Our Team

Our staff help make GiveMN an engaging place for nonprofits and donors to connect.

Dana Nelson

Executive Director

Dana helps Minnesota organizations reach new and different audiences, helping people find, connect and engage with the causes that they care about.

Dana has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Washington University. She is an active community volunteer with organizations such as Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center, Pillsbury House, and Centro Cultural Chicano.

Dana brings many years of nonprofit experience to GiveMN, which includes working with the Minneapolis Public Schools, serving as a program officer and leading development efforts for a start-up nonprofit organization.

Dana was recognized as a top young business and civic leader in the Twin Cities as a 2010 40 under Forty honoree, presented by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. In 2009, she helped launch GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day, which rallied Minnesotans around causes they care about and raised $14 million for Minnesota nonprofits. This success led GiveMN to earn the 2010 Nonprofit Mission Award for Innovation and more recently the Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Award for Technology Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization. Minnesota’s Give to the Max Days continue to be the largest online giving events in the world!

Dana lives in Minneapolis with her husband, two sons, two Chihuahuas and guinea pig. When she’s not playing ninjas or Uno with her two sons, she’s cheering on the Vikings or baking cupcakes for her friends and neighbors.

Dana Nelson
(o) 651-325-4240
(f) 651-379-5340

Dan Moore

Development & Partnerships Manager

Dan divides his time between raising philanthropic resources to support the GiveMN mission and overseeing outreach and training efforts for Minnesota nonprofits and schools that use GiveMN tools to secure charitable gifts online.

Dan comes to GiveMN with a comprehensive background in nonprofit fundraising. He served as a development officer for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he oversaw capital campaign strategy, e-philanthropy initiatives, and managed the multi-channel mid-level giving program to connect passionate donors with a powerful mission. Dan serves the fundraising community as a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter and its resource development committee.

Dan is a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris where he majored in Political Science and serves on the Alumni Association board of directors. He is obsessed with volunteer service and divides his time between Gethsemane Episcopal Church, the Champlin Park High School Vocal Music Association, and Fridley Community Theatre. In his spare time he pretends to be a photographer, sportsman, genealogist, social innovator, and proud uncle.

Dan Moore
(o) 651.325.4294

Jeff Achen

Digital Strategist

Jeff serves as digital strategist for GiveMN producing multimedia content, writing and editing for the GiveMN blog, serving as a marketing/communication strategist and managing GiveMN's social media properties. Jeff frequently represents GiveMN as a public speaker and panelist at conferences and leads training on social media and multimedia production. Jeff also handles GiveMN’s graphic design projects.

Prior to joining the team, Jeff was a multimedia journalist and news producer for six years. Jeff is currently a half-time employee of GiveMN. In his life outside GiveMN, he owns and operates his multimedia production company – Jeff Achen Videography & Photography, which has been in business since 2006.

Jeff also has considerable experience in leading technology training and consulting. Jeff has worked in community newspapers and small market television news in Minnesota and North Dakota since 2003. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, 1993-97, where he was stationed on the USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) as a payroll clerk. He also served in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Nepal as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2002-03 teaching English in a remote hill village.

Jeff is passionate about the role of digital media in communicating the messages, stories and the impact of nonprofit organizations to the greater community. He lives in Farmington with his wife Jennifer, daughters Kaitlyn & Avery and two playful cats.

Jeff Achen
Digital Strategist
(o) 651-325-4216
Twitter: @jeffachen | @givemn

Beth Norris

Administrative Assistant

Working part-time as Administrative Assistant, Beth provides support to Dana and the entire GiveMN team to make sure they run smoothly and efficiently to have the highest possible impact. Beth is grateful to know that her work helps to change lives and inspires others to reach out in their communities.

In addition, Beth works part-time for the Bush Foundation, providing administrative support to the organization. The two roles work well together, since the two organizations share space in the US Bank Building. Previously, she worked for Thrivent Financial, earned her BA from St. Olaf College and has an MA in Leadership from Augsburg College.

Beth lives in St. Paul, where she and her husband love devoting time to their two daughters, who inspire and keep them young. Walking around lakes with friends and eating chocolate are her two favorite activities.

Beth Norris
(o) 651-325-4281

Leona Thao

School Outreach and Partnership Coordinator

Leona works to enhance the fundraising capacity of schools in Minnesota through the use of GiveMN’s tools.

Prior to joining GiveMN, Leona worked with American Airlines Credit Union as a Member Service Representative for seven months. Prior to that, she was an AmeriCorps State and National program member where she served her 2012 summer in a rural low income community working to improve the literacy rates of children ages seven to thirteen.

Leona graduated with her B.S. in Business Administration, Management from Oklahoma State University in May 2012. During her years in college, she served on the Executive Coordinating Committee of the Midwest Asian American Students Union and was an active member of the Asian American Student Association at OSU where she hosted several workshops in educating her peers about Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) social issues and empowering them to create social change. She also spent a summer internship in D.C. interning with the OCA (formally known as the Organization for Chinese Americans) program where she was placed with the Internal Revenue Service as a Deputy Chief Financial Officer Intern.

Leona currently lives in East Saint Paul with her Aunt’s family where she comes home every day to a little six year old cousin asking her to please play little mermaid dolls together. In addition to playing house with her little cousin, she enjoys driving, watching Indian cinema films, Skyping with family and friends, and shopping at thrift stores!

Leona Thao
(o) 651-325-4281

Olivia James

Nonprofit Outreach and Partnership Coordinator

Olivia James is Nonprofit Outreach and Partnership Coordinator for GiveMN. In her role, she connects with nonprofits to improve their experience on GiveMN and provides them with tools and resources to improve their fundraising.

Prior to joining GiveMN, Olivia worked in social media with the Grand Avenue Business Association, served as an editing tutor at St. Olaf College, and worked as an editor for Professor Charles Taliaferro. Olivia has a BA in Philosophy and Religion from St. Olaf College. She currently writes for a number of blogs, and does organizing and activism in the atheist and feminist communities.

Olivia James
(o) 651-325-4213