Erin Dowland Kabwe named Vice President of Development at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Nonprofit executive brings nearly 25 years’ experience in fundraising initiatives, special events and stakeholder engagement.

Chicago, IL—Erin Dowland Kabwe, a nonprofit executive and strategic leader with diverse experience in fundraising and innovative programming, has been named vice president of development at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.

Erin Dowland Kabwe

Over a nearly 25-year career, Dowland Kabwe has raised more than $200 million for mission-driven organizations, from grassroots to global. Former leadership roles include executive director for Humboldt Park Health Foundation and chief development officer at CEDA. Previously, she raised nearly $30 million through two initiatives at Opportunity International and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). While at LCIF, Dowland Kabwe launched a major gifts program and secured $13.5 million from eight countries through a series of events held over six months. She also has worked and consulted for United Way.

“We are delighted to welcome Erin to the team,” Shriver Center President & CEO Audra Wilson said. “She brings a stellar track record in fundraising initiatives, special events and stakeholder engagement. As we finalize our new strategic plan, Erin’s experience in leading a development team and commitment to justice will play a key role in the growth, innovation and sustainability of the Shriver Center.”

From litigating and shaping policies in Illinois to training and convening multi-state networks of public interest attorneys, the Shriver Center uses advocacy to create solutions for low-income communities. As vice president of development, Dowland Kabwe will connect people and resources to the organization’s mission and impact; oversee foundation, event and individual giving activities; secure major gifts and planned gifts; support and guide the president & CEO in donor cultivation and stewardship; and lead efforts to develop stronger funding partnerships with law firms, corporations and other institutions.

“Building a future free from racism and poverty is critically important,” Dowland Kabwe said. “That’s why I’m honored to join such an impressive team investing in real change for racial and economic justice. I’m also excited to work closely with the organization’s leaders and our generous community to direct the Shriver Center into its next chapter of philanthropy and fundraising priorities.”

Dowland Kabwe is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and has lived abroad while volunteering with United Way of Jamaica and the U.S. Peace Corps in Ukraine from 2008 to 2011. She will be based at the Shriver Center’s headquarters in Chicago. 


About the Shriver Center on Poverty Law

The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for economic and racial justice. Over our 50-year history, we have secured hundreds of victories with and for people living in poverty in Illinois and across the country. Today, we litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multi-state networks of lawyers, community leaders and activists nationwide. Together, we are building a future where all people have equal dignity, respect and power under the law. Join the fight at

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