Michael Ziener, MNA

Director of Philanthropy - Primary Markets

Region covered: Illinois (City of Chicago), State of Indiana


Michael Ziener is the Director of Philanthropy, Primary Markets for the American Cancer Society.  He is a graduate of the Executive Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) program and holds a certificate in Executive Integral Leadership from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business. Michael received the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Founders Award by the Mendoza College of Business faculty for integrity and character consistent with Notre Dame ideals.

In his role at the American Cancer Society, he builds support from current and new individual and family foundation investors of five, six and seven-figure gifts. He is responsible for Chicago and all of Indiana. Formerly, Michael was the CEO of the Susan G. Komen Affiliate in Chicago. He built capacity from one part-time employee into a team of twelve diverse nonprofit professionals, grew the board to fifteen members, increased revenue from $1MM to $4MM in four-years, and was awarded the Global Affiliate of the Year Award by the Founder. After his role with Komen, Michael was the Midwest Vice President of Development for buildOn where he helped develop and exponentially grow the major giving, foundation relations, and corporate philanthropy departments in his region. He was the Founder of his own nonprofit consultancy firm, MacroMentum, helping organizations create strategic growth models of sustainability with diversification in revenue streams, scale programmatic growth to align with revenue and develop mass-market communication plans. He adopts a situational leadership model, champions service above self and has a “learner” approach to team building. He believes that personal and professional development is a life-long process.

Michael lost his entire family to cancer. The biggest impact was losing his mother to breast cancer when he was 9-years old. He is honoring his mom, dad, family members, and friends lost to the cancer fight. It is his calling to find the funding to fuel the programs and research necessary so there are no more cancer orphans. Michael is a U.S. Navy veteran and served in the Gulf. He is the father to his son, Nicholas, and they both love baseball, basketball, music, Walt Disney World, and of course, Netflix.

For more information about making an investment in the American Cancer Society, please call Michael at 312.960.2348, or email him at michael.ziener@cancer.org.