“Philanthropy is the bridge that allows the organizations we work with to cross that gap from a place where they are limited to a place where they are unlimited in their potential."
Laura Aikens has spent her entire professional career in fundraising, partnering with organizations to identify and unlock their strategic vision during times of monumental change. She is grounded by her belief that all people are intrinsically driven to make a difference in the world – in their local community, within their families, in the public sphere, or elsewhere.
During her 11 years at CCS, Laura has furthered her commitment to driving real, lasting impact through each of her engagements. In addition to providing strategic counsel, Laura serves as a thought partner to her clients as they contemplate how best to meet their organization’s most urgent and long-term goals.
While Laura is a task-oriented, detail-driven leader at heart, she never loses sight of the big picture. She also often reflects on lessons learned within the scope of each partnership to ensure key insights and innovations are carried from one engagement to the next.
As Senior Vice President, Laura shares strategic planning, data analysis, major gift program development, annual fund operations, and leadership engagement expertise with organizations throughout the Central
U.S. Prior to her current role, Laura gained experience in grant writing, database management, special events, annual giving, and major gift fundraising at the American Red Cross and St. Joseph Mercy Health System as a Development Associate and Annual Giving Manager, respectively.
In addition to making an impact in her role at CCS, Laura is active in the broader philanthropic community, serving on the AFP Chicago board and volunteering with her local church. Laura has a strong background in Social Work as well, having received her master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Social Systems from the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Hope College.
Laura currently resides in Chicago and enjoys spending time with her family, in her container garden, and exploring different cities across the U.S. and beyond.
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
- Archdiocese of Chicago
- Michigan Opera Theatre
- Evans Scholars Foundation (Chicago, IL)
- University of Windsor
- Cathedral High School (Indianapolis, IN)