Mary Ellis Peterson, FCEP

Mary Ellis joined Thompson & Associates in 2017.  As a philanthropic consultant and planned giving specialist, Mary Ellis works with individuals, families, nonprofits and professional advisors to make charitable giving strategic, effective, and tax-efficient and to create meaningful legacies.

She has been active in estate planning and planned giving for many years as a senior paralegal at Dorsey & Whitney, as assistant planned giving director at the University of Minnesota Foundation, and then as planned giving officer and philanthropic services advisor at The Minneapolis Foundation, where she raised more than $30 million in current gifts, managed expectancies in excess of $240 million, and developed and cultivated relationships with a portfolio of 85 donor advisors, 50 nonprofits, and 300 legacy society families.

She is a native Minnesotan and a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute (Wilder Foundation) and has earned a Mini-MBA in Nonprofit Management from St. Thomas University.

Mary Ellis has a passion for social justice, history, and empowering women and children.  She is an avid genealogist and has served on the boards of the Minnesota DAR and Colonial Dames in Minnesota.  She has also been a director of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council, Ann Bancroft Foundation, Lakselaget (“Women who swim against the stream”), the Larry Brown Education Foundation, the Greater Minneapolis Girl Scout Council, and several creative writing organizations.  She also loves kayaking. 

With gratitude and joy, she serves individuals and nonprofits to help tell powerful stories and facilitate transformational legacies.

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