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Dance ,
submitted by
Michelle Bibbs

Development Director

Forward Momentum Chicago (FMC) is a vibrant, emerging not-for-profit organization serving the Chicago area with high-quality dance education programs since 2013. FMC brings dance education to classrooms and communities with limited or no arts access not only to introduce movement and dance skills but also to develop life skills in creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional learning that are critical to personal and professional success.

FMC’s strategic plan calls for growing programs with Chicago Public Schools as well as philanthropic support for community programming and expanding its board and event volunteer leadership. As FMC approaches its sixth year of successful operation, the organization aims to create a more donor-focused fundraising culture.

Forward Momentum Chicago seeks an experienced fundraising professional to lead its Development operation. Reporting to and serving as a thought partner for the Executive Director, the Development Director is charged with strengthening FMC’s development function, strategies and activity and will work with staff and volunteer leadership to increase and diversify philanthropic support of the organization and programs. This is a new, full-time salaried position that supervises a contracted Grant Writer and interacts with administrative/program staff, the Board of Directors, and committee volunteers.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Development Director will oversee a fundraising plan that includes an array of strategies that generate contributed revenue in support of FMC’s mission. The Development Director in partnership with the Executive Director and volunteer leadership will secure all philanthropic gifts and grants, develop prospecting strategies, and lead cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and reporting activity.

Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations

  • Identify, qualify, and prioritize potential funders for specific arts and educational initiatives.
  • Initiate and maintain relationships with funding prospects through calls presentations, and in-person meetings.
  • Oversee and track grant submission and reporting deadlines in coordination with the contracted Grant Writer.
  • Coordinate information gathering (budgets, materials, evaluation reports, collaterals) to support grant requests and reporting.
  • Ensure fulfillment of grant requirements with program staff and serve as an ongoing liaison to funders.
  • Lead and manage communications and meetings between FMC Executive Director and/or program staff and the philanthropic community.

Special Events

  • Lead fundraising strategy and execution of the annual Releve Soiree event and other donor stewardship and prospect cultivation events.
  • Identify and solicit sponsors for fundraising events.
  • Prepare invitation lists, print and electronic correspondence, invitations and collaterals, donor/attendee acknowledgements, and reports.
  • Coordinate staff and volunteer assignments for special events.

Individual Giving and Major Gifts

  • Develop strategy and oversee execution of annual fund appeals including prospect lists, print and electronic correspondence and collaterals, donor acknowledgements and reporting.
  • Support the Executive Director in staffing board committees and cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of board member giving.
  • Implement a moves management strategy for growing major gifts from individuals.
  • Lead the redesign of the giving page on the FMC website. Assist print, web, and social media efforts to promote FMC and its work to external audiences.
  • Coordinate donor acknowledgement in annual reports and donor appreciation activities.

Fundraising Administration

  • Oversee the fundamental systems and infrastructure for a best practice fundraising operation.
  • Maintain donor database (Neon) and ensure the accuracy of gift records. Create standards for data entry, reporting, and training of staff and interns using the database.
  • Track all Development activities in donor database. Prepare fundraising reports for the Executive Director, Board of Directors and special event committees as required.
  • Create an annual calendar of Development activities.
  • Regularly evaluate fundraising efforts and progress toward goals.
  • Assure organizational compliance with generally accepted fund-raising principles, financial reporting requirements and ethical codes of professional conduct.

Preferred Qualifications

• Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s preferred) with 5 to 7 years’ experience in fundraising or 10+ years as a senior-level development professional. CFRE is a plus.

• Demonstrated success in securing significant gifts from individuals and/or support from philanthropic or corporate institutions for programmatic and operational projects.

• Strong knowledge of the Chicago cultural and philanthropic community is desired.

• Ability to work as a team member, developing effective relationships with Board members, donors, staff, volunteers, and the general public.

• Commitment to professional ethics and discretion with confidential personal and financial information.

• Ability to be nimble and respond adeptly to changing priorities and work well under pressure.

• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail, with the ability to successfully multi-task as necessary or requested.

• Experience with using social media for marketing of fundraising campaigns.

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Ability to present, inform, and motivate individuals and groups about the FMC mission and its programs.

• Higher level proficiency with donor database systems (preferably NEON) and Microsoft Office (EXCEL, PowerPoint, and Word).

The salary for this position is $60K plus benefits (vacation/PTO and partially paid health insurance) and professional development opportunities.

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume to by September 15, 2019.

No telephone inquiries, please.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, Illinois