Phone: 312.222.0560
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The work (Marilyn and Betsy) completed for the ESO has been exemplary in all aspects and we learned a lot from (their) work and experiences. (Their) professionalism, enthusiasm and understanding regarding the tasks we need to accomplish have been widely noted and sincerely appreciated by all whom (they) have touched.

Dave Bearden
Elgin Symphony Orchestra

Marilyn Foster Kirk, CFRE

Executive Vice President

Marilyn Foster Kirk, CFRE, is a fundraising professional, consultant and educator with more than 35 years’ experience. Her expertise includes fundraising analysis, planning, and performance; strategic planning; board development; executive and fundraising staff development; major and principal gifts; and fundraising ethics.

She has held the following professional fundraising leadership positions: associate vice chancellor of development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and associate vice president of the University of Illinois Foundation, chief development officer for the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University, assistant chancellor for university relations at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and executive officer of the UW-Parkside Foundation. She also served as a development officer for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Carroll College, and the Kansas State Historical Society.

She teaches in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University and at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Marilyn was awarded a bachelor’s degree from Kansas Wesleyan University; pursued graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Kansas; and earned diplomas from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

She is the recipient of her alma mater’s Young Alumni and Alumni Achievement Awards, 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 an active volunteer with professional and community organizations and is a frequent speaker on nonprofit management and fundraising topics at professional associations and conferences.

Marilyn’s Recent Blog Posts