Director of Development

Organizational Overview

Equality Illinois is the Midwest’s largest organization advocating for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Equality Illinois is a 501(c)(4) organization, which also has an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, Equality Illinois institute, and an affiliated political action committee, Equality Illinois PAC. The combined budget for Equality Illinois, Equality Illinois Institute, and Equality Illinois PAC is about $1.7 million. The organization currently has 9 staff positions and a team of interns.

Equality Illinois builds a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy and protection of the rights of the LGBT community.

Position Description

Equality Illinois is seeking a full-time Director of Development. The Director of Development is responsible for the overall management and growth of a comprehensive development program that emphasizes cultivation and stewardship of individual, foundational, and corporate donors. The Director of Development manages and is accountable for all fundraising efforts including major events. The Director of Development will work in collaboration with other staff members, as needed, to achieve the fundraising goals of the organization. The Director of Development reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer. The Director of Development manages a Development Associate and, at times, Development Interns (collectively the “Development Team”).


The Director of Development will manage all fundraising activity against a board-approved budget that aligns with the agency’s strategic plan. Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

• Manage and grow the agency’s individual giving portfolio, including the planned giving program for major donors and other individual donor campaigns such as membership renewals, special appeals, and e-blasts. To this end, the Director and his Team will identify, research, cultivate, solicit, secure and steward new and existing donors.
• Manage and grow the agency’s corporate giving portfolio, identify, research, cultivate, solicit, secure and steward relationships with corporations for year-round and event-specific sponsorships.
• Manage and grow the agency’s foundation grant portfolio, identify, research, cultivate, solicit, secure and steward relationships with foundations to secure new foundation grants and strengthen existing foundation relationships.
• Ensure timely preparation and submission of grant proposals, corporate sponsor proposals and final reports to foundation and corporate funders.
• Manage all aspects of the agency’s annual Gala, manage the Development Associate’s work on smaller fundraising events, and develop new donor events, all in a manner that maximizes impact.
• Develop and execute strategies around mid- and low-range fundraising.
• Provide research and other support for the fundraising efforts of the CEO.
• Provide support and training for the fundraising efforts of staff, Board members, and volunteers (as needed).
• Effectively fundraise for issue-focused campaigns (legislative, etc.).
• Manage online giving and event-related e-mails and social media, as well as website content related to development activity.
• Take ownership, along with other Directors, of the supporter database (Every Action) to ensure clean supporter information and impactful, carefully timed use of e-blasts.
• Take part in outreach events as part of the Equality Illinois team, as required.


• A commitment to LGBT equality and the mission and philosophy of Equality Illinois.
• Five or more years of experience managing, diversifying, and growing a multi-stream (individual, foundation and corporate) fundraising portfolio.
• Demonstrated success in planning and executing major fundraising events.
• Measurable success in mid- and low-range fundraising, major donor cultivation, and online fundraising (e-blasts, social media) experience.
• Excellent communication, interpersonal, and relationship-building skills, with the ability to forge productive and healthy collaborations. Professional, polished demeanor coupled with exceptional writing and verbal skills, including public speaking.
• Proven ability to work effectively with board members, donors, volunteers and staff.
• An understanding of the differences between 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and PAC entities, and the impact those differences have on fundraising efforts.
• Ability to appropriately handle and prioritize multiple tasks in a timely and efficient manner.
• Highly motivated, with advanced critical thinking and the ability to effectively resolve problems as they arise.
• Experience developing and managing work plans and project budgets with the goal of exceeding targets, as well as supervising and developing staff.
• Willingness and ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as required.
• Commitment and desire to work in a multi-cultural environment where diversity based on race, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, physical ability, family status and other characteristics is an important and practiced value is essential.
• A “can do” attitude, pride in one’s work, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment. Highly organized with keen analytical skills; the ability to execute transactions without losing sight of larger strategic goals or objectives.
• Computer proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, and supporter management software, preferably Every Action or a similar program.

Preferred Additional Skills

• Experience with political campaign fundraising (legislative, issue, or candidate).
• Sales and marketing experience.


• Salary (exempt), commensurate with experience, with growth potential
• Retirement plan with employer contributions
• Medical, dental, and vision insurance
• Two weeks paid vacation in the first year
• Paid holidays
• Transit benefits
• Other benefits

Hiring Process

This position is posted as of May 6, 2016, and shall remain open until filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

To Apply

Please send i) a thoughtful cover letter describing your interest in this position addressed to Chief Operating Officer Angelo Barone via e-mail at, along with ii) your résumé and iii) three professional references. Please use the subject line: Director of Development Position. Applications will be reviewed as received.

Equality Illinois is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, and transgender people are strongly encouraged to apply.

Scroll to Top