"Jen's guidance was instrumental in helping our organization to pull off our most successful fund-raiser to date. Jen has a keen sense of all of the moving parts that must come together to create a successful event…”

Ann McCartney, Event Chair/Board Member, A Red Orchid Theatre

Since 2011, I have been working as a freelance Event Coordinator, overseeing fundraising events for various not-for-profit organizations in the Chicago area, including Second Sense, Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago Improv Productions, Evanston Community Foundation and Evanston150. I also had the pleasure of serving as Director of Development for A Red Orchid Theatre from 2013 to 2015, where I oversaw fundraising efforts, donor cultivation and Board development. In June 2010, I stepped down from the role of Executive Director at the Piven Theatre Workshop.  Within my 16 year tenure at Piven, my development accomplishments included:

  • Increasing contributions from 13% of the total annual budget to 48% of the annual budget
  • Serving as sole Event Coordinator, managing multiple fundraising events every year ranging from intimate VIP receptions to major movie premieres to the celebrity hosted annual galas, including the most successful one to date, the 2010 Gala which raised over $200,000 and featured live and silent auctions in two locations
  • Initiating and hosting annual donor appreciation events and alumni gatherings in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles
  • Negotiating partnerships with many recurring event sponsors such as Ketel One Vodka, Sam Adams, Rockit Ranch Productions, the Hard Rock Hotel, and the Affinia Hotel 
  • Serving as the organization’s sole Grant Writer, securing over $500,000 in corporate and foundation grants from such sources as:

National Endowment for the Arts

Theatre Communications Group

Kennedy Center Foundation

Illinois Arts Council

Evanston Arts Council

Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

Government of France

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

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