My 'Why'
mission statement
Encourage people to find meaning in authentic relationship with God, self, and others.

About Otto...

     Before his full-time retirement last December, Otto joined Episcopal Charities in April, 2001 to oversee annual and planned giving as Director of Development. In 2008, Otto assumed responsibility for Episcopal Charities' Capacity Building Program as Director of Organizational & Leadership Development. His responsibilities included working with grantees to develop a new generation of effective not-for-profit leaders, equipping them with the skills, perspectives, and resources needed to manage strong, effective governing boards, to increase their success in fundraising, and to improve their communication strategies.

     In his role, Otto also worked with vestries and Missions & Outreach committees at Episcopal congregations to assist their philanthropy and to help raise the visibility of Episcopal Charities and the work of its partner agencies in the Diocese.

     Since 1976, Otto served in similar capacities for other not-for-profit organizations, including The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (Evanston, IL) and Uhlich Children’s Home (now UCAN, Chicago).  In addition to his duties as The Rotary Foundation's first professional fundraiser, Otto developed and supervised the Foundation's philanthropy through an international Special Grants program that linked Rotary Districts in different countries for joint health-related programs.  While working with the Board of Trustees to disburse more than $25 million over the program's first five years, Otto also participated in a task force of distinguished Rotarian volunteers to transition this program into what became Polio Plus, an international public health endeavor resulting in the near-eradication of polio worldwide.

     While at Uhlich Children's Home Otto directed the agency's successful application to The Chicago Community Trust which resulted in the Home receiving the 1997 James V. Brown Award for Excellence.  For more than twenty-five years, Otto has worked exclusively for Christian faith-based organizations.

     Otto is a frequent presenter on fundraising, not-for-profit leadership, governance, and communication and has trained hundreds of not-for-profit executives to be more effective in their leadership roles.

     He earned a Master of Science in Communication degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and received his B.S. degree with honors in Journalism/Marketing from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

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