Caren Friedman


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Caren Friedman shares the breadth and depth of her 18 years of fundraising and communications expertise—which includes leadership roles at internationally recognized arts, culture, and education institutions—to elevate and exceed standards for audience-driven messaging with every client.

An attentive listener and observer, creative storyteller, and deliberate writer/editor/coach, Caren values the role of relationships and advocates that words matter. It is with these principles that she created Caren Friedman Communications (CFC) to help organizations shape strategic communications that strengthen relationships and inspire action. CFC has been engaged by nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses across multiple sectors, including public radio, day schools, higher education, arts and culture, hospitality, fitness, and entertainment.

Prior to founding CFC, Caren was Director of Development Communications at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she built the museum’s first donor-centric communications team and raised the bar for messages befitting a world-class institution. As the Director of Annual Giving at the renowned Lincoln Park Zoo, Caren brought in more than $7 million in unrestricted gifts. Her experience includes fundraising and communications roles at Spertus Institute and Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. She has held volunteer board positions with arts and education nonprofits Reading in Motion and Erasing the Distance.

Caren graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also earned her Master of Social Work. She is a graduate of the Development Leadership Consortium (DLC) Management Fellows program, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.