Michelle Bibbs

Associate Senior Consultant

Michelle Bibbs brings over 25 years experience in the nonprofit and public sectors to The Alford Group having been a development director, grant maker, board member, faculty, donor and volunteer at premier arts institutions and universities. Michelle is an associate vice president in the Chicago office and has consulted clients in human services and the arts in building fundraising capacity, strategic planning and assessing fundraising campaign feasibility. Prior to joining The Alford Group, Michelle was a major gift officer for the College of Computing and Digital Media and the School for New Learning at DePaul University.

At the City of Chicago, Michelle directed the $1.8 million grants portfolio for the Department of Cultural Affairs which awarded operating, project, professional development and capacity building funding to arts and social impact organizations, and professional artists. During her eight-year tenure, Michelle helped co-create a four-year, $1.7 million grant and capacity building initiative among the City, The Chicago Community Trust and The Wallace Foundation to strengthen audience engagement practices for Chicago area arts organizations.

Michelle’s experience also includes serving as Director of Development and External Affairs at the DuSable Museum of African American History, and Director of Foundation and Government Relations for the Goodman Theatre.  She is a former adjunct faculty member in the Management Department at Columbia College Chicago and was a guest lecturer for the Fundraising Capacity Building Institute in the Nonprofit Executive Education Program at Kellogg in January 2018.

Michelle has served on grant review panels for state and local arts councils in Illinois, Indianapolis, Metro Nashville, and Michigan and for CBS Chicago/Channel 2. She is a member of AFP and past Chicago Chapter board member, and former member of Grantmakers in the Arts.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Michelle enjoys the arts and traveling.

Joined The Alford Group: 2017

Select Clients:

  • Chicago Urban League
  • Ada S. McKinley Community Services
  • National Museum of Gospel Music
  • The Obsidian Collection

Education & Credentials:

  • M.A. Integrated Marketing Communications, Medill, Northwestern University
  • B.S. Communication Studies, Northwestern University
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