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Director of Development

WHO WE ARE

The mission of the Chicago International Charter School (CICS) is to be a vibrant network of unique Chicago charter schools, that prepares students to thrive in college and life, and empowers educators to innovate and lead. We strive to be a hub or excellence and innovation in Chicago education where every student flourishes, every school meets the unique needs of its students and community, and every success catalyzes citywide improvement.

CICS is entering an exciting time, embarking on the implementation of a new strategic plan. Joining our organization at this critical point in our history is an opportunity to be a part of leading CICS in a new direction. We will continue to partner with high-performing school operators, but we will sharpen our focus on innovation, recruiting talented education entrepreneurs and supporting their efforts to innovate inside our schools and classrooms—ultimately, better serving Chicago’s students and their families.

Our plan is to develop CICS into a consistently high-performing network of academically rigorous, pedagogically diverse, forward-thinking schools that prepare every student for success in college or career – and the Director of Development will play a critical role in meeting this ambitious plan.

OUR VALUES

Our values keep us honest and help us determine the best course of action to meet our mission and vision.

  • We are determined optimists. We believe quality of our schools must match the boundless potential of our students. We are uncompromising on quality and equity, fueled by the urgency to improve, and grounded in the belief that anything is possible if we keep striving.
  • We are driven to make the world better for students. Our core purpose is to improve our world through education. All decisions are made through the lens of what is best for students. We have the courage to make tough calls that benefit students in the long term and a deep commitment to our work.
  • We nurture new ideas. We give brave approaches the space to take root and the support to flourish. We are driven by data, embrace constant iteration, and have the curiosity to learn alongside our students so we can constantly improve.
  • We get stuff done. We believe in hard work and humility. We're focused on delivering results and we always maintain high expectations - for our students and for ourselves.
  • We are powered by people and partnership. We value our partners and our relationships. We maintain trust through transparency, direct communication, and integrity. We work together with compassion and without ego because we know the best solutions are forged collectively.
  • We prioritize diversity and authenticity. Diversity and authenticity are non-negotiable in education. We bring our whole selves to work and school, tackle questions of race and equity, listen, and tap into the power of our differences individually and as a network.

WHAT YOU'LL DO

Reporting to the Chief of External Affairs, the Director of Development is responsible for developing and executing a long-term fundraising strategy to support ongoing and new initiatives across all charter schools within the CICS network. This person will be responsible for setting and meeting annual and long-term fundraising goals by cultivating and nurturing new individual, corporate and institutional donors to support CICS.  Specific responsibilities include:

Strategy Development & Execution

  • Develops (along with the Chief of External Affairs) a long-term development strategy for CICS
  • Translates high-level donor strategy into detailed annual implementation plan (including activities, priorities and milestones) to ensure fundraising goals are met
  • Establishes systems, processes and tools to effectively carry-out development activities

Research & Communications

  • Prepares prospect research and develops a targeted list of donors – including individuals, corporations and institutional donors. Establishes and maintains a donor database.
  • Identifies and prioritizes grants to pursue to maximize impact for CICS’s students and builds them into the annual implementation plan
  • Writes proposals (coordinating with internal teams as needed to source and develop grant content and language), prepares all application materials and ensures timely submission
  • Prepares and conducts donor presentations and selects and preps the internal team
  • Drafts and executes donor contracts and manages communications with legal and other support
  • Monitors progress toward grant requirements / outcomes (coordinating with internal teams as needed to ensure accuracy and accountability); authors reports on progress

Donor Cultivation & Relationship Management

  • Develops effective strategies to cultivate, manage and maintain donor and supporter relationships
  • Carries-out donor cultivation activities, including planning / coordination of events and meetings as needed, to convert prospective funders into committed funders to meet annual fundraising targets
  • Develops and manages a system for regular donor communications
  • Represents CICS and its mission externally

 

WHAT YOU BRING

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in non-profit development, including fundraising with an annual budget of at least $500K, donor management and grant management with proven track record of converting donor prospects into commitments (previous experience in education preferred)
  • Knowledge of and experience supporting donor tracking software
  • Undergraduate degree required
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (i.e. Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; required)

Competencies and skills:

  • Commitment - You are passionate about the boundless potential of our students and working to provide high quality education options for all; your decisions are consistently made through the lens of what is best for students
  • Service orientation - You are committed to providing high levels of service to various internal and external stakeholders
  • Drive and commitment to realizing results - You anticipate and work to overcome challenges, persevere and meet goals
  • Creativity - You have experience solving complicated and multi-faceted problems and generating a variety of innovative, effective solutions
  • Cultivating relationships and partnerships - You are an active listener who is able to discern the priorities of potential investors and cultivate those relationships resulting in long term funding and support for CICS and its priorities
  • Excellent communication skills - You can translate complex content to key decision-makers and stakeholders, adapting framing and messaging based upon the audience
  • Comfortable setting your own path - You thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, able to strategically prioritize time and competing initiatives, focusing on those that will have the greatest impact on students
  • Constant learner - You crave feedback and identify what you need to excel, striving to constantly improve upon the status quo
  • Strong project management - You can balance the big picture with the necessary attention to detail while maintaining a high bar for quality and high level of productivity
  • Excellent management skills - You have a record of effectively empowering and managing staff to achieve ambitious goals

WHAT WE OFFER

CICS offers a competitive compensation package, including: salary commensurate with experience; paid-time off; a benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance; a flexible spending account option; commuter benefits; disability as well as life insurance.  In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside dedicated colleagues committed to providing high-quality, innovative educational options for families across Chicago.

KEY RELATIONSHIPS

  • Reports to the Chief of External Affairs
  • Member of the External Affairs team
  • Interacts with CICS staff, school operators and leaders, school staff, funders, external organizations and partners

Chicago International Charter School provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

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