Chris Jabin founded Dragonfly Advisors, Inc. in 2017, serving clients by offering strategic consulting to build funding networks, develop leadership, and establish or enhance development programs.
Prior to establishing Dragonfly Advisors, Inc., he built a 30-year diverse fundraising career serving Chicago’s elite arts, culture, zoo and aquarium organizations. Most recently, Chris was Senior Vice President of Development for the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS). He led Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Corporate Partners, Planned Giving and Special Campaigns. Before joining CZS, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he began his career in 1987, to serve as Director of Institutional Giving helping to launch Lyric Unlimited and support Lyric’s Creative Consultant, Renee Fleming and General Director, Anthony Freud with major funding initiatives.
Preceding the return to Lyric, Chris served for over a decade, as the Executive Vice President for Development at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. He was responsible for all fundraising, membership and travel programs of the Aquarium, as well as assisting leadership with governance and Board development. Chris directed campaigns raising more than $75 million for capital improvements and expansion, implemented a planned giving program to grow the endowment, and directed annual fund campaigns that grew from $5 million to more than $11 million during his tenure.
As Director of Development for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) he oversaw the completion of a $60 million capital campaign and an expanded annual giving program. Before joining the MCA, he served the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation in Oak Park as Director of External Relations.
In recognition of his many contributions to the field, Chris received the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2014. He was elected to the Board of Arts Alliance Illinois in 2012, became a member of the Executive Committee in 2013 and serves as the Board Secretary. He was honored by UBS in 2008 as one of the first participants in their Nonprofit Scholars Art of Leadership Program offered in conjunction with Northwestern University. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the School of the Art Institute and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Chris received his BA in psychology from Albion College in Michigan with a concentration in public service from the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Service.