Our Staff

With only ten dedicated staff supporting thousands of families it can get very busy here, but we take it all in stride. Contact us with your questions; we’re here to help!


Rachel Elginsmith
Executive Director

Rachel joined the BASIC Fund in January 2009, with over fifteen years of professional experience in finance and organizational systems.  As the Senior Executive of the organization, Rachel is responsible for BASIC Fund’s overall strategic direction, fiscal planning, management, including hiring, staff structure, major projects, program design, partnerships and donor relations.  Guided by her expertise, BASIC Fund has rebranded and restructured its operations, resulting in an expanded donor pool, increased data collection and analysis and improved efficiency and strategic direction throughout the organization.  Rachel attended Pomona College in Claremont, CA.  She resides in Oakland, CA with her husband and two daughters.  She enjoys spending her time open-water swimming and playing her cello whenever possible.

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Michelle C. Harris
Development Director

Passionate about philanthropy in both her personal and professional life, Michelle Harris joined the BASIC Fund in 2014 after spending almost a decade raising funds and planning events for non-profits and educational institutions around the Bay Area.  Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Michelle attended Santa Clara University for her BS in Political Science and JD/MBA.  She lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and chocolate labrador. 


Carmen Martinez
Programs Director

An integral part of the team working directly with our families and schools, Carmen has been with the BASIC Fund since 2001, and has a long history working with non-profit organizations serving Bay Area residents. Prior organizations that have benefited from her expertise include Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., Accion Latina, and Women's Alcoholism Center. She boasts that her dog, Mocha is the best San Francisco tour guide, energetically introducing her to new aspects of the city on their walking adventures together.


Alejandro Nuño
Operations Director

Alejandro has been part of The BASIC Fund family for over 10 years, and enjoys helping families make private school education a reality for their children. Having attended private school his whole life he is living proof of the positive impact it provides. He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in International Relations, and was on the men's soccer varsity team. Last year he completed the Tough Mudder in Tahoe!

Atalanta Powell
Development& Communications Manager

Nonprofit passionista and nonfiction media maven, Atalanta has over ten years of experience in project management in both non-profit and for-profit settings, and brings a wealth of creative and technical strengths to the team. She has a B.A. from Evergreen State College and has done additional coursework in History and Education at SF State and Oregon State universities. She loves climbing large rocks, and chocolate.

Roxana Landaverde
Operations Assistant Manager

As a Bay Area native and product of an Oakland private school herself, Roxana finds it rewarding to aid families with a resource to obtain the same opportunities. The past 7 years spent working at The BASIC Fund has been a gratifying experience. Graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History with a concentration in European Studies, she’s a devoted cinephile, reader, and sports fan. Go A’s!

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Najely Gomez
Program Associate

Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Najely has a passion for giving back to the community. She believes education is key to success. As a new member of the team, she hopes to continue the legacy of creating brighter futures. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in International Migration Studies. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, hiking, and learning.


Karina Plascencia
Program Associate

Karina grew up in Boyle Heights where she developed a passion for education. Her own educational journey led her to graduate from UC Berkeley with a B.A in Political Science and join The BASIC Fund to help uplift communities similar to her own. During her free time, Karina enjoys going on hikes, going to concerts and cooking.


Jazmin Contreras
Program Associate

Passionate about education, Jazmin is a firm believer that where you are from should not determine the education and opportunities that you have access to. Every child deserves a solid education and Jazmin is grateful to be on a team that makes that possible. She graduated from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Sociology and loves going to the beach on cloudy days.


Matt Nosco
Development Associate

Raised by an educator, Matt has always believed in educational attainment and access for all. He graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked in support of equitable access to education as an AmeriCorps member and administrator, and in development in the Bay Area. During his spare time, he enjoys story telling in all its forms, hiking, camping, and dancing.