VOCEL’s Development Director will work in close partnership with VOCEL’s Executive Director and leadership team. This is a new role charged with designing and implementing a comprehensive and strategic development plan for VOCEL’s expected growth. This an ideal opportunity for a proven nonprofit fundraiser who’s motivated by innovation, creativity and the excitement of unchartered territory at a young, non-profit organization. The ideal candidate will be ready to jump in and work both collaboratively and individually in pursuit of big goals.
Development Strategy & Management
Work in close partnership with the ED to develop annual revenue goals and plans to diversify and increase current organizational budget of $1.2 million through a comprehensive development strategy; track and report progress against development plan;
Support ongoing communication, cultivation and stewardship of donor audiences;
Coordinate all development functions, providing support and mentoring staff in VOCEL’s development efforts;
Oversee management and strengthening of development processes and systems, including recordkeeping, gift acknowledgments, renewals, mailings and calendar;
Generate Development dashboard and other reports; analyze such reports and share findings with ED and board as needed;
Serve as a member of the leadership team, leading ongoing strategic planning and goal setting.
Foundations & Corporations
Lead efforts to identify, secure and retain new foundation and corporate support, including conducting outreach and giving presentations to prospective funders about VOCEL’s programs and impact;
Write fundraising materials, including letters of intent and grant proposals, project budgets and financial reports, program updates and narrative reports– writing in a variety of styles ranging from the highly technical submissions typical for major institutional foundations, to the more personal style appropriate for some family foundations;
Maintain a working knowledge of the interests and expectations of the organization's major foundation funders;
In partnership with the Manager of Office Operations, oversee VOCEL’s grants management, including the coordination, development and tracking of existing and proposed grant projects;
Research, writing and reporting duties as assigned.
Individual and Major Donors
Work closely with the ED to develop cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans customized for each prospect and donor;
Maintain and strengthen relationships with current donors to increase gift size and retention through donor events, online and direct mail streams and informal communication;
Support Board, ED and senior staff in their efforts to build and strengthen donor and prospect relationships.
Frequently conduct initial outreach to prospective donors, arranging for organizational leadership to meet with prospects and successfully preparing them for those meetings;
Ensure the timely creation and distribution of fundraising related materials, collateral and briefings; oversee the creation of highly personalized proposals for top prospects.
Healthcare: VOCEL offers a comprehensive healthcare insurance plan; a portion of the monthly cost is paid by VOCEL.
Elective Paid Time Off: The Development Director earns paid time off, in addition to the paid holidays. This time off is accrued monthly and team members can access some paid time off in advance of accrual.
The Development Director reports to VOCEL’s Executive Director.
Anti-Discrimination Policy and Commitment to Diversity VOCEL is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees are considered for positions and are evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, national origin or ancestry, age, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
BA or BS degree required; Masters preferred
A minimum of four years of experience in fundraising or donor relations, including a minimum of two years in a leadership position with a strong track record of securing donations directly
Strong commitment to early childhood education and educational equity
Superior writing skills and demonstrated experience developing proposals for large foundations
Strong analytical and accounting skills; proficiency and affinity for the preparation of budgets and expenditure reports
Strong communications and interpersonal skills
Ability to make judgment calls in a variety of situations
Collegial team player able to interact effectively with diverse internal and external constituencies
Effective in a fast-paced environment and eager to contribute to the collaborative dynamic of the organization
Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
Able to work independently, nimbly manage multiple deadlines
High proficiency in Windows and Microsoft Word, Excel & Outlook
Database experience required, Salesforce or other CRM experience preferred
Willingness to learn additional development best practices and styles from colleagues of differing backgrounds
Have a proactive personality; no work is ‘beneath’ you and you are eager to serve others, rolling up your sleeves when necessary
Excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence, with an ability to develop and maintain long-term, productive relationships internally and externally
Appreciation of the complexities associated with working for a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity
Additional Salary Information: This is a full-time, exempt position and is salaried. Some evening and weekend hours will be required. Local travel in the Chicagoland area is to be expected; some overnight travel may be required. Salary is competitive and based on applicant’s education, experience and other qualifications.
Founded in 2013, VOCEL’s mission is ensuring Chicago’s most vulnerable children have the early foundation they need to be successful in school and life. VOCEL does this by jumpstarting children’s brain growth with cutting-edge parent coaching and premier full-day early learning programs rooted in language development and emotional support. VOCEL is increasing children and family’s mobility to disrupt the cycle of poverty and crime in Chicago. The organization, which is based in the Austin community of Chicago, is preparing for expansion in the upcoming year. For more information, please visit www.vocel.org