Development Manager


Development Manager

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) advocates for the improvement of public education by leveraging the charter school model as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. INCS works to ensure that charter public schools have adequate and equitable resources, the autonomy to find innovative approaches to meet student needs, and a fair and transparent policy landscape that allows high-quality options to thrive. As the voice of Illinois charter schools, INCS engages a diverse coalition of policy-makers, school leaders, parents, and community members to create systemic change and secure high-quality schools for underserved communities.

INCS has distinguished itself as a powerful catalyst for the creation and sustainability of high-quality charter schools and education reform in Illinois. Charter advocacy work in Illinois is particularly compelling given the charter school movement’s legislative victories in recent years, which lifted the state’s cap on charter public schools from 60 to 120 charters, created an authorizing commission independent of school districts, and increased the allowable renewal term from five to ten years for high performing charter schools.

INCS makes its impact through several program teams: Government Affairs, Charter Growth and Support, Data and Policy, and Communications. These teams are supported by our Development and Operations teams. The organization is based in Chicago, where the majority of Illinois’ charter schools are located.


INCS is seeking an associate or manager (depending on qualifications and experience) to further develop and execute a organizational strategy to grow year-over-year funding relationships with corporate and private foundations. The manager will report to the Director of Development. The successful candidate will be adept at building and maintaining relationships with key foundation personnel, writing high quality grant proposals and reports for both general operating and programmatic grants, and developing grant budgets.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Write, review, and revise high-quality grant proposal narratives, applications, and supporting documents in consultation with finance, program, and leadership team
  • Adapt writing style, content, and tone with regard to donor interests, values and relationships
  • Manage the proposal submission process to ensure timely submission of all required materials
  • Oversee grant proposal calendar/tracking
  • Prepare grant budgets in collaboration with Finance Manager
  • Research prospective foundation and corporate donors, work with other team members to recommend individual funders and explore corporate sponsorship opportunities
  • Track solicitation and giving actions in the donor database and through other tracking processes
  • Gather and organize appropriate program and outcomes information, facts, stories, and photos to write and develop grant proposals, communication and collateral materials
  • Coordinate with program staff to manage grant award requirements, such as progress reports
  • Other duties as assigned

First and foremost, the Development Manager must believe that every child, regardless of socioeconomic factors or their academic starting point has the potential to succeed in school, career, and life. In addition, candidates should have an awareness of how public education systems have historically and disproportionately disadvantaged vulnerable communities and must believe that charter schools have the power to transform public education and the lives of students. Ideal candidates will possess the following characteristics:

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field (communications, non-profit management, etc.)
  • Experience and demonstrated success in foundation relations, especially with grant proposal writing
  • Experience with education foundations or programs (preferred)
  • Knowledge of local and national foundation network (preferred)
  • Experience with donor databases (Salesforce platform preferred)
  • Ability to communicate persuasively in writing and verbally
  • Ability to translate highly technical information and concepts into easily readable language
  • Strong competence in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to communicate with appropriate business vocabulary, tact, discretion, and judgment to gain confidence of development prospects and donors
  • Ability to work effectively both on team projects and on individual projects with relative autonomy
  • Ability to operate with purpose, urgency, and accuracy in a deadline-driven environment, balancing various short-term and ongoing projects
  • Exceptional organizational skills, creativity, self-motivation, and attention to detail
  • A commitment to embracing diversity and fostering an environment of inclusion and cultural competency (see our definition below)
  • Confident, mature outlook and presence, sense of humor, relentless optimism, a spirit of problem-solving, and calm under pressure

Cultural competency is a lifelong process of building the knowledge, mindset, and skills necessary to engage fully and effectively with students, colleagues, and stakeholders of different backgrounds. This process requires us to deeply understand our nation’s history of injustice and its link to the persistent opportunity gaps that INCS and its member schools are focused on closing. It also requires us to strengthen our cultural competency by better understanding our own implicit and explicit biases and by reflecting on our words and actions through open dialogue.

INCS invests in building greater cultural competence and responsiveness across our team by supporting ongoing reflection, learning, skill-building, and positive actions. We know that culturally competent teams, especially when inclusive of individuals who share the racial, socioeconomic, and/or academic backgrounds (e.g., first generation college goers) of member schools’ student populations, are best equipped to take action to ensure fairness inside and outside of INCS. To that end, we believe in building a richly diverse and inclusive organization, including a mission-critical imperative for all staff to both model and contribute to the vision we hope to achieve.


We believe it is critical for leaders to reflect the communities that they serve and that diversity across multiple dimensions enables us to achieve our mission of transforming lives and communities through public education. We don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our staff, member schools, and the broader community. INCS is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  INCS provides a suite of competitive benefits.


As soon as possible.


Candidates for the Development Manager position should submit their application for the search committee’s consideration. INCS will begin immediately to review candidates and their qualifications, and continue until the position is filled. To apply, please submit a letter of interest and a current resume to Rena Dascal, Director of Development, at

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