Director – Giving Initiatives


Position Overview

Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL) seeks a dynamic, organized, and effective fundraiser to champion the organization’s individual giving initiatives.  The successful candidate must have the ability to establish and nurture relationships with major donors, interact with community leaders, key partners, all levels of staff, volunteers and Board members.  This individual will possess a demonstrated ability to think strategically about relationships with donors/prospects and communicate the organizational mission in ways that are exciting and enticing to supporters.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Actively work with the Chief Development Officer and Chief Executive Officer to develop and implement a comprehensive Major Gifts strategy to include individual annual giving, major gifts and planned/estate gifts
  • Meet or exceed annual financial goals as collectively established by the Chief Development Officer and Leadership Team
  • Develop the process and strategy in identifying high net worth prospects from a variety of sources (present donation data, existing relationships, knowledge held at the local level, etc.) in order to establish a prioritized pool of new individuals capable of making a significant gift to the Special Olympics movement
  • Play a lead role in creating opportunities to more deeply engage and educate potential donors in the work of Special Olympics Illinois
  • Provide regular reporting on outreach efforts to assigned donors/prospects to continually monitor progress, adjust plans, and capitalize on new stewardship/cultivation opportunities
  • Pitch and execute cultivation events in key donor markets to attract new prospects and further engage individuals within the movement
  • Expand and diversify Special Olympics Illinois donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives
  • Develop, implement, and educate organization on Major Gifts Program
  • Implement a Moves Management Program, building a portfolio of 150 prospective donors, and averaging 15-20 significant personal visits or calls per month



  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s preferred
  • 5+ years of professional experience in fundraising, individual giving, and/or major gifts cultivation, with demonstrated results in meeting and/or exceeding revenue goals
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with Board members, leadership, across departments and with counterparts to effectively cultivate donors and prospects
  • High energy and passion for Special Olympics mission
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement annual strategic Major Gifts plan
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a diverse range of constituents and build long-term relationships
  • Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time
  • Professional and resourceful style; the ability to take initiative and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
  • Computer fluency in MS Office and CRM experience (Salesforce preferred); knowledgeable about the role technology plays in fundraising


Work Schedule

  • Based in the Northern Regional Office in Lombard, IL (flexibility to work remotely in Chicagoland)
  • Ability to travel both in state and out of state as position demands
  • Monday through Friday; position requires work and travel outside normal business hours
  • Frequent on-site management or attendance required at events, both outdoor and indoor
  • Reports to Chief Development Officer


To Apply

  • To apply for this position, please send a copy of your resume with a cover letter to Matt Johnson at by 11/12/18