Merit School of Music is seeking a full-time Individual Giving Manager to build upon and continue to grow our base of individual donors. The ideal candidate will be a creative, organized and dynamic development professional with an entrepreneurial spirit. Passion for music and diversity, equity, and inclusion is a must!
Merit School of Music is dedicated to helping young people transform their lives by removing barriers to a high-quality music education, with nearly 70 percent of students benefitting from need-based financial aid and low-cost instrument rental. Merit enables motivated students, regardless of economic circumstance, to develop their talent and to use music as a springboard for achieving their full personal potential, with virtually 100 percent of our conservatory graduates going on to college or university.
Responsibilities of the Individual Giving Manager include, but are not limited to:
§ Manage Individual Giving Campaign Fundraising for all donors up to $5K/year
o With the VP for Development and Marketing, Development Committee, key Merit staff members, and knowledge of fundraising best practices, create, implement and manage various efforts to secure renewed and new financial support from individuals up to the $5K level
o Coordinate solicitor strategy sessions, prepare donor profiles/giving histories, oversee moves management system, prepare action and statistical reports, and develop and promote a variety of giving opportunities
o Manage all aspects of direct mail and electronic appeals
o Ensure appropriate moves management steps are followed in order to ensure stewardship and gift renewals
o Support prospect research and prepare donor profiles/giving histories in collaboration with Director of Major Giving for major gift prospects
o Work closely with Associate Board leadership and members to develop, execute and manage fiscal year strategies for achieving engagement and fundraising goals; guide and support the organization and development of Associate Board special events
§ Manage Merit Parent Association (MPA) & Merit Alumni Activities
o Work closely with Merit Parent Association leaders and potential alumni leaders to develop, execute and manage strategies for engaging Merit parents/alumni and achieving budgeted MPA and alumni fundraising goals
§ Participate as a Proactive Member of the Development Team
o Support special events, serve on Merit teams/task forces, manage special projects such as Raisers Edge trainings, supervise volunteers, etc.
§ Represent Merit at special and community events
o Support special events, serve on Merit teams/task forces in the community
§ Other duties assigned as needed
The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications:
3+ years of relevant professional experience with track record of fundraising success
Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills with ability to convey passion for Merit’s mission and make the case for support
Experience with development database software and operations at a not-for-profit organization is essential. Experience with Raiser’s Edge is strongly preferred.
Ability to take initiative, be flexible and work well independently and with a team
Demonstrated experience with organizing and developing successful, cost-effective special events
Flexible schedule to attend evening and weekend events/concerts as necessary
Bachelor’s or equivalent work experience
Flexible M-F schedule, approximately 40 hours/week. Some evenings required for events.
About Merit School of Music
Since its founding in 1979, Merit School of Music has successfully motivated and developed more than 50,000 young people through high-quality music instruction. The School’s comprehensive curriculum, extensive financial aid, sense of community, and the standard of excellence set forth by the faculty and students are major components of its success.
Merit offers a multi-leveled, structured curriculum in a college preparatory environment. Programs take place at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in Chicago’s West Loop and at nearly 30 locations in neighborhoods across Chicago. Instruction is offered to approximately 3,500 students of all ages, from infants to adults, and from beginners through high school by nearly 150 accomplished faculty members.
Merit has an annual operating budget of $6 million, of which more than half is supported by contributed revenue.
Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to a high-quality music education.