Who We Are
Founded in 2011, Talem Consulting provides nonprofits the tools they need to build capacity, fundraise, and dismantle systems of inequity.
Rachel Branaman, Principal Consultant
Rachel completed a Master’s in nonprofit management from Regis University with a directed study in Cape Town, South Africa. She has a BA in French from Austin College. She broadened her nonprofit expertise by serving in the U.S. Peace Corps as a community development advisor for the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Namibia for two years.
Following Peace Corps, Rachel returned to Texas where she led Alley’s House, which provides direct services to teen mothers. Rachel turned around the financially strapped organization in her two-plus years as executive director and supported its merger with Hope Cottage in 2019. These experiences deepened her appreciation for diverse cultures and helped her develop culturally responsive fundraising techniques that center the concept of horizontal philanthropy.
Dr. King once stated, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'”
Born into a family that prioritized volunteerism, Rachel volunteered with her parents at their church home as a child. Her first independent volunteer experience was at the age of 10, where she signed up to support the local library's Summer Reading Program (an excellent opportunity for a book worm!). She continued to actively volunteer throughout high school, college, and beyond with organizations like YoungLife, Center for Survivors of Torture, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of Dallas. In recent years, she has volunteered as a:
Member of the City of Takoma Park's Grants Committee
Member of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) D.C. Education Committee
Executive board member for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington D.C. (RPCV/W)
Executive board member-at-large for the Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC)
"No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise." - Marian Anderson
From an early age, Rachel was afforded the privilege of culturally immersive and educational international travel experiences. This advantage afforded her a gateway to a deeper appreciation of diverse cultures, expanded her cultural competence, and began ongoing conversations around White privilege and systemic inequity. These experiences helped her build an intersectional and equity-based framework that supports Talem's organizational capacity building.
Rachel regularly leads workshops on Culturally Responsive Fundraising Practices (for U.S. and international audiences), Practicing Equity and Inclusion as a Nonprofit Leader, Board Governance, and Grant Writing for organizations such as National Peace Corps Association, Atlas Corps, AFP’s DC Chapter, APC, and the Money for Our Movements conference. She has written articles for AFP DC’s monthly newsletter and Advancing Philanthropy magazine.
She is an active advocate on D.C.'s Capitol Hill meeting with legislators on issues ranging from:
Continued support of and rejection of the challenges to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law on March 23, 2010.
Improving institutional oversight and medical preparedness among in-country staff through the Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018. The bill authorizes the Peace Corps to provide medical benefits to a volunteer for 120 days following the end of service if the injury was sustained while serving in the Peace Corps and proximately caused by such service. This Act was passed in 2019 during the 115th Congress.
Requiring menstrual equity and access to menstrual products for serving Peace Corps volunteers as part of the Menstrual Equity for All Act. The legislation was passed in the House but not the Senate during the 116th Congress.
`An Act to condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China.' S. 178 Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response Act of 2019 directs U.S. resources to address human rights violations and abuses, including gross violations of human rights, by the People's Republic of China's mass surveillance and internment of over 1,000,000 Uighurs and other predominantly Turkic Muslim ethnic minorities in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The bill passed the Senate during the 116th Congress.
Medicare for All Act, H.R. 1384, during the 116th Congress that establishes a national health insurance program which must (1) cover all U.S. residents; (2) provide for automatic enrollment of individuals upon birth or residency in the United States; and (3) cover items and services that are medically necessary or appropriate to maintain health or to diagnose, treat, or rehabilitate a health condition, including hospital services, prescription drugs, mental health/substance abuse treatment, dental and vision services, and long-term care.
Improving mental health resources for serving and returned Peace Corps volunteers, whistleblower protections, and increased disability payments for returned volunteers who were sick or injured during their service through H.R. 3456 Peace Corps Reauthorization Act. This act is in front of the House for the 117th Congress.
We will work to support your organization's mission, whether your agency's budget is $50,000, $250,000, $1 million, $5 million, or $100 million. Our team will ensure that you receive the best possible service to develop, grow, and distinguish your agency.