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Job Description

Chief Development Officer


The Chief Development Officer shall report to the President & CEO of the Chicago Urban League.  The position requires a broadly experienced, highly creative, self-motivated leader who is able to effectively communicate the organization’s philanthropic value proposition and develop strategies that will continue to accelerate philanthropy and grow and diversify the funding base of support.  The primary focus of the Chief Development Officer is building capacity and securing major and planned gifts for the organization.

As a member of the senior management team, the Chief Development Officer is expected to participate actively in organizational visioning, long range planning, goal setting and the overall resource development efforts of the organization.

The Chief Development Officer will have oversight responsibility for all the Organization’s resource development activities including:

  • Individual engagement
  • Foundation grants
  • Special events
  • Corporate support
  • Gift acknowledgement
  • Donor recognition program;
  • Planned gifts, and
  • Special fundraising initiatives such as capital/programmatic/endowment campaigns.

The incumbent will directly supervise the following staff areas:

  • Development Director;
  • Development Officer/ Assistant;
  • Development Officer for Grants and Foundations
  • Development Officers to be determined, and;
  • Other employed contractors as appropriate.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Strategic Oversight and Administration

  1. Assist in the planning, organization, direction and evaluation of all fundraising activities in order to meet the short and long range fundraising goals and objectives of the Chicago Urban League.
  2. Ensure strong departmental systems and processes are in place to support quality donor management, stewardship and best in class fundraising practices.
  3. Prepare/recommend/administer annual development budget.
  4. Assure organizational compliance with generally accepted fund-raising principles, financial reporting requirements and ethical codes of professional conduct.
  5. Interview, select and evaluate performance of all staff reports. Measure actual results against expectations.
  6. Track / monitor development activities and accomplishments and submit timely reports to the President & CEO, volunteer leadership and others as required.
  7. In a challenging environment, the incumbent must be abreast of the latest trends in fundraising and philanthropy.

Donor Engagement and Solicitations

  1. Provide primary support for building the Chicago Urban League’s fundraising capacity by:
  • Identifying, cultivating and soliciting major gifts prospects for their highest gift
  • Ensuring integration of the individual, corporate and foundation prospect base
  • Leading and participating in prospect approach and strategy development
  1. Maintain strong positive relationships with all donors and prospects to enhance support for and understanding of the organization’s development initiatives.
  2. Plan programs to promote planned gifts as an integral strategy for leadership and major gifts solicitations.
  3. Supervise the maintenance of a comprehensive prospect management process to guide cultivation and solicitation activities.
  4. Oversee the planning and execution of special fundraising initiatives such as campaigns to raise dollars for capital, programmatic and endowment programs.
  5. Implement a donor stewardship/recognition program.


  1. Partner with Senior Management and Program Directors to identify and develop relationships to secure potential funding for program refinement, enhancement and growth.
  2. Work with the President & CEO to identify, recruit, orient and evaluate prospective board and committee members.
  3. Partner with Board to identify, cultivate and solicit prospective donors and key relationships in their network.
  4. Staff Development Committee to provide support in their efforts in engaging their Board peers and playing an active role in the fundraising process.


  1. Provide for and encourage staff professional development through mentorship, attendance at conferences, referral to outside resources, etc.
  2. Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred
  • Seven or more years of experience in fundraising management in a large organization, with a proven track record of success
  • Experience in managing capital campaigns and/or major fundraising initiatives
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and supervisory skills are essential
  • Superior writing and organizational skills required
  • Strong computer skills and proficiency with various applications
  • Familiar with social media platforms as basis for fundraising activities
  • CFRE credentials and knowledge of the human services field preferred