Based in Chicago as well as Los Angeles, Eileen Gill has more than twenty years’ success as a senior development executive and consultant. Eileen specializes in organizational capacity-building: fundraising, marketing, board development, and strategic planning. Her experience with cultural and educational organizations is reflected in her focus on helping organizations plan for dynamic institutional growth and change. Her work with diverse institutions—from start-ups to major cultural and educational institutions—gives her a deep understanding of what motivates donors and makes an organization effective. Eileen’s hands-on approach provides practical solutions and solid practices that increase organizations’ capacity for growth.

Eileen works with cultural and educational organizations ranging from start-ups to mid-sized organizations to universities and major art museums. In a staff or consulting capacity, she has planned annual, sponsorship, capital, and endowment fundraising campaigns for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Getty Museum, Northlight Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Santa Barbara Symphony, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and others. Eileen has also directed highly successful membership and development programs at large institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, The American Red Cross, and the University of Chicago.

As a consultant, Eileen has conducted development assessments and campaign feasibility studies, designed development plans and led strategic planning processes  for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Opera America,We Tell Stories, the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves, Loyola University Museum of Art, Los Angeles Music and Art School, New Jersey State Opera, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Opera Idaho, Special Olympics Chicago, and the City of Hammond, Indiana, among others.

As a volunteer, Eileen was co-founder of Next Step for Teen Mothers, an integrated program of education, mentoring, support, and family health for at-risk high-school mothers. She has served on the boards of the Chicago Panel on School Policy, the Junior League of Chicago, and the Development and Membership Division of the American Association of Museums and currently serves on the board of Urban Gateways.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Eileen lives in Chicago.

 Why hire an Interim Executive or Development Director?

Experienced Interim Directors have the following characteristics:

  • They understand the need to achieve financial goals.
  • They know how to support staff and keep staff focused in times of transition.
  • They have been senior managers and directors with a great deal of experience.
  • They are willing to move into a role and take over a specific function or a general management role at short notice.
  • They are able to “hit the ground running” and understand the critical elements of the job immediately.
  • They are flexible in approach.

What are the benefits of hiring an Interim Director?

Speed: one of the major benefits of Interim Directors is that they will come in and start immediately, identify the key issues,  and put effective tactics and processes in place.

Goal-centered:  Interim Directors focus on the essentials of achieving fundraising goals, and keep staff focused on the most high-impact work.

Experience: Interim Managers are highly skilled and have a wealth of experience. They have encountered and worked through many issues in fundraising and not-for-profit management.

Flexibility:   with a broad range of experience in fundraising management, an interim director can manage multiple programs at a high level.

Contract: there are no “strings” to her/his placement, she is there for as long needed.

Change Management: Interim Directors are often used to bring about change that would be difficult, for a number of reasons, for internal staff to undertake. The Interim Director can be a catalyst for change, identifying the key issues and changes needed, and then implement them with no strings or politics attached.

Enabling a good hiring process:  Placing an Interim Manager/Director in the position will give you the time and freedom to undertake a full and detailed recruitment process, taking the pressure off the department to fill the post quickly.

Skills: providing a specialist skill or discipline.

Challenges: providing expertise for challenges in the business for which permanent roles have not been defined, or for which internal expertise does not exist.

Cost-effectiveness: Fees for an Interim Executive are designed to work within your existing budget for the vacant position.  When all factors are taken into account—speed of the learning curve, level of experience, time efficiency, and exemption from additional benefits compensation–the use of an Interim Director will be extremely cost-effective and provide very good value.

Why are Interim Directors cost-effective?

  • They don’t need lengthy orientation – they “hit the ground running”. They are adept at getting into a company and culture very quickly.
  • They are focused on the bottom line, and in keeping results on track despite staff vacancies.
  • They can bridge gaps in senior staff/board while permanent solutions are found.
  • Provide external experience that will enhance the existing team’s skills.
  • They can implement change very effectively where necessary.
  • Management contracts can be as short or long as needed.