Fundraising leaders sharpen their skills, together

Fundraising leaders sharpen their skills, together

By Erin Lippert, student reporter

The 2019 cohort of the Baumhart Center’s Fundraising for Good program launched with eighteen chief development officers from many of Chicago’s highest performing nonprofit organizations.

The program, delivered in partnership with AFP Chicago, brings together fundraising executives once a month for ten months to engage in discussion around shared learning objectives, such as how to leverage current trends in philanthropy and how to better attract corporate and foundation support. In addition to the monthly meetings, each participant attends two private advising sessions with the program’s lead faculty member, Shannon Alexander.

Participant Francie Schnipke Richards of CPS recently had her first private session and described the experience as transformational. "I have received more practical guidance from Shannon and this program in ten hours than a year of experience,” said Richards. “It is both incredibly helpful to have someone with such tremendous experience validate your efforts and strategies, and equally valuable to pick up new methods from her expertise."

For Francie and Molly Silverman of the YWCA, the chance to be a part of Fundraising for Good was sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. When asked why Fifth Third was interested in sponsoring these two participants, Senior Vice President Nicole Johnson-Scales shared, “We believe in building the capacity of our not for profit partners. We recognize that often organizations don’t have the resources to invest in the development of their staff. Collaborations with institutions like Loyola University create an opportunity to invest in our community partners in a new way. It is our belief that by doing so, leaders can be even more effective in supporting the constituents that they serve.”

To learn more about the eighteen leaders selected for the 2019 Fundraising for Good Leadership Network, click here to see their biographies.