Julie Captain

Julie Captain, CFRE, CAP®

Position Associate Vice President, Advancement
Phone Number Description Phone

Telephone Number


About Me

About Me

Julie is a highly successful nonprofit executive with more than 25 years in healthcare philanthropy — a natural result of being raised by two nurses and studying the life sciences and music in college. She maintains a proven track record for optimizing teams and securing principal, major and planned/deferred gifts through the responsible and thoughtful stewardship of internal and external stakeholders.

As Associate Vice President, Julie leads Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Advancement team in their fundraising and stewardship efforts, and also plays an integral role in the organization’s $100 million "Accelerate Ability” campaign.  

Previously, she invested nearly 19 years at Northwestern Medicine in a variety of roles, most recently serving as Director of Development and Planned Giving at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. There, she co-led their $150 million “Our Legacy. Our Future.” campaign. She also previously spent time at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (then the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) in the early years of the organization’s “Advance Human Ability” campaign. Julie also served as Senior Regional Development Director for Conservation International, a nonprofit that creates healthy, sustainable communities around the world. She rejoined Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Advancement team in 2018.

Julie’s professional forte is in creative gift-planning. She has been involved heavily with the Chicago Council on Planned Giving throughout her career, including serving as its President. In 2023, she received the organization’s prestigious Russell V. Kohr Award in recognition of her professional accomplishments and mentorship to others. 

Julie received her Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Active in her community, she has served on the Evanston Community Foundation Board of Directors and completed Leadership Evanston. She currently serves as Co-moderator of First Congregational Church of Evanston, UCC, and leads its justice/advocacy board.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 East Erie

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Professional Associations



    1992 - 1997
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Bachelor of Music


  • Chicago Council on Planned Giving
    Member and Past President (2011-2013)
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
  • Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)