Senior Vice President
Marilyn Foster Kirk, CFRE, is a fundraising professional, consultant and educator with more than 35 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. Her expertise includes fundraising analysis, planning, and consultation; strategic planning; board development; executive and staff fundraising performance; major and principal gifts; and fundraising ethics.
During the $2.25 billion Brilliant Futures campaign for the University of Illinois, Marilyn served as associate vice chancellor of development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and associate vice president of the University of Illinois Foundation, managing advancement teams in twelve degree-granting colleges at UIC. She previously was the chief development officer for the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University and the assistant chancellor for university relations at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside where she was also the executive officer of the UW-Parkside Benevolent Foundation. She has held fundraising positions at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Carroll College, and the Kansas State Historical Society. Prior to entering the fundraising profession, Marilyn was vice president of student affairs and instructor in psychology at Westmar College.
She is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Public Service at DePaul University and has taught fundraising and nonprofit management courses at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Donors Forum of Chicago, and Kansas Wesleyan University.
Marilyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Kansas Wesleyan University and a Master of Education degree from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, she pursued doctoral studies in educational leadership at the University of Kansas and holds diplomas from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and from the Center on Philanthropy’s Executive Leadership Institute at Indiana University.
She has been awarded Young Alumni and Alumni Achievement Awards from Kansas Wesleyan University, the Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the President’s Award from the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a past president and board member of AFP Chicago. She is also an active volunteer with professional and community organizations and is a frequent presenter on nonprofit management and fundraising topics at professional associations and conferences.