Diane Knoepke

Vice President

“Collaboration is vital to sustain what we call profound or really deep change, because without it, organizations are just overwhelmed by the forces of the status quo.”
–Peter M. Senge

Diane Knoepke helps people change their organizations by planning, funding and measuring strategic impact. Working both inside organizations and as an external advisor, Diane has counseled more than 95 nonprofit organizations and corporations on organizational strategy, corporate partnerships, impact measurement, philanthropy, and social innovation.

Diane’s previous roles include managing director, client leadership at ESP Properties (formerly known as IEG), a firm that designs strategies for organizations to unlock greater value from their sponsorships, cause marketing, and other partnerships. With ESP and IEG, Diane spent nine years advising nonprofit organizations and corporations on how to build and secure partnerships for mutual benefit.

Prior to ESP Properties, Diane was a director of Mission Measurement’s nonprofit social impact measurement practice. There she advised nonprofits, municipalities, and corporations on how to frame, measure, and fund their social impact.

Diane has also served as chief of staff for the Midwestern office of Dress for Success Worldwide, where she led a team to establish and operate the new regional hub. She led the Chicago-based team to build both community partnerships and corporate alliances, launch and sustain programs, and serve as a central resource for 20+ Midwestern affiliates.

Earlier in her career, Diane held positions with association management company SmithBucklin and the Chicago Festival Association.

Diane is on the executive committee of Northwestern University’s Council of One Hundred, an organization that connects Northwestern alumnae to female students and graduates to further their career advancement. Diane is also a member of Data Analysts for Social Good, Engage for Good (formerly Cause Marketing Forum), and Chicago Women in Philanthropy. Additionally, Diane captains a team of climbers to raise funds for the Respiratory Health Association’s Hustle Up the Hancock each year. In 2015, the Respiratory Health Association recognized Diane and her husband, Matt, with a Making a Difference Award for their team’s personal fundraising efforts since 2010.

Joined The Alford Group:   2016

Select Clients:

  • After School Matters
  • Chicago Center for Arts and Technology
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • Children’s Place Association
  • The Field Museum
  • Kohl Children’s Museum
  • Miami City Ballet
  • SECO International
  • Shared-Use Mobility Center

Education & Credentials:

  • M.S. Learning and Organizational Change, Northwestern University
  • B.A. English, Northwestern University
  • Certificate in Fundraising Management, DePaul University
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