Vacancy Director of Development - Chicago Market

Ad type: jobs
Company: Cradles to Crayons
City: Chicago, IL
Workplace street: Chicago, IL
Category: Development, Fundraising
Work schedule: Full Time
Posted: 15 Sep 2019
Requirements for the applicant
Education: 4-Year Degree Required
Work experience: Managerial
Job description

About Cradles to Crayons:

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. C2C is at the cutting edge of volunteer management, and through its “Giving Factory” provides unique, hands-on opportunities for people to help other people. Headquartered in Massachusetts, MA, C2C opened in Philadelphia in 2007 and in Chicago in 2016.

How Our Model Works: Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. C2C supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

Cradles to Crayons meets a critical need as many children 12 years old and younger live in low-income and/or homeless situations. These living conditions can have negative effects on self-esteem as poverty can lead to increased social and emotional behavioral challenges; it impacts early education since half of children living in poverty start 1st grade up to 2 years developmentally behind their peers; and safety may be compromised as children living in poverty have increased risk of injury.

While meeting the immediate needs of low-income children, Cradles to Crayons also sets a foundation for lasting change by providing meaningful, tangible volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals and families and hundreds of corporations each year by organizing clothing collections, hosting fundraisers, or working in the "Giving Factory" warehouse.

Cradles to Crayons earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator for several consecutive years. Only 2% of charities rated have received this distinction, differentiating C2C from its peers, exemplifying the high standard of service at C2C, and indicating that C2C outperforms most other charities in America.


Reporting to the Executive Director of the Chicago market, the Director of Development is responsible for envisioning and managing the revenue development effort in Chicagoland. H/she works to ensure that fundraising is carried out in keeping with the organization’s vision, mission, values, and plans. The Director serves as chief strategist for fundraising in the Chicago market; manager of development team members; and primary staff support (in fund-raising matters) for the Executive Director and Chicago Board of Directors. Cradles to Crayons development activities in Chicagoland include traditional fundraising from foundations, corporations, and individuals together with earned revenue opportunities.

The successful Director of Development will demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills, comfort being a spokesperson for the organization, and the ability to collaborate effectively when working with both internal and external constituencies.

This is not a typical Monday through Friday position. It is a full-time position with some built-in flexibility because it often requires weekend and evening work to support family and corporate engagement events. The Director should expect to attend an average of one weekend shift per month in the Giving Factory and is expected to attend some Family Days and other donor engagement events.


·      Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.

·      Develop overall strategy for fundraising for the market and ensuring a solid implementation plan for each fundraising stream. 

·      Assess effectiveness of current strategies and tactics and helping the fundraising team pilot and evaluate new/creative approaches.

·      Lead and manage the Chicago Development Team, including hiring and performance management, goal setting and staff professional development.

·      Achieve the revenue goal for the Chicago annual budget, and build a pipeline for long-term sustainability:

o  Actively manage current major gifts portfolio and pursue new 5-7 figure, multi-year major gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

o  Develop an overarching strategy, program approach, selling tools for the Chicago annual budget with a goal for ongoing significant revenue growth.

·      Set strategic direction for the Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) and the Family Advisory Council (FAC) and drive revenue to achieve their financial goals, in collaboration with the Executive Director and Senior Manager of Corporate Relations.

·      Work with Executive Director to identify prospects for the CAC/FAC. 

·      Liaise with the Chicago Board of Directors to maximize their fundraising efforts.

·      Oversee all individual giving programs, including annual giving, corporate giving and effectively steward the Un-Gala event committee, our signature fundraising event for individuals and families, and serve as the department lead for event planning and management.

·      Serve as a member of Market Leadership Team, providing strategic input on the growth and operations of the Chicago market, working in close collaboration with the Executive Director, Associate Director of Operations and Associate Director of Community Engagement.

  • Develop annual expense budgets and revenue projections for the department;
  • ·      Help meet C2C product collection goals by:

    o  Working with the Operations Team and Community Engagement Team to identify most-needed items and target specific families to help meet those needs

    ·      Warehouse duties:

    o  Working collaboratively with the Operations Team, provide feedback on warehouse guidelines, changes, and policies that affect identification and retention of key individual/family and corporate donors

    ·      Attend C2C signature events and contribute to other departmental and organizational goals and activities as needed.

    ·      Other duties as assigned.


    ·      Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.

    ·      Establish and meet aggressive fundraising objectives for Chicago to reach the annual operating and capacity need of C2C through family/individual, corporate and foundation philanthropy and earned revenue.

    ·      Demonstrate ability to work with the Executive Director, generating new business and stewarding donors toward major gift levels.

    ·      Increase and renew existing donor commitments.

    ·      Create and use Salesforce reports to track progress toward goals.

    ·      Demonstrate ability to build, manage and inspire others toward common departmental and organizational goals.

    ·      Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with other C2C staff, including counterparts at other C2C sites.

    ·      Uphold high quality of customer service with all C2C stakeholders.

    Required Experience/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

    ·      Bachelor’s degree

    ·      Eight to ten years of professional experience in development, with a proven track record of successfully meeting fundraising goals and growing nonprofit revenue; experience in the Chicagoland philanthropic community preferred.

    ·      Two plus years in a supervisory role.

    ·      Experience planning, managing and implementing fundraising events.

    ·      Superior writing and editing skills and an extensive understanding of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

    ·      Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work with a wide range of people and self-confidence to outreach to all levels of external audiences.

    ·      Experience participating in teams with shared responsibility for outcomes and decision-making while demonstrating outstanding interpersonal communication skills and a flexible, adaptable work style.

    ·      Resourceful and entrepreneurial with the flexibility to work in fast-paced environment and with individuals with different work styles.

    ·      Excellent ability to prioritize and organize with strong attention to detail.

    ·      Knowledge and understanding of relevant social issues.

    ·      Basic understanding of budgets and financial statements.

    ·      Team player; demonstrate a positive and supportive attitude and willingness to work closely with C2C team at all levels.

    ·      Demonstrate initiative, self-motivation, and the ability to absorb new information rapidly.

    ·      Project management experience, including managing multiple projects at one time.

    ·      Strong commitment to Cradles to Crayons’ mission.

    ·      Ability to think creatively and strategically as well as adapt to changing circumstances.

    ·      Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, proficiency in SalesForce or a CRM system such as Raiser’s Edge and research tools such as Foundation Directory or GrantStation.

    Working Conditions:

    This is a warehouse environment and normal changes in temperature are expected while working inside the warehouse or outside, on or around the loading dock. There are no hazardous or significantly unpleasant conditions.


    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, accommodations will not be made by Cradles to Crayons which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others, or which impose undue hardships on the organization. 

    About Cradles to Crayons:

    Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school…

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