Michelle Patterson was placed as director of development at CARPLS Legal Aid in Chicago, the largest provider of free legal services in Cook County, providing more than 60,000 legal consultations and engaging in approximately 28,000 cases annually for low- and moderate-income people in need. In this role, she will be a champion of CARPLS' mission to provide everyday justice for everyday people, helping develop the strategy for growing revenue and partnering with key stakeholders to build enthusiasm about the organization.
Michelle has worked in nonprofit development and communications for more than 15 years, and brings experience in building strong development teams, growing individual giving, working with board members and volunteers, event planning, and producing effective fundraising communications. She most recently served as development director for Deborah's Place, Chicago's largest permanent housing organization that specifically serves single women who are not caring for children. In this role, she led the strategic planning and budget development for $1.7 million in fundraising, and oversaw the communications function, public relations, and events planning. Michelle was successful in exceeding fundraising goals during the COVID pandemic, and applied the expertise that allowed her to do this to founding a networking group for human services development professionals in the Chicago area.
Previously, Michelle served as associate director of development for Heartland Alliance Health, development manager for Vital Bridges (an organization providing food and nutritional assistance to low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS), development manager for United Way of Chicago, assistant director of the Chicago Society at the University of Chicago (donors of $2,500 or more annually), individual giving officer at Casa Central, and development specialist for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. She began her career in corporate communications after earning her bachelor's degree in communications from Cardinal Stritch University; Michelle also holds a master's degree in public administration from Roosevelt University, with a concentration in nonprofit management.
A lifelong resident of the western suburbs of Chicago, Michelle enjoys cross stitching, spending time outdoors, singing karaoke, and playing the guitar.
QLK's Steve Derks and Shay Owens led the search to recruit Michelle to CARPLS, where her duties will begin on April 19, 2022.