About Laurel O’Sullivan, J.D. Founder and Principal
Laurel O’Sullivan is passionate about supporting nonprofits to speak up and out on behalf of the causes they care about with greater impact.
Her earliest experience in advocacy came while growing up with 3 older brothers and a mom who wanted a go-along get-along girl. At her core that’s not who Laurel was and remains. She is passionate about injustice and likes to ask a lot of questions! That early experience finding and asserting her voice propelled her to law school and nearly two decades of advocating for and helping nonprofits to find their voice.
She spent the first half of her career as a lawyer enforcing clean water protections for communities around the Great Lakes and nationally while working for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, NRDC and the firm of Terris, Pravlik and Millian LLC. She later created an advocacy platform for Illinois social service nonprofits and foundations as Vice President of Policy at Forefront, an association of foundations and nonprofits.
In 2013 Laurel founded the Advocacy Collaborative because she understands first hand the challenges nonprofits experience with advocacy and has also witnessed its transformative power for both nonprofits and the people and causes they serve. Since 2013 Laurel has drawn upon her signature AdvocacyForward (TM) approach while speaking, teaching and training hundreds of nonprofits about how to use advocacy to transform their mission and their world.
Laurel lives in Evanston, Il with her husband Tim, 5 kids and dog Blue. In her free time she likes to swim and run along the shores of Lake Michigan. Laurel serves on the Social Service Advisory Council, for the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the board of the Young Center for Immigrant Children, at the University of Chicago. She has a B.A., honors from Northwestern and a J.D., honors, from Chicago Kent – IIT College of Law.
Senior Collaborator Consultant:
Meghann Beer, MPA. With more than thirteen years experience working and teaching in the nonprofit sector, including as an executive director, adjunct faculty member and consultant, Meghann brings a unique diversity of professional experience to each client engagement. Meghann excels at helping organizations build their capacity to analyze challenges, develop strategy and evaluate the fundraising tactics and programs they use to achieve their mission. Meghann’s recent projects have included working with foundations to research and evaluate the impact of their advocacy grants,including work with the Center for Evaluation Innovation. In addition to consulting full-time, Meghann has taught nonprofit management and fundraising at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN and at North Park University in Chicago, IL. Meghann earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management and international affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Interested in how you can start creating more impact for your nonprofit? Click here for our free ebook 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Leading With Advocacy.