Phil Zielinski, CFRE

Director of Philanthropy, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Phil Zielinski is the Director of Philanthropy for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a residential care facility for abused, neglected and homeless youth in Chicago, which has been a solution for kids in crisis for more than 130 years. He supports the organization's mission by cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major and planned gifts from a diverse donor base, both locally and nationally. Phil manages a team of Philanthropic Advisors who work with donors to maximize their impact on the causes they care about, while minimizing tax exposure. Although Mercy Home's programming exists only in Chicago, more than two thirds of donors come from outside the Chicagoland area. This means that raising major and planned gifts relies heavily on marketing and active solicitation from philanthropic advisors.

Phil has been working with donors to establish planned gifts for six years and has worked in the field of philanthropy for nearly 15 years. Prior to his work at Mercy Home, he was a lobbyist, program associate, grant administrator and event planner for the Center for Court Innovation, a criminal justice think tank in New York City. In a past life, he spent seven years as a Wildland Firefighter throughout the American West. Phil received his BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter, as well as Oscar, the snugliest dog on the block.