Laura Deaton

Executive Director at Multiplier
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Laura Deaton takes the word accelerate seriously—especially when it comes to solutions to the world’s intertwined social, environmental and economic challenges. As executive director of Multiplier, a nonprofit accelerator that helps social entrepreneurs get on the fast track to impact, Deaton has an insider perspective on the new generation of entrepreneurial nonprofits, the rise of collective action initiatives, navigating cross-sector innovation and other trends reshaping the social sector.

A hands-on leader who can shift from strategy to operations in a blink, Deaton shepherded Multiplier through a period of unprecedented growth, more than doubling the number of projects in its portfolio and increasing annual revenue from $6 million in 2013 to over $22 million in 2019. Day to day, Deaton advises Multiplier’s 40-plus projects across four program areas and oversees a team of nonprofit development and support pros. She’s as committed to Multiplier projects’ missions as the founders are and throws her considerable energy into helping them turn big ideas into even bigger results.

Before joining Multiplier in 2013, Deaton racked up years of senior leadership experience in strategy, operations, program and fund development, communications and investor relations. She directed national policy research for a “think tank” project of a large private foundation; led the formation of a nonprofit focused on breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty; served as managing director of a women’s healthcare center; developed and headed marketing and communications for a Silicon Valley tech start-up; and served as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the East Bay.

Deaton earned the NonprofitPRO 2020 Lifetime Achievement award, received a 2018 Social Impact Award from the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California, and is a member of the Forbes Impact Council. She’s a published academic author and has written for Nonprofit Quarterly and GreenBiz, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Inside Philanthropy and Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Deaton holds a law degree from Duke University and is a former adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement. She was inducted into the Boston University Collegium of Distinguished Alumni for outstanding national service in the nonprofit sector.

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