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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Emerita Colon

Individual Giving Manager

Merit School of Music | Chicago, Illinois

Full-time Position Announcement:

Individual Giving Manager


Merit School of Music is seeking a full-time Individual Giving Manager to build upon and continue to grow our base of individual donors. The ideal candidate will be a creative, organized and dynamic development professional with an entrepreneurial spirit. Passion for music and diversity, equity, and inclusion is a must!

Organizational Overview

Merit School of Music is dedicated to helping young people transform their lives by removing barriers to a high-quality music education, with nearly 70 percent of students benefitting from need-based financial aid and low-cost instrument rental. Merit enables motivated students, regardless of economic circumstance, to develop their talent and to use music as a springboard for achieving their full personal potential, with virtually 100 percent of our conservatory graduates going on to college or university.

Learn more about Merit at

Reporting Relationship

The Individual Giving Manager reports to the VP for Development and Marketing.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Individual Giving Manager include, but are not limited to:

  • Manage Individual Giving Campaign Fundraising for all donors up to $5K/year
    • With the VP for Development and Marketing, Development Committee, key Merit staff members, and knowledge of fundraising best practices, create, implement and manage various efforts to secure renewed and new financial support from individuals up to the $5K level
  • Coordinate solicitor strategy sessions, prepare donor profiles/giving histories, oversee moves management system, prepare action and statistical reports, and develop and promote a variety of giving opportunities
  • Manage all aspects of direct mail and electronic appeals
  • Ensure appropriate moves management steps are followed in order to ensure stewardship and gift renewals
  • Support prospect research and prepare donor profiles/giving histories in collaboration with Director of Major Giving for major gift prospects
  • Manage Associate Board & Associate Board Activities
    • Work closely with Associate Board leadership and members to develop, execute and manage fiscal year strategies for achieving engagement and fundraising goals; guide and support the organization and development of Associate Board special events
  • Manage Merit Parent Association (MPA) & Merit Alumni Activities
    • Work closely with Merit Parent Association leaders and potential alumni leaders to develop, execute and manage strategies for engaging Merit parents/alumni and achieving budgeted MPA and alumni fundraising goals
  • Participate as a Proactive Member of the Development Team
    • Support special events, serve on Merit teams/task forces, manage special projects such as Raisers Edge trainings, supervise volunteers, etc.
  • Represent Merit at special and community events
    • Support special events, serve on Merit teams/task forces in the community
  • Other duties assigned as needed

Personal Skills/Attributes/Qualifications

The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications:

• 3+ years of relevant professional experience with track record of fundraising success

• Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills with ability to convey passion for Merit’s mission and make the case for support

• Experience with development database software and operations at a not-for-profit organization is essential. Experience with Raiser’s Edge is strongly preferred.

• Ability to take initiative, be flexible and work well independently and with a team

Demonstrated experience with organizing and developing successful, cost-effective special events

• Flexible schedule to attend evening and weekend events/concerts as necessary

Educational Requirements

• High School/GED

• Bachelor’s or equivalent work experience


Flexible M-F schedule, approximately 40 hours/week. Some evenings required for events.


Commensurate with experience with full health, dental, and retirement benefits included.

Interested candidates should send resume to:

No phone calls or faxes please.

For more information about Merit School of Music, please visit

Merit School of Music is committed to enhancing the diversity of our musical community, recognizing that by providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for our students, we are preparing them for personal and professional success in an increasingly multicultural and global society. The Merit community recognizes that it has a responsibility for creating and sustaining a learning and working environment where difference is valued, and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Contact Info:
Emerita Colon
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL