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Director of Development







Organizational Overview

Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) was established in 1973 to serve the legal needs arising from the lack of opportunity, criminalization of poverty, and racial inequity experienced within Chicago's Cabrini Green public housing community. Since then, CGLA has grown beyond a single neighborhood to become a citywide, countywide, and statewide leader in holistic legal services, legal information and resources, and advocacy exclusively for low-income individuals negatively impacted by the criminal legal system. Any engagement with the criminal legal system can greatly disrupt an individual, family, and community's quality of life. CGLA is distinguished among legal aid service providers locally, throughout Illinois, and nationally as having expertise in legal matters related to the direct and collateral consequences of the criminal legal system. Since 2014, we have been the sole legal aid services provider serving Cook County with the distinction of focusing exclusively on individuals and families who have been adversely impacted by the criminal legal system in all our legal program areas: criminal records, criminal defense, housing law, and family law. We provide direct legal services, advocate for policy reforms, and provide legal information and resources to other legal aid organizations, pro bono attorneys, and the general public. We also support our clients holistically with wraparound social services from our social workers. Our policy and advocacy work is not performed as a separate entity; rather it is informed by our legal services and the lived experiences of our Leadership Council, an Advisory Group made up of former CGLA clients and community members directly impacted by the criminal legal system.

CGLA’s Mission, Purpose and Vision 

Mission: We provide holistic legal services that include social support services and advocacy for individuals and communities negatively impacted by the criminal legal system. 

Purpose: CGLA exists to remove barriers to equity in the criminal legal system. 

Vision: A more just and equitable criminal legal system.



Position Overview

The Director of Development serves as an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s long-term fundraising strategy consistent with the mission, vision, purpose, and values of the organization. The Director works in close collaboration with the Executive Director and the Executive Leadership Team and is responsible for overseeing all fundraising and development activities, including development-related communications. The successful candidate will be able to comprehend CGLA’s work and impact and translate to appropriate audiences. The Director of Development will help forge new relationships to build 2 CGLA’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. The Director of Development will design and implement a comprehensive plan for developing key external alliances by cultivating individual, organizational, and institutional support. We seek an innovative leader with a racial and economic justice lens who will work to expand and diversify CGLA’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with team members to secure funding for new and existing initiatives. This position will collaborate with the Director of Programs and Director of Policy & Advocacy on grant and project funding opportunities. This position will collaborate regularly with the Director of Finance on grant proposals, reports, and revenue projections. Additionally, this position will collaborate with the board of directors, particularly the Board’s Fundraising and Development committee as well as the Finance committee, to actively engage in and support fundraising efforts and long-term financial strategies. Lastly, the Director of Development will direct the work of up to two team members to secure and strengthen CGLA’s financial health and support the expansion of the organization’s network, capacity and continued programmatic success. This position reports directly to the Executive Director and serves as a member of the Executive Team.

Essential Duties Development & Fundraising • Establish a comprehensive fundraising strategy to increase and diversify CGLA’s portfolio, with specific targets to grow beyond the current $5M budget through the solicitation of public and private foundations, federal and state grants, major gifts, special events, and corporate and firm support. • Establish annual and long-term fundraising targets, while implementing and monitoring progress towards fundraising goals. • Increase and diversify CGLA’s overall existing development portfolio. • Partner with the Executive Director and Director of Policy & Advocacy in CGLA’s public and development related marketing, including key components of the website, social media and mass communications. • Oversee production of all fundraising communications, including annual appeals and thank-you letters and ensure timely execution of the mailings. • Collaborate with the Director of Finance and the Director of Programs to develop and implement CGLA’s financial strategy, budget planning, the identification of CGLA’s budgetary needs and the implementation of the fundraising strategy to meet those needs. • Manage and ensure accuracy of fundraising systems, and reporting. This includes writing department reports for all board meetings, generating financial queries and reports to analyze fundraising strategies and coordinating with the Director of Finance to ensure accurate record-keeping and grant reporting. • Participate in Board of Directors Meetings. Management of Foundation, Corporate, and Government Grants 3 • Monitor philanthropic trends as they relate to CGLA’s work and analyze impact to suggest programmatic and fundraising modifications as appropriate. • Review and track all existing and potential commitments/proposals, including grant submissions and contracts, effectively collaborating with affected program teams to ensure timely completion of obligations and submission of written and financial reports. • Oversee and manage foundation, corporate, institutional relationships and use appropriate tools and strategies to maintain historical information, such as giving history, streams of funding, and CGLA programming goals to ensure success. • In collaboration with CGLA’s Executive Team, evaluate funding opportunities for mission and organizational fit and overall cost to organization, including opportunity costs of applying for certain funding sources and maintaining reporting requirements.

Donor Management & Cultivation • Work with Executive Director and Board of Directors to plan and implement fundraising initiatives focusing on increased giving from individuals, law firms, and corporations, through events, and major donor solicitations, as well as planned gifts. • Develop and implement a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors; cultivate, solicit and steward major donors and actively cultivate lower-level donors to increase giving levels. • Build a robust philanthropist base: develop and maintain key long-term relationships with donors and prospects. • Implement and execute a high-quality donor experience through correspondence, volunteer engagement, events, mailings and acknowledgements. • Work with the Pro Bono Manager and Executive Director to inspire our skills-based volunteers to become donors. • Oversee appropriate staff to manage data base and data entry relative to donor information and gift processing; provide and present statistical analysis to board and executive team; maintain accurate records in database of donor history and cultivation efforts. • Work with Development and Finance staff to ensure all pledges are fulfilled.

Events & Relationship Management • Oversee all CGLA fundraising events, including the annual Fall Benefit & Spring Toast for Justice, as well as development cultivation events. • Develop and implement cultivation efforts that create effective partnership with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, Associate Board, Staff, and Leadership Council members (as appropriate) to be ambassadors for the organization’s work. Personnel Management • Serve as a member of the Executive Team providing leadership in developing agencywide priorities for the strategic plan and monitoring performance. • Provide leadership, coaching, and accountability for all direct reports; build a positive and collaborative departmental culture. 4 • Ensure that timely, consistent, and detailed performance feedback is provided to each direct report. Responsible for ensuring direct reports are performing at a satisfactory level. • Responsible for program onboarding and providing oversight of department hiring processes. • Provide resources and support to address staff’s needs, identify and secure professional development opportunities for staff, provides coaching and supervision, and manage and resolve conflict. • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the department. Budget Management • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Director of Finance to create and implement annual department budget and strategic plans; • Responsible for oversight and management of overall department budget, including monitoring department spending and variances; • Ensure compliance with funders’ reporting requirements; • Responsible for approving all staff expenses and reimbursements according to financial department procedures; • Responsible for managing department vendors, contract renewals and billing submissions.

Other Responsibilities: • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Education: • Bachelor's degree (required).

Experience: • 10 years or more of professional experience in a nonprofit organization; demonstrated success in a development/ fundraising function (managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources). Track record of success in raising major gifts and writing complex proposals for various audiences. • Knowledge of and connections to funding in the Chicago Philanthropic Community • 5 years of technical writing, grant writing, fundraising and event planning experience. • 5 years of supervisory experience. • Experience developing fundraising budgets and preparing financial reports. • Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives. • Experience working in donor tracking systems required. Knowledge of Salesforce is preferred. • Experience in Sales or Marketing a plus. • Basic knowledge of criminal justice reform or experience working in a legal aid a plus. 5 Required Skills: • Development/Fundraising: Proven success in development for a small nonprofit.

Experience running capital campaigns and success fundraising from multiple donor channels. Proven track record in obtaining private resources through major individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and government grants; Ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships. Able to work independently without close oversight. • Project Leadership: Experience in planning, leading, delegating and managing development projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress to executive team and/or board of directors.

Strong organizational skills; Flexible and adaptable style; A leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives; A multitasker with the ability to wear many hats in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple projects and deadlines while producing quality results; Possesses exemplary attention to detail: Strong organizational and time management skills. • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen current donor relationships and to forge new ones. • Communications: Skilled in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising;

Ability to convey complex ideas through brief, simple materials; Experience and credibility when presenting materials to external audiences; Excellent communication skills, both written and oral. Comfortable making pitches in person and personally asking people for money. • Influencing: Gets others to accept ideas by using convincing arguments, creates a winwin situation and responds appropriately to key stakeholders both internally and externally; Possess ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports. • Collaboration: Effective at working with others to reach common goals and objectives. • Relationship Building: Skilled at establishing and cultivating strong relationships with peers, across different levels of the organization and externally; Excellent people skills, with experience collaborating in a multi-disciplinary, diverse, and dynamic team environment; A proven ability to hire, coach, and lead employees as an effective team of closely coordinated, highly professional, self-accountable team players.

Technical Experience: Strong computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint; Have a keen interest in creatively using state of the art technology to meet the organization’s development goals. Supervisory Responsibility: • Supervises up to two departmental employees.

Physical Requirements • Sit for long periods of time • Speak clearly so listeners can understand. • Must be able to handle working in a periodically stressful work environment and balance it with good self-care. 6 • The employee is regularly required to sit, walk, talk, read, see and hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands and fingers to type, handle, or feel and reach. The employee is regularly required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Working Conditions CGLA has implemented a telecommuter and flexible work policy that allows employees to perform work remotely at the employee’s home or at an approved offsite location.

This position will be a hybrid and will require some in-person meetings and activities. While working in the office, you must be able to work in an open office setting with moderate noise levels and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols. Employee must have reliable internet access to work remotely. Telecommuting and the Flexible Work policy is at the Supervisors discretion to approve or deny an employee’s request for remote work based on job or business-related criteria.

Benefits We offer a generous benefits plan that includes Blue Cross Blue Shield - Health insurance, Vision Service Plan – Vision insurance, Principal Dental insurance and 100% employer paid life insurance, (EAP) Employee Assistance Program, Dependent Care and Medical Flexible spending accounts, Pet insurance, Pre-Tax Programs for parking, local transit for Ventra and Metra and UberPool, and Vanguard 403(b) retirement account. Additionally, CGLA offers generous Paid Time-off, Wellness Days, 14 paid holidays per year, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off. During the summer months we celebrate Summer Fridays by closing the office early. Note: Please mention how you heard about the job announcement in your cover letter. NO PHONE CALLS OR RECRUITING FIRMS PLEASE! CGLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages qualified candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position. 


To Apply: 


Submission Deadline: 
October 17, 2023
Organization Information: 
Cabrini Green Legal Aid
6 S. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60603
United States