Edie Canter, principal of Canter Strategies, provides nonprofits with expert consulting in development, strategic planning, Board relations, and communications. Edie brings to the table over 35 years of experience in strategy, analysis, research and writing, advocacy, and management.

Most recently, Edie served for seven years as Executive Director of Chicago Debates, an education nonprofit serving Chicago Public School students. She presided over unprecedented growth in budget, donor engagement and student impact, and garnered numerous major grants and awards for the organization.

Previously, Edie was Director of Development and Communications for Leadership Greater Chicago, and the principal of Persuasion Plus, a writing consultancy through which she prepared grants, appeals, outreach materials, and substantive analyses and reports for nonprofits in a variety of sectors. Edie transitioned into the nonprofit sector in 1999, after practicing law full-time for 15 years, with a concentration in complex and class litigation.

Currently, Edie serves on the Leadership Board for the National Immigrant Justice Center and co-chairs the Chicago Committee of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. Other volunteer affiliations have included Women Employed (previous Board Chair), Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, and Princeton in Chicago Schools. Edie is a member of the Association for Consultants to Nonprofits. In 2019, the Princeton Club of Chicago honored Edie with the John R. Fish Distinguished Service to the Community Award.

Edie received her undergraduate degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University in 1980 and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1984.

Clients and Other Nonprofit Engagements

Edie Canter has been involved in nonprofit work as a leader, staff member, consultant, Board member or volunteer for over 35 years. She has experience in diverse areas of nonprofit work, including education, legal services, advocacy, women’s issues, health and mental health services, social services, and the arts. Here are some of her key engagements.

As Staff

  • Chicago Debates, Executive Director
  • Leadership Greater Chicago, Director of Development and Communications

As Consultant

  • Access Community Health Network
  • The Boulevard of Chicago
  • Cathedral Counseling Center
  • Chicago Chess Foundation
  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Chicago Survivors
  • Children’s Place Association
  • Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce
  • Equip for Equality
  • Erie Family Health Centers
  • Family Christian Health Center
  • Heartland Alliance
  • IFF
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Partnership for College Completion
  • Porchlight Theater
  • Teen Living Programs
  • The Blockchain Institute
  • Women Employed
  • … and more

Volunteer leadership and engagement

  • National Immigrant Justice Center: Leadership Board and Pro Bono Attorney
  • Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation: Leadership Development, Strategic Planning and Education
  • Princeton Prize in Race Relations: Co-Chair of Chicago Committee
  • Princeton Club of Chicago: Board Member, Princeton in Chicago Schools, Princeton Diversity
  • Chicago HOPES for Kids: Tutor and mentor
  • Women Employed: Board Chair, Board and Advocacy Committee