Gayle L. Nelson, Esq. (she, her, hers)

Development Consultant


(919) 794-7440


Gayle L. Nelson, Esq., is Croatan Institute’s Development Consultant. As a connector extraordinaire, Gayle enjoys partnering with Croatan Institute’s diverse and innovative staff located throughout the country to identify and generate revenue to fuel the Institute’s vital mission.

Gayle is a leader driving nonprofit sustainable growth. For over twenty years, she has collaborated with diverse non-profit organizations to expand programs and services to meet critical needs. Gayle organizes fundraising events, writes grants, and supports staff in strengthening donor relationships. Additionally, she teams up with organization leadership to facilitate strategic planning and board development activities. She has a passion for environmental causes, criminal justice reform, expanding legal services, empowering leaders with lived experiences, and coaching organization leadership. Gayle’s diverse clients, from foundations to trade associations and diverse nonprofit organizations, appreciate her unique mix of development, marketing, financial, and legal expertise. 

When Gayle is not raising resources and building organization capacity, she can be found in her garden growing tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, peppers and when she is lucky a squash. Gayle lives in the Chicago metro area with her two daughters.


J.D. DePaul University, College of Law

B.S. Economics and Political Science, University of Wisconsin- Madison