Before joining Demos, O’Neal-McElrath was the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Center for Community Change (CCC), where she was responsible for the revenue generation of both the 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations, institutional branding and marketing, and special projects. Prior to her tenure at CCC, she was the founding principal of O’Neal Consulting, a full-service organizational development practice that specialized in multi-funder collaborations, board development, strategic planning, resource development, and interim executive leadership. Other career highlights include senior positions with The San Diego Foundation, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, and the United Negro College Fund/UNCF.

O’Neal-McElrath has served as an instructor and guest lecturer in many settings, including teaching a course in major gifts fundraising while on the faculty of the University of California Los Angeles Extension, as well as grantsmanship, annual fund campaigns, and nonprofit management workshops through various Volunteer Centers, professional development conferences, and presentations at American University in Washington DC.  She is a published author of Winning Grants: Step by Step, Fourth Edition (a Wiley Publication, 2013), as well as a contributing author to Nonprofit 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals (a Wiley Publication, 2012).  She also co-authored Winning Grants: Step by Step, Third Edition (a Wiley Publication, 2008).