About our Firm

Essex & Drake has been helping organizations raise funds since 1977. Our expert team of professionals is highly experienced and dedicated to guiding our clients through successful campaigns and fundraising projects. Although a project may be short-term, we work to build a culture of philanthropy within our clients’ organizations, leaving lasting impact.

Our Values

At Essex & Drake, we incorporate our values into each client relationship and project. By listening carefully, speaking candidly, handling information discreetly, and managing effectively, our team members develop productive partnerships with our clients based on these core values:


We are highly experienced in the field of philanthropy. Because of our long-term successful consulting experience and in-depth knowledge, we are able to combine the expertise offered by larger firms with the creativity and flexibility of a small firm.


Ethical Standards

We are professional and committed to the highest ethical standards. We will always make recommendations that are in our clients’ best interest (even if they aren’t in ours.) We understand the importance of donor confidentiality and the security of our clients’ financial information.



All of our team members have held development staff positions at local nonprofit organizations. We have worked in the trenches. We know that funding is often the lead gating factor to making a difference in our community. We now enjoy the rewarding work of coaching volunteers and staff, accessing their untapped potential, and empowering them to raise the funds needed to make an even greater impact in the communities they serve.



Team work is an essential element of each client project. Our consultants understand that strong relationships between consultant team members and the client’s staff and board lead to the most successful outcomes. While each client has a dedicated consultant for their project, we may engage other professionals or organizations in instances where partnerships would yield greater impact.


noun_427609_cc  Reliability

Our team members are dependable and responsive. After years of experience consistently providing valuable counsel, our consultants truly understand the importance of follow through and prompt communication.

Our History

Essex, Inc. was founded by Glenn Essex in 1977 in Tiburon, California. For decades, Glenn led the company with a commitment to providing organizations with valuable fundraising counsel, helping to fulfill their missions most effectively. Peter Drake joined Glenn and together they grew the firm, always staying true to their commitment to service excellence, advising clients on the most successful fundraising strategies. In 1995, senior consultant, Sharon Svensson became president of the firm. Sharon understood and embraced the belief that strong relationships between consultants and the client’s staff and board lead to the most successful outcomes. Under Sharon’s steadfast leadership, the firm continued to garner a reputation for providing invaluable counsel. In 2016, senior consultant, Chelsey Souza became president and owner of the firm. Today, Chelsey leads an accomplished team of consultants who incorporate Essex & Drake’s core values into every project.