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Director of Development

SUMMARY The Director of Development is responsible for spearheading significant growth with individual donors, corporate sponsorships, foundations, events, and special campaigns to support the mission of CMHEC to spark students' interest in the study of history,help them build high-level thinking skills, engage them in civic life,and foster their intellectual self-confidence. The Director of Development works in partnership with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to develop and execute a strategy for long-term financial sustainability.


  • Work with ED and Board committees to develop and manage a comprehensive development program to secure, renew, and increase support for CMHEC including grants, sponsorships, major gifts, planned giving, direct mail, e-solicitations, events, and solicitations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government sources as well as an array of in-kind donations and pro-bono services.
  • Develop a major donor program, with the goal of broadening the donor base through prospect identification, cultivation, recognition, and stewardship.
  • Develop stronger relationships with local, state, and national businesses, corporations, and foundations through sponsorships and group volunteerism.
  • Provide leadership and training for the Board of Directors and event committees. This includes direct training of volunteers and interns, sharing of best practices and providing materials, information, and research to strengthen fundraising efforts.
  • Lead planning and implementation for major campaigns, including annual and summer appeals.
  • Facilitate the creation of an engaging annual report with graphic designers.
  • Identify a new donor management system, oversee its implementation, and manage its use.
  • Establish a positive, collaborative relationship with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and volunteers to assure the most effective use of talents, resources, and ideas in fundraising; instill best development practices across the organization.
  • Develop and implement a plan for cultivation and stewardship events and activities.
  • Thoroughly understand the mission of CMHEC and all its programs, and serve as an enthusiastic and effective advocate of these programs within the community.
  • Attend and staff program events as needed for purposes of fundraising, marketing, and communications, as well as the smooth operation of events.


  • Minimum five years of experience in nonprofit fundraising with individuals, foundations, and corporations with a proven track-record of achieving fundraising goals.
  • BA required, MA a plus.
  • Experience using a professional fundraising database and moves management system.
  • Demonstrated success developing a major gifts program.
  • Experience organizing major fundraising events.
  • Commitment to working with diverse student and community populations.
  • 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. Experience with marketing and communications, including social media, a plus.
  • Excellent judgment and initiative, enthusiastic personality, and entrepreneurial instincts.
  • Ability to thrive under pressure and effectively manage multiple responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated supervisory/management experience.
  • Passion for youth education and baseline understanding of major issues in K12 education and the humanities.


  • Full time (40-hours per week)
  • Some evenings/weekends required

REQUIRED 2016 EVENTS (all dates tentative)

  • Sat, Feb 27 (7am – 2pm) at Niles North High School, Skokie
  • Sat, Mar 12 (6:30am – 6pm) at Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Tue, Apr 5 (7am – 2pm) at University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Sat, Apr 9 (6:30am – 6pm) at Lane Tech High school
  • Thu, May 5 (5:30am-9pm) in Springfield, Illinois
  • Sun, May 29 (10am-5pm) Awards Ceremony at Chicago History Museum
Please send cover letter detailing the nature of qualifications (including previous fundraising-related goals and accomplishments), resume, and salary history by email to historyfair@chicagohistoryfair.org with "Development Director Search" in the subject line.

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