Make us part of your team.

Erica Bittner, CEO founded the beginnings of Artistic Fundraising Group in 2014 to share her fundraising know-how with her artist friends working to fund their own work. In just six years, Artistic Fundraising Group has grown into a team of four nonprofit professionals nearly 50 years of fundraising experience between us. We bring the foundation of the high-profile experience we’ve garnered at major arts institutions into the best practices we instill in our clients embarking on a fundraising journey for the very first time. We’ve successfully raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for nonprofits over the course of our collective careers for multi-million-dollar nonprofits as well as those operating at less than $50,000 a year.

We are all working artists and educators in addition to our careers in fundraising. As such, we are passion-driven individuals. We bring an intimate understanding of the artistic workings of arts programing to our fundraising which empowers us to present our clients to prospective funders with an unparalleled, competitive edge.

Erica Bittner, Founder and CEO

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Erica Bittner, CEO founded Artistic Fundraising Group after many years of working in development at organizations such as the Auditorium Theatre, Redmoon Theater, and CHIRP Radio. She has managed rigorous grant programs, created inaugural fundraising campaigns, and secured significant new sources of revenue for every organization in her portfolio. She has also served as a panelist for the DCASE CityArts grant program. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and a certificate in Acting Shakespeare from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Erica is a professional actor whose work can be found on The Chi (Showtime), Chicago Fire (NBC), Soundtrack (Netflix), and in theatres throughout Chicago.

 

Kayla Boye, consultant

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Kayla Boye, Consultant brings a specialization in arts administration from her tenures at Writers Theatre, where she served in finance and marketing, and Goodman Theatre, where she served in development. She has cultivated additional fundraising experience from her time at the Youngstown State University Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Akron Children’s Hospital. Passionate about the arts and creative expression, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing & Editing from Youngstown State University and is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. As an artist, she has performed on Chicago stages at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, and Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works).

 

Catherine Gillespie, Consultant

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Catherine Gillespie, Consultant graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan with a degree in Musical Theatre. She has taught at Columbia College Chicago, Oakland University's Music Prep Division, Evanston's Young Artists Program, and The Viola Project, where she has also been Grants Director for three years. She has a certificate in Grant Writing from DePaul University and has worked as a freelance grant writer for five years. She is a professional dialect coach, having coached dialects for productions at City Lit Theater, Promethean Theatre Ensemble, Haven Theatre, Red Theatre Chicago, Citadel Theatre, Rasaka Theatre Company and more.

 

elizabeth Lovelady, Consultant

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Elizabeth Lovelady, Consultant is a playwright, director and arts fundraising consultant. Lizzie’s development journey began at Northwestern University where she was a Program Assistant in Alumni Relations and Development. Her first position in arts fundraising was as Development Coordinator at Theater Wit. She then joined The House Theatre of Chicago as Development Manager. She was the first full-time development staff person at both organizations, building formal individual giving and fundraising events programs for both organizations. As a director and playwright, she has frequently worked with Red Theater Collective, where she is a Company Member and Board Member. She currently lives in Dublin, Ireland, pursuing an MFA in Directing from The Lir Academy, Trinity College.