One of the premiere national organizations developing youth to be informed, empowered, and active citizens and community leaders, Mikva Challenge was founded in 1998 as a tribute to former White House Counsel, Judge, and U.S. Congressman Abner Mikva and his wife Zoe, a former public school teacher and lifelong education activist. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization guided by principles central to our founders: the best way to learn democracy is to do democracy. The consequences for young people are transformative – to identity, to motivation to serve one’s community, to improvements in academic and social lives, and to the development of active, thoughtful citizens and leaders. Mikva Challenge is the founder of Action Civics and is the premier organization developing civic leadership and civic identity of over 20,000 adolescent youth across the country. Mikva is poised for growth to build a national Action Civics movement!
Reports To: President
This position will assist Mikva Challenge to reach its next level as an organization! This is a critical hire at a critical time. After 19 years, Mikva Challenge is on the cusp of significant growth. Three years ago, the organization grew from 1 office to 3 chapters and a staff of 35. Mikva is seeking to hire an individual that will develop a development strategy that will align with the organization’s national growth.
With a creative mindset, the CDO will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will be a detail-oriented individual who functions well in a fast-paced environment. S/he will be an assertive & results-oriented leader with the ability to translate Mikva’s initiatives and strategies into clear objectives for, board and staff. In order to achieve desired results and support strategic objectives, the CDO will have skills to effectively build, develop, and lead the development team.
Relationship Builder and Collaborator
The CDO will have a motivating approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from stakeholders. S/he will be a charismatic leader who can establish rapport and open communication with all constituents and successfully share Mikva’s story and mission. Collaborating closely with the President, the CDO will implement a comprehensive and multi-faceted donor communication and stewardship strategy ensuring donor satisfaction. S/he will be able to develop a strong working relationship with key leaders and will be a proactive communicator at all times.
Position is located in Chicago, Illinois.
Establish a state-of-the-art development program, positioning Mikva for long-term, sustainable success through strong & growing philanthropic support;
Implement a robust development strategy
Support fundraising across Mikva’s three chapters: LA, DC & Chicago.
Work closely with President, CEO (head of Chicago office) and the ED of Mikva’s DC office.
Create and implement a process by which a steady source of donor prospects are identified, researched, and qualified for the appropriate level of cultivation and solicitation.;
Work closely with and oversee Mikva’s Communications Director to deliver strategic messages to various individuals and stakeholder groups to increase their understanding of the organization’s identity and brand, strategic imperatives, and case for charitable support. Develop feedback mechanisms to measure the impact of Mikva’s communications/marketing program;
Prepare annual operational plan for development and fundraising. Delineate timetables, budgets and strategies for accomplishing goals and objectives;
Prepare and ensure accuracy of fundraising reports that monitor monthly progress towards goals;
Review clear policy guidelines for development including gift acceptance, processing & accounting, donor recognition and stewardship;
Develop a master calendar of development activities and events, ensure proper planning, preparation and follow-up;
Develop a strong bond with the organization, thoroughly understanding its history, distinct mission, values and culture, its youth participants, operations, base of financial support, and the opportunities for involvement;
Build a vibrant working relationship with the organization’s President/National Director and other members of the Executive Team and provide them with timely advice and counsel in all development and public relations areas;
Collaborate and leverage relationships of the President, CEO, Board Members and senior leaders ensuring they are effectively supported to achieve fundraising goals;
Assist the President in managing relationships with current and former Board of Directors, identifying and recruiting new members, setting philanthropic goals for the board, and participating in relevant committees of the board;
Balance internal management responsibilities with the external sales nature of the position. The role requires the candidate to be visible in the civic and philanthropic community of Chicago (often by attending events to that raise awareness of Mikva and its work), promote Mikva’s presence in appropriate business and civic conversations, and attract donors and advocates to advance Mikva’s mission;
Manage up to 2 major fundraising events each fiscal year;
Manage the performance and professional development of the development team.
Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
8-10 years experience in development, fundraising.
Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work with varied constituencies.
Superb written and verbal communication skills.
Strong financial competence in budgeting and revenue goal setting.
Working knowledge of donor database programs, preferably DonorPro/Salsa Labs.
To express your interest in this opportunity, please submit your resume to email@example.com. Potential candidates of interest will be contacted by Mikva Challenge. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. Mikva Challenge is an equal opportunity employer and we highly value diversity in our workplace. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. Candidates chosen to be interviewed should be prepared to offer three professional references and a writing sample upon request. Candidates will be required to complete a background check in order to work in Chicago Public Schools. This is a full-time position. No phone calls will be accepted!