The Team

With over 20 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector at organizations including Chrysalis, the Ford Foundation, and the Public Theater, Mara Manus founded Manus+Co in 2011 to support community-based organizations in all stages of their evolution, from concept to start-up through maturity.

Mara Manus


Following my varied leadership roles in the nonprofit world, I founded Manus+Co to create greater opportunity for art and artists through the growth of effective and strong organizations.  We believe that leading the growth of organizations can best be achieved through the building of their communities and their leadership.


Manus+Co believes that nonprofits will fully realize their missions with strong institutional durability and competence.  We are committed to building strong organizations in order to create greater opportunity for your nonprofit mission.

Mara and her team manage a select number of engagements at any given time in order to deliver the personal attention and necessary focus that each client deserves.  Manus+Co customizes every engagement to achieve each client’s unique objectives on time and on budget with an appreciation for the need to balance creative and financial priorities in ways that align staff, board and community interests.

Please feel free to contact Mara here.

About Mara

Mara Manus is an accomplished innovator in the field of not-for-profit leadership and organizational development.

Mara started her career in the film industry as a Vice President at at MCA/Universal, where she managed creative projects through artistic and production phases for such luminaries as John Hughes, Amblin Entertainment, and Chevy Chase. Following her stint at Universal, Mara also held executive positions at Trans-Pacific Films, New Line Cinema and Azoff Entertainment.

In a dramatic career shift in 1994, Mara traded in her esteemed position in the film industry to move into the nonprofit sector as Executive Director of Chrysalis, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization that helps low-income individuals find and retain employment. During her four years of leadership at Chrysalis, she established new offices in three additional communities, increased job placements by 350%, doubled the organization’s staff and expanded its budget from $1 million to $4 million.

In 1998, Mara undertook a new challenge in New York as a Program Officer for economic development and a PRI Officer in the Arts at the Ford Foundation.  In her new post, she annually awarded $5 million in grants for national initiatives related to the development of the lower end of the labor market.  She also worked closely with grantees in their development and strategic growth, partnering with colleagues at the Rockefeller, Annie E. Casey and Packard Foundations.

From 2002 through 2008, as Executive Director of The Public Theater, Mara led the financial stabilization and restructuring of the nation’s foremost theatrical producer of Shakespeare and new work, ushering in a period of remarkable artistic expansion. Partnering with Artistic Director George C. Wolfe, Mara and her team grew the theater’s annual budget from $11 million to over $20 million, and increased the organization’s contributed income from $7 million to over $11 million. She initiated a complex $24 million Capital Improvement Project to revitalize The Public Theater’s downtown home, raising $21 million with New York City and State funds. The project opened up the landmark building to Lafayette Street, creating a public piazza for artists, theater-goers and the neighborhood that increased accessibility and fostered public engagement.

Serving as the Executive Director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center from 2008-2010, Mara ushered the Society through a period of major growth in preparation for a dramatic expansion of the Society’s presence at Lincoln Center. She oversaw the final phase of development of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center that opened in 2011, raising over $5 million in capital support, and completed the $19 million core and shell construction phase on budget.

In 2011, Mara launched her nonprofit consulting firm, Manus+Co.

Mara is a graduate of Trinity School in New York City and Stanford University. She also earned a certificate in nonprofit management at Harvard Business School.  Mara has previously served on the Board of Verite and Labyrinth Theater Company. She is currently a member of the New York Committee for Stanford Arts and the Development Committee of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm in Shelter Island NY.  In addition to being featured in The Cathedral Within by Bill Shore (Random House, 1999) and In Search of America’s Best Non-Profits by Richard Steckel & Jennifer Lehman (Jossey Bass, 1997), Mara was also the recipient of CBS News “What’s Right with Southern California” Award in 1998.


Céline Delcayre/Junior Associate

Céline finds her passion in connecting the arts to the community, and in support and advocacy for nonprofit organizations. She is a graduate of Sonoma State University where she earned a B.A. in Theatre Studies and a B.S. in Business Management. She left the West Coast to work in the literary office at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT helping to manage a submission and selection process involving over 1,500 applicants across five conferences. In the fall of 2014 she moved to New York City to complete an apprenticeship in Dramaturgy and General Management at the Lark Play Development Center. Céline’s early work in dramaturgy was nationally recognized at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in 2013 and she has since served as a dramaturg for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), Young Playwrights Festival (YPF), and several independent projects. She is thrilled to be a part of the Manus+Co team!