Metro YMCA of the Oranges Welcomes New Chief Development Officer

By: Mollie Shauger | Monday, August 10, 2020 | Leadership

Dan Elwell

LIVINGSTON, NJ - After an extensive national search, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges has named Daniel P. Elwell, Sr. as the organization’s new Chief Development Officer. He will work closely with the Metro Y leadership teams to develop and spearhead annual fundraising initiatives and strategies to advance the Y’s mission. 

Elwell succeeds former Chief Development Officer Lisa Kelly, who left the Y in January to become Executive Director of the Middlesex County College Foundation.

Elwell joined the Y on July 22. He brings 15 years of experience in fundraising and campaign development, including the execution of multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns for major universities and foundations.

In announcing his hiring, Metro YMCAs President and CEO Richard K. Gorab said: “Dan is an outcome-oriented philanthropic executive with a mission for connecting passionate donors with high impact organizations like our Y. He has an extensive background in the nonprofit and higher education sectors and has a proven track record in building meaningful relationships through donor cultivation and stewardship while also producing results that make a difference.”

Prior to the Y, Elwell served as an executive leader in external relations for institutions in higher education, academic medicine, and leadership development. 

His resume includes senior level positions at Rutgers University, The Ohio State University, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and New Jersey City University. Throughout his career, his leadership has empowered record growth in fundraising, community engagement, and donor participation. Mr. Elwell has extensive experience in executing national and regional fundraising campaigns, and alumni engagement efforts. He also brings experience in business, sales, and marketing to his new role.

He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Rutgers University, where he minored in Economics.

Elwell said the YMCA was a perfect match for him, given his passion and record of bolstering educational opportunities for youth. Outside of his profession and work in higher education, he has served his local community as a member and President of the Board of Education since 2017. He and his wife Laura reside in Hunterdon County, NJ with their children.

A “Y kid” growing up in south Florida, Elwell spent annual summers at Y camps and attended the Y’s after-school programs.

I’m joining this really wonderful organization who has a history of positive impact,” Elwell said of the Y. “I fell in love with the resolute focus the Y has on bettering the community.”

Elwell joins the Y in a unique time as well, with many Y facilities just partially reopened due to the pandemic and dealing with a big cut in revenue sources from programs not able to run. The Metro Ys launched a Strength of Community giving campaign in the spring to support COVID-19 response efforts in local communities. 

"We are excited to welcome Dan to the Metro YMCAs. The support of our donors and broader community is needed now more than ever as our mission is more critical than ever. Dan's expertise in fundraising and campaign development will be crucial as we work to expand our mission of healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility,” said Ronald Schwarz, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Metro YMCAs.


Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.


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