 10 years ago, immersing myself in the field full of dreamers, doers, leaders, and change-makers.  As a dance artist, I began my fundraising career with contemporary arts organizations, where I honed skills in grant writing, donor relationships, and events. In 2013, I joined the The Ostara Group and have since worked with over 25 organizations  – including ACT Theatre, Totem Star, Cancer Lifeline, Rainier Valley Food Bank, Bellevue Art Museum, and Northwest Center. I have helped my clients secure nearly $2 million dollars, grown first-time funders into multi-year partners, and have led grant strategies for capital campaigns – including the recent completion of the new University District Food Bank.

With sharp skills in grant strategy and writing, I always see the big picture ahead, while creating a detailed plan for how to get there. I build customized tools to help target funders right for you, create a timeline that keeps your goals on track, and showcase the unique change you make in our world. Additionally, my history as a fundraising generalist brings a comprehensive understanding of how grants, alongside other fundraising strategies, can best serve your organization.

Fun facts about Ella:

  • I am a descendant of the Late-Romantic Austrian composer, Gustav Mahler.
  • I took my first dance class at age 17, and now work professionally as a contemporary dancer and choreographer. Yep, it's never too late to pursue your dreams.
  • When I was 6, I begged my mom to let me change my name to Star-Stepper.

Large fundraising events can be chaotic, so having team members who are organized, on top of their responsibilities and calm, cool, and collected makes all the difference in the world. This perfectly describes the crucial role Ella played at our annual dinner event. Her presence at the event was incredibly grounding and her support with day-of logistics invaluable. 

Kirsten Rogers, OneWorld NOW!

When Ella figured out that we needed to better track and report our funding requests, she recreated our entire funder database without skipping a beat on her prospect research.

John Osebold, ACT Theatre

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