Assistant Director of Development

Posted by
CURE Epilepsy
Chicago, IL

CURE Epilepsy

Published 17 days ago

Up to $75,000

About CURE Epilepsy:

CURE Epilepsy is the leading non-governmental agency fully committed to funding research in epilepsy. CURE Epilepsy’s mission is to find a cure for epilepsy, by promoting and funding patient-focused research. The organization was founded by Susan Axelrod and a small group of parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back, they joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure.

Since its inception in 1998, CURE Epilepsy has raised more than $70 million to fund epilepsy research and other initiatives that will lead the way to cures for the epilepsies. CURE Epilepsy awards grants for novel research projects to prevent epilepsy related to post-traumatic epilepsy, advancing the search for a cure, eliminating treatment side effects, and reversing deficits caused by frequent seizures. CURE Epilepsy funds grants for young and established investigators and to date has awarded more than 240 cutting-edge projects in 15 countries around the world.

About the Role

The Assistant Director of Development reports to the Senior Director of Development and is responsible for achieving the organization’s revenue goals, specifically with donors ($10,000-$50,000). The Assistant Director’s primary role is to identify, qualify and cultivate CURE Epilepsy’s annual gift prospects of $10,000+, as well as maintain and grow donor relationships through solicitation and stewardship.

A successful candidate will have a strong track record of achievement in developing and managing donor portfolios. As part of this role, the Assistant Director will work closely with the Senior Director of Development and the CEO to craft individualized solicitation and stewardship strategies for the organization’s top donors and prospects each fiscal year. In partnership with other members of the Development team, the Assistant Director will work to create awareness, drive participation, and generate sponsorship in CURE Epilepsy’s annual appeals, signature events and special campaigns. S/he will act as one of the organization’s primary gift officers and will work closely with the CEO, Senior Director of Development, founder, and key board volunteers.

Candidates must have a minimum of five years of fundraising experience with successful past performance of face to face gift solicitations and exemplary relationship building skills. S/he must also have an entrepreneurial spirit, possess intellectual curiosity, exhibit initiative in all situations and be comfortable navigating complex, fast-paced working environments. The selected candidate will be a highly motivated, numbers-driven individual with strong project management skills, a strategic mindset and keen attention to detail. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree or CFRE is preferred. This full-time, Chicago based position will be working remotely through 2021 with an immediate start date. The position is not eligible for a relocation package.


Donor and Prospect Relations

  • Help donors accomplish their philanthropic goals through the creation of meaningful and valuable partnerships with key organizational leaders.
  • Personally, manage and generate revenue from a portfolio of 75-100 donors.
  • Facilitate the qualification process of annual donor or major donor prospects to create a pipeline of donors at higher levels.
  • Design individualized donor cultivation, engagement ,solicitation and stewardship strategies for each high-level donor/prospect in a managed portfolio.
  • Creatively and persistently build and nurture a prospect list of individuals and foundations.


  • Provide positive, collaborative support to the CEO, founder, Development team and key board members and volunteers; assist as needed in their solicitation and stewardship activities and coordinate outreach to donors. 
  • Partner with Development colleagues and consultant to develop, cultivate and convert current mid-level donors into leadership annual donors ($10,000+).
  • Partner with the Special Events Coordinator to manage regional fundraising volunteers, especially around signature events.
  • Work collaboratively with the Senior Director of Development and Marketing and Communications Team to build sound fundraising strategy and create fundraising related communications and materials to present to high-level donors.
  • Assist in planning and executing awareness, cultivation and stewardship activities.
  • Actively contribute to the Development team by supporting and mentoring colleagues.


  • Accurately update and maintain donor/prospect records in Raiser’s Edge; utilize the system to manage consistent and timely contact with donors.
  • Track all interactions with donors/prospects in timely manner; maintain data integrity.
  • Employ research and best practices to better understand prospects’ giving potential; customize cultivation strategies accordingly.

Communications and Awareness 

  • Serve as an effective spokesperson and storyteller to promote CURE Epilepsy’s mission, initiatives, and research.
  • Advocate and advance best practices in fundraising and relationship management.
  • Model solicitation best practices for staff and key volunteers to ensure a comfort level of all those individuals involved in development.


  • Strong knowledge of the principles, ethics and practices of successful fundraising concepts and solicitation strategies.
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible fundraising experience with the ability to build excellent donor relationships and proven success in soliciting gifts.
  • Experience and comfort working with corporate leaders, high-level donors, and philanthropists. Candidates should have a track record of successful five-figure gift solicitations.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills; strong presentation and public speaking abilities.       
  • Ability to evaluate complex challenges and provide innovative solutions to achieve broad objectives; anticipates the needs of others and responds accordingly.    
  • Capable of working independently and as an effective team player in a deadline-driven, results-oriented environment. 
  • Proficient technology skills including some experience with Raiser’s Edge or a comparable donor management system.       
  • Passion for CURE Epilepsy’s mission and the ability to promote and communicate the philosophy, values and impact of the organization to external and internal stakeholders.  
  • Familiarity with and knowledge of other voluntary health organizations and their fundraising practices.      
  • Special consideration will be given to persons with work experience in a voluntary health organization.     
  • A bachelor’s degree: an advanced degree or CFRE would be preferred.      
  • Willingness to travel up to 15 days per month, or up to 25-50% of the time when circumstances again permit (i.e., late 2021 or early 2022)     
  • An understanding that work outside of traditional hours may be required during peak event times (e.g. nights and weekends), and a willingness to adhere to vacation blackout periods.


An attractive and competitive compensation and benefits package will be available commensurate with qualifications and experience.

About CURE Epilepsy:

CURE Epilepsy is the leading non-governmental agency fully committed to funding research in epilepsy. CURE Epilepsy’s mission is to find a cure for epilepsy, by promoting and funding patient-focused research. The…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional


Medical, Dental, Long-term Disability, AD&D and Life Insurance, Paid time off, 403(b) Retirement Plan, Educational Reimbursement, Parental Leave Plan

Medical, Dental, Long-term Disability, AD&D and Life Insurance, Paid time off, 403(b) Retirement Plan, Educational Reimbursement, Parental Leave Plan


420 North Wabash Avenue, Ste 650, Chicago, IL 60611

Apply to This Job


Please submit cover letter with salary requirement along with professional resume.

NOTE: This is a downtown Chicago based position. While we are currently all working remote through the end of 2020, once a return to work is announced we will be working full-time in the office. No relocation package is available for this position.

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