Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Chicago Artists Coalition helps people connect with opportunities including calls for artists, jobs, grants, and art advising


Full-time ,
submitted by

Director of Development

Job Description: Director of Development

Supervised By: Executive Director

Supervises: Development Manager, Development Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator

Classification: Exempt, Full-time, Salary

WHO WE ARE: SkyART is a permanent fixture in the vibrant cultural landscape of Chicago's South and West Side communities. Founded in 2001, with creativity at the center of everything we do, SkyART provides free, safe, open spaces where people are empowered and connections are made. SkyART continues to fulfill its mission from our flagship studio in South Chicago and beyond, reaching young people through three pillar programs: SkyWAY, for ages 7-13; Project 3rd Space, for ages 14-24 and Project Impact, our art therapy program. In 2020 SkyART announced an expansion to Chicago’s West Side and began providing school programs in Austin, Garfield Park and Humboldt Park. In 2024 we purchased a 7,500 sq ft building in Garfield Park for SkyART West, our second permanent location. Driving our mission is a deep understanding of the transformative power of art and its capacity to enhance intellectual, emotional and social development.

WHO WE SERVE: The communities where SkyART works and the young people we serve exemplify the resilience and the beautiful diversity of our city. Our free programs are open and accessible to youth from communities that have been impacted by historic marginalization, generational trauma and systemic racism, and who may lack access to cultural programming that affirms their identity and places them front and center as creators of their own futures. The majority of Black and Brown youth we serve are impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which can negatively impact their ability to be successful in relationships, school, higher education or the workplace. Many are directly impacted by violence, incarceration and/or the foster care system. For all these reasons, SkyART prioritizes the wellbeing and healing of our participants using art as a platform for self exploration, reflection and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

WHAT WE EXPECT: It takes a team of extraordinary staff, teaching artists and art therapists to bring SkyART to life, and we are looking for extraordinary individuals to help propel our growth into the future. We expect that all staff, from contractors to the Executive Director, practice everyday leadership and participate in both small scale and big picture thinking about the impact of our work. We expect that each individual contributes to creating an environment where we can show up as our whole self — centering young people as the driving force behind what we do — and where the diversity of individual lived experiences and cultures adds to the richness of our programs. Original ideas and critical thinking are required. We dive into the complexities and nuances that color our work and give it meaning beyond punching the clock and earning a paycheck. We ask all employees to practice vulnerability and to hold each other accountable, even those who supervise us, through compassionate calling-in and sensitive communication. Core competencies required for any position include: connection, collaboration, communication, creativity and consistency.


The Director of Development plays a critical role on the leadership team, reporting to the Executive Director and collaborating with Departmental Leadership and Members of the Board. The Director of Development supervises the Development and Marketing Team, oversees the limited work of contractors in grant-writing and design and interns as needed. The position works closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to implement the philanthropic aspects of the strategic plan, meeting annual fundraising goals and creating long- term sustainability. The Director of Development is responsible for leading significant growth with individual donors, including building a major gift program ($1,000 and up), cultivation and communication strategies, and expanding foundation and corporate support. The position produces an integrated annual appeal campaign, overseas grants management and is responsible for growing and maintaining SkyART’s portfolio of individual and institutional donors.


Leadership and Planning:

Work in tandem with the Executive Director and individual board members to develop opportunities for programmatic growth and assess expansion opportunities, campaigns and partnerships.

Develop annual fundraising goals, drawing from a 3-year strategic plan to accelerate revenue growth from individual, foundation, corporate and government support

Serve on the leadership team assessing expansion opportunities, donor and partner-initiated campaigns and external marketing partnerships.

Coach, develop and directly supervise a team of development professionals responsible for SkyART revenue in the assigned area.

Oversee management systems for donor cultivation and stewardship, grants management, gift processing and reports.

Oversee marketing and communications across all platforms and with external partners.

Represent SkyART at conferences, convenings and meetings with current or prospective donors, funders and partners

Donor Cultivation, Solicitation & Stewardship

Work closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to development and implement a sustainable and effective development strategy for donor prospecting, cultivation and stewardship

Develop and execute a comprehensive strategy encouraging sustained giving through capital campaigns, planned giving program and recurring giving

Supervise solicitation and acknowledgment of monetary and in-kind donations, while establishing and maintaining relationships with potential and current individual and corporate donors.

Collaborate with Marketing team to manage distribution of electronic and direct mail donor communications

Institutional Giving Management

Create and implement strategy to grow institutional giving to accommodate program and organizational expansion initiatives

Oversees all aspects of grants management including, prospect research, cultivation, grant submission, reporting, acknowledgement and follow-up.

Oversees prospect research on foundations, governmental and corporation funding sources to support program and organizational growth initiatives.

Increase and strengthen relationships with local and national funders align with geographical and programmatic interest

Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration for program data collection, content collection, narrative development, financial reconciliation and overall grant compliance

Special Events

Oversee planning and implementation of fundraising events, including volunteer events and corporate partnerships

Develops and manages a comprehensive schedule for dissemination of marketing, development and programmatic materials for special events

Other duties as assigned


BA or BS Degree in finance or arts administration required, master’s degree preferred

Experience writing successful grant proposals and applications

Experience supervising a team

A minimum of five to seven years of professional development and/or fundraising experience gained in a non-profit, healthcare, social services or foundation/association environment with a proven track record of achieving revenue targets

A proven track record of maintaining effective relationships with donors and determining the optimal scenario for successful gift solicitation

Ability to establish and monitor priorities, maintain flexibility and meet deadlines with limited direct supervision

Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to draft and deliver impactful presentations, write persuasive solicitation letters and website content, and prepare well-organized reports

Strong project management, research and organizational capabilities

Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and working knowledge of fundraising software a plus

Capital campaign experience is a plus.

Experience with Planned Giving is a plus.


SkyART offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes a competitive salary commensurate with background, experience, and position responsibilities. Depending on the position, in addition to salary, benefits for eligible employees may include:

Paid time off (PTO), with starting benefits of 4 weeks each fiscal year

Eleven paid holidays and one additional day off for your birthday

Employee retirement account with up to 3% contribution from SkyART

Full health Insurance benefits, including medical, dental and vision


Please submit a cover letter and resume to: with ”Director of Development]” in the subject line. Be sure to include your first and last name along with contact information in the body of the email. Do not mail or fax. Incomplete applications will not be accepted

SkyART is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. SkyART does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

Contact Info:
SkyART =
Job Type: Permanent
Compensation: Salary
Location: Chicago