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Director of Development


Chicago, IL, USA

Job description

Under the supervision of the Founder & Chief Advancement Officer, the Director of Development is responsible for the leadership, direction and management of the Development Department. The Director is committed to helping our mission-driven nonprofit thrive and grow, and works closely with the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), CEO, and the Board of Directors in all development and fundraising endeavors.


Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop the organization’s fundraising strategic plan in partnership with the Founder & Chief Advancement Officer, CEO and the Board.
  • Support and ensure the effective use of the Founder & Chief Advancement Officer, CEO and Board in their efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit, close and steward financial donations.
  • Create, manage, implement and evaluate the various fundraising strategies for individuals, corporations, foundations and community organizations to grow the fundraising pipeline in support of the organization’s revenue goals.
  • Responsible for managing an existing donor portfolio and actively cultivating and soliciting new funding opportunities and development strategies for a broader base of donors. (Position has bonus potential in addition to base salary.)  
  • Collaborate with the Director of Marketing and Communications on enhancing public understanding and awareness of the organization’s mission, vision and goals.
  • Oversee the production of all fundraising materials including appeal and recognition letters.
  • Direct and oversee grant seeking opportunities including research, proposal writing, reporting requirements and deliverables.
  • Oversee the tracking of existing and potential commitments; work with the Development Associate to ensure all pledges are fulfilled in a timely manner and donations are accurately entered and coded in the CRM.
  • Direct the planning of major fundraising special events and other cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Remain current on all legislation, ethical practices and trends pertaining to fundraising.
  • Create, manage and improve a prospect research and management process to guide cultivation and solicitation activities toward a broader culture of philanthropy.
  • Fill in for the Chief Advancement Officer as needed.
  • Direct and supervise the work of the Development Associate.
  • All other special projects and duties as assigned.



  • MUST have and exude an exceptionally positive, “I CAN/I WILL” attitude.
  • MUST be passionate about our mission to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children.
  • MUST understand the value of relationships as the lifeblood of Bernie’s Book Bank.
  • MUST have a minimum of seven years relevant experience that includes annual giving, planned giving, foundation/corporate solicitations, communications and special events; experience in a nonprofit organization preferred.
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in achieving fundraising goals by making direct solicitations with individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Proven expertise in taking initiative, building and maintaining strong rapport and positive relationships with executive leadership, board of directors, supporters, donors and members of the philanthropic and business communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and lead cross-functional teams.
  • MUST have business acumen and be results driven.
  • Excellent analytical, decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • MUST have minimum of three years supervisory experience.
  • Sound computer skills, proficient in Excel; database management experience; Salesforce preferred.
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal) skills, and interpersonal skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or related field, Master’s degree preferred.


Working Conditions/Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent will typically be working in an office environment and be required to sit, reach with arms and hands, talk and hear.  Reasonable accommodations may be made for individuals with disabilities to enable them to perform the essential job duties.


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