Director of Development

Posted on: March 11, 2020

Position and Organization Description
Accelerate Institute is seeking a talented Director of Development. Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Development is responsible for planning, managing, marketing and implementing the development strategy, driving all contributed income for Accelerate Institute and our subsidiary Alain Locke Charter School in support of its current and long-term strategic objectives. The overall vision for this role is to ultimately build a team with a goal of financial and geographic expansion. This position will ensure the effective delivery of Accelerate Institute’s vision, mission, and brand through its fundraising programs.

The Director of Development will possess a proven track record in providing creative and innovative leadership in resource development and in promoting and administering dynamic fundraising strategies. The successful candidate will have demonstrated skills in the full spectrum of development activities including grant development (with a strong emphasis in soliciting major gifts from national and regional foundations), special events, board development, donor cultivation, stewardship, and donor recognition. She or he will be self-motivated, results-oriented, creative, entrepreneurial, highly energetic, and intelligent with exceptional interpersonal and organization skills.

About Accelerate Institute
Founded in 1991, Accelerate Institute’s mission is to enable every child-regardless of their zip code-reach their full potential. We partner to create high-performing schools, by dramatically accelerating student achievement. Through the School Accelerator, Principal Fellowship, and Leadership Academy programs, we draw on the leadership model used to achieve success at our nationally recognized school, Alain Locke Charter School.

Accelerate Institute has trained more than 100 school leaders who are currently working in more than 20 cities across the United States. Our work is grounded in Accelerate Institute’s core values:

• Students First: We make decisions in which student achievement and well-being are prioritized while honoring individual student experiences.
• Absolute Excellence: We bring our best work, are productive, are present, and get accelerated results.
• Synergy: Our interactions and cooperation produce a combined effect greater than the sum of the separate effects.
• Equity and Inclusion: We value all dimensions of diversity and seek to model the fairness and justice that we want to see in the world.
• Gratitude: The work is hard. In that we find joy and are thankful to each other and show appreciation for all stakeholders.

Accelerate Institute is located in Chicago, Illinois.

Position Responsibilities
• Fundraising Strategy and Plan: Actively work with CEO to develop, market, and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy; Cultivate new funding streams: local, national, and institutional
• Revenue Oversight: Collaborate with Finance to maintain financial strategy; Provide any updates on funding; Ensure accountants have necessary paperwork/proposals/correspondence; Develop budgets per funders’ requests
• Grants/Donor Research and Proposal Development: Identify new foundation and corporate prospects for solicitation through grant proposals and major gifts; Develop proposals for foundation, corporate, and non-profit partners; Package and submit grant proposals
• Events: Work with the Director of Finance and Operations to plan, market, organize, and execute our major fundraising event for the organization
• Data Management: Monitor and ensure integrity of donor information; Provide statistical analysis; Analyze current donors/stakeholders within the database; Upgrade database to keep current and maximize potential
• Donor Cultivation, Stewardship, and Recognition: Work with CEO to cultivate new and continued donors including the creation and implementation of mailing campaigns, donor follow-up, and campaign follow-up; Implement and maintain stewardship and recognition of donors
• Serve as Board Secretary of Alain Locke Charter School: Manage and oversee Alain Locke Charter School fundraising revenue stream; Train School Board and relevant stakeholders in fundamentals of fundraising: prospect research, grant writing, annual appeals, associate board management and development, board development, board duties, and collaboration
• Programmatic/Organization-wide Support: Support work of other organization teams, as needed

Required Qualifications and Skills
The candidate must have:
• Minimum of 7–10 years of comprehensive development experience in similar roles of increasing responsibility and leadership in the nonprofit sector
• Bachelor’s degree
• Demonstrated success in securing multiple major gifts from foundations and corporations
• Exceptional communication and writing skills and strong oral communication skills
• Extremely detailed oriented and organized, with the strong ability to proof and edit documents
• Strong written and verbal communication skills for multiple target audiences
• Proven ability to work unsupervised and solve problems independently, effectively and creatively
• Ability to lead multiple long- and short-term projects simultaneously, meeting all related deadlines with the ability to plan, prioritize, coordinate, and manage own work
• Advanced knowledge of MS Office and experience working with donor tracking databases (Salesforce preferred)
• Results oriented team player with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and to produce high quality work in a timely manner
• A strong commitment to education reform and the mission of Accelerate Institute

Accelerate Institute offers a competitive salary based on prior experience and qualifications as well as a full benefits package. Benefits include: health, dental, and vision insurance; 15 days of vacation; 9 paid holidays with paid days off between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays; a paid floating holiday; paid sick and personal leave; paid parental leave; retirement plan options; long-term disability coverage; and basic life and personal accident insurance.

To Apply
The application can be found here:
Please be prepared to submit the following:
• Cover letter describing your skills, interest, and passion in creating equal access to education for all children
• Resume that clearly articulates your qualifications to the required skill sets defined above

For more information on Accelerate Institute, go to

Our Commitment to Diversity
Accelerate Institute embraces diversity. It is something we have believed in and supported from day one. Having a diverse organization aligns with our commitment to an equal opportunity workplace. We celebrate equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or other legally protected status. We are also ready to accommodate physically challenged or special needs individuals who require any special assistance. Accelerate Institute is proud of our history of diversity and is a strong supporter of the communities where we work.