About Our Chapter & Leadership

2024 Central Illinois Chapter Board of Directors



Kimberly Scheirer, CFRE

Past President & Scholarship Chair

Joy Hutchcraft, CFRE

Secretary & Newsletter

Veronica Stalter


Jen Funk

VP, Professional Advancement

Bree Muehlbauer, MPA, CFRE


Leni Kuntz

Be the Cause Campaign Chair

Danielle Easton


Toni Burningham

National Philanthropy Day CO-ChairS

Kristen Berchtold, CFRE

Ann Rude


Ruthie Bertram

Matt McVey


Our Chapter

In 1981, Dr. Ian Sturrock, Bradley University, and Major Don Nathan, Salvation Army, along with several other development professionals, began organizing informational meetings about the then-National Society of Fund Raising Executives. Their goal was to generate sufficient interest and commitment among development professional in the community to form a Chapter of NSFRE. Fifteen dues-paying members were required in order to form an official Chapter.

By 1982 Sturrock and Nathan had secured enough dues-paying members to achieve their goal and the Central Illinois Chapter of NSFRE was officially chartered and recognized by the National Office.

At the time, the Central Illinois Chapter was only the second Chapter in the state of Illinois and the only Chapter outside of Chicago.

Initial Chapter educational meetings were held quarterly in the basement of the YWCA, then in downtown Peoria. Within a year or two, meetings were being held monthly.

The Central Illinois Chapter has a history of leadership in providing educational opportunities for development professionals and of excellence in the process. Among its firsts and awards for excellence are:


  • 1984 – Chapter held its first awards function

  • 1984 – Chapter held its first fundraising conference

  • 1986 - Spun off the Capital Area/Springfield Chapter 

  • 1987 - Chapter pun off the Quad Cities Chapter in 1987

  • 1988 - Was the second Chapter in the US to offer the NSFRE First Course in Fund Raising outside of the National Conference

  • 1988 - Received its first Five-Star Chapter Achievement Award

  • 1988 - Had its founding member, Dr. Ian T. Sturrock, CFRE, named National Outstanding Fund Raising Executive

  • 1989 - Piloted the NSFRE Internship Program at Bradley University in 1989

  • 1989 - Spun off the East Central Chapter

  • 1989 - Offered the NSFRE Survey Course and CFRE exam in Peoria

  • 1990 - Created the Ian T. Sturrock Scholarship Fund at the then-Peoria Area Community Foundation in memory of Dr. Sturrock who had been named President of NSFRE but died before he could assume that office. He died in 1989. 

  • 1992 - Held its first Basics 101: Introduction to Fund Raising program in 1992, and received its first NSFRE Founder’s Award for Public Service in 1993, for the Basics 101 program.

  • 1999 - Received its first NSFRE Abel Hanson Award for communications

  • 2008 - Received its first AFP Friends of Diversity designation