Advance Illinois is a not-for-profit policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. We believe every child should have access to a high-quality education regardless of geography, income or race.
Since its founding in 2008, Advance Illinois has become a nationally recognized actor and thought leader in education policy and advocacy. The Development Director will have an exciting opportunity to help set the direction of the organization as it embarks on its next decade of impact and ensure it has the resources needed to tackle an ambitious agenda.
Along with some corporate and individual giving, Advance Illinois currently depends primarily on foundation grants for financial support. We are looking for a strategic leader who can develop and execute on a strategy to diversify our funding mix over the next 3 – 5 years, while reaching annual fundraising goals and supporting our mission.
PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Development Director reports directly to the President and interacts regularly with a high-powered Board. The Director’s responsibilities include the following:
Lead work with the Board, Board Development Committee, and the President to shape and implement development strategy;
Manage the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts of the organization in partnership with the Board and President;
Take responsibility for helping set and meet annual revenue and fundraising goals, including cultivation and stewardship goals, and new donor and retention goals;
Implement a major gifts program that includes donor recognition and a system for moving donor commitment forward;
Build fundraising capacity throughout the organization, helping grow the skills of all staff in the organization and making development an organization-wide effort;
Prioritize key actions for the President and Board to take toward cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors and support them as they execute;
Oversee grant proposal and report writing for national and local foundation partners, coordinating with part-time grant writing support and relevant program and finance staff;
As a member of the senior staff, provide input on Advance Illinois’ strategy, annual planning/budgeting and goal setting;
Maintain fundraising data and systems in Salesforce ensuring the organization’s donor and prospect information is updated and accurate and donors are being acknowledged.
The ideal candidate will be:
passionate about improving public education in Illinois through policy change and state-level impact and be able to articulate why it matters to have a strong state policy infrastructure that serves the needs of students and families in school districts throughout the state;
committed to educational equity and to partnering with communities;
ambitious and bold, yet practical and able to execute strategies successfully;
hands-on and willing to engage in all aspects of the work;
able to build and maintain relationships at all levels and with multiple constituencies;
intellectually curious, committed to learning, energetic, and strong, yet bring a collaborative approach to the organization and to the work;
ethical and committed to a high level of professionalism and confidentiality;
have strong fundraising expertise and be excellent at building relationships;
strong writing skills, including excellent presentation, writing, editing and proofreading skills;
have demonstrated and successful experience in fundraising, with an emphasis on individual and corporate giving, but also able to sustain and grow foundation giving;
hands-on experience managing donor databases.
Competitive salary. Excellent benefits.
To apply: Submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put Advance Illinois in the subject line. All submissions will be acknowledged and you will be contacted if you are selected for an interview. No phone calls please.
Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBTQ+ persons, differently-abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
At least 5 years of relevant experience is expected, as is a proven ability to effectively develop and execute a multi-pronged fundraising strategy for a multi-million dollar organization.
About Advance Illinois
Founded in 2008, Advance Illinois believes all kids deserve a quality education. We are an independent policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood.