The Director of Development is based in our Chicago headquarters and reports to the CEO. This position oversees all aspects of fundraising within CURE, fostering a culture of philanthropy to realize the organization’s mission of finding a cure for epilepsy. The Director is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive fundraising plan to grow revenues through corporate, foundation, government and individual giving; multi-channel direct appeals; cause-related marketing; signature events; and grassroots fundraising. Working closely with CEO, development team and board, the Director of Development guides efforts to identify and cultivate new prospects for supporting CURE, while at the same time strengthening relationships with current donors. This position will build a significant prospect base and assume responsibility for a fundraising goal.
Thoroughly understand the mission of CURE and its initiatives and serve as an enthusiastic, effective advocate of these initiatives within the community.
Direct creation and implementation of development strategy in support of the CURE strategic plan.
Accountable for leading and managing a team of development professionals responsible for mission-driven annual campaigns, major gifts, corporate and foundation support, planned giving, grants and fundraising/awareness events.
Develop and lead donor cultivation efforts and ensure readiness for and completion of comprehensive campaigns, strengthening donor giving, and increasing the stature of CURE as an outstanding, worthy, and impactful philanthropic cause in the community.
Engage in the gift requests of higher-level donors and in identifying, cultivating, requesting, and stewarding high-level prospects.
Serve as a front-line solicitor to nurture relationships with existing donors and identify and secure new support to increase income from individuals and institutions.
Expand major donor program, with the goal of broadening the donor base through prospect identification, cultivation, and stewardship.
Diversify revenue sources, with a special focus on cultivating a diverse donor base.
Work to build and enhance corporate and major donor sponsor relationships.
Develop compelling grant proposals and sponsorship decks to secure support for CURE’s research initiatives.
Manage donor relations to ensure gift requirements and donor expectations are being fulfilled.
Ensure sponsors receive regular information/evaluations on their investment.
Analyze sponsor potential value and ROI.
Manage donor relationships using Raisers Edge.
Identify opportunities for multi-sponsor initiatives and engage sponsor interest.
Direct management of fundraising events, including peer-to-peer fundraisers, cocktail parties, dinners, and an annual gala.
In collaboration with Marketing and Communications, identify opportunities to enhance CURE’s image and promote the CURE brand.
Evaluate and update development materials to assure maximum opportunities to enhance image.
Steward relationship with key donor contacts in partnership with members of research, development, and marketing/communications teams
Develop strong relationships with Chicago-based and national businesses/corporations through sponsorships and group volunteerism.
Build development operations and oversee systems that allow for greater efficiency and productivity, and foster best practices.
Establish a positive, collaborative relationship with the CEO, staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers to assure the most effective use of talent, resources, and ideas in fundraising; instill development best practices across the organization.
Work with the Board of Directors to leverage their networks, relationships and ideas to generate partnerships and opportunities
Develop internal and external briefing materials, strategies, proposals, presentations, reports, and fundraising collateral.
Record, track, and report on progress against annual objectives.
Achieve budgeted targets for unrestricted and research funding.
Monitor expenses/revenues and ensure that budget expectations are met while ensuring accomplishment of goals and program quality.
Monitor all donor information and prepare statistical analysis, financial progress reports, and budget reports for the CEO, board, committee, and staff meetings.
Manage development team of four, grow their impact through coaching, mentorship, and professional development planning.
Qualifications and skills
Education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Administration, Business Administration, or a closely related field.
Minimum of 10-12 years of progressive non-profit fundraising/development experience, preferably with management and major donor experience.
Minimum five (5) years of experience leading a team and managing staff.
Demonstrated track record of successful fundraising activities, including individual major gift solicitation.
Experience with the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects and securing gifts of $100,000 and above.
Experience with cause-related marketing and other means of engaging/mobilizing individuals in supporting causes with major gifts.
Experience organizing fundraising galas.
Ability to effectively communicate the mission of the organization and articulate the impact of funding epilepsy research.
Experience using Raiser's Edge or similar moves management software.
Highly skilled in MS Office and other computer applications including word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software.
Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to make articulate presentations to individuals and groups, and the ability to write effectively and persuasively.
Excellent judgment and initiative; enthusiastic and entrepreneurial.
Comfortable coaching, supporting, training and retaining young professionals.
Active listener, with an ability to synthesize information and translate into strategy or action plans.
Outstanding ability to thrive under pressure and effectively manage multiple responsibilities.
Experience managing up and laterally to accomplish goals.
Possess compassion, creativity and integrity coupled with an ability to earn the confidence of a wide range of internal and external constituents.
Successful experience working with staff, affiliates, and volunteers to ensure an integrated, organized effort, as well as goal-oriented accomplishments.
A team mentality and an interest in the success of colleagues.
Willingness to travel as needed to cultivate and steward new and existing donor relationships.
The Director of Development reports to CEO and is a member of the Leadership Team. The Director of Development manages the development team of four.
CURE is committed to creating a fun and engaging work environment. Our investment in staff includes: Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Medical, Dental, Vision and Life, 403(b), PTO, sick leave, personal leave, 12 paid holidays, and more.
All interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to the application link below. Due to the large interest in working with CURE, we are not able to take phone calls or personally respond to emails. Potential candidates for open positions will be invited for an interview.
CURE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. CURE is committed to recruiting and maintaining a diverse staff; individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. CURE does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parenthood, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
Additional Salary Information: Commensurate with experience
About CURE | Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy by raising funds for research and by increasing awareness of the prevalence and devastation of this disease. Most of us cannot imagine the horror of watching a child or loved one have even one seizure. Yet for the 3.4 million individuals in the U.S. that live with epilepsy, seizures... may occur every month, every week, or every day. And each seizure can damage a brain or even end a life.
Founded in 1998 by Susan and David Axelrod and a small group of parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from seizures and the side effects of medications.
CURE mission is dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy. Because treatment options are not enough, we identify and fund cutting-edge research, challenging scientists worldwide to collaborate and innovate in pursuit of this goal.