Philanthropy Director

Job Type

Full Time




1292 West Wilson Avenue
United States


About the Lycée

The Lycée Français de Chicago provides its students with a rigorous bilingual education in a dynamic and welcoming multicultural community. The Lycée’s education transforms students into global ambassadors, inspiring them to lead lives of purpose, responsibility and respect. First founded in 1995 by a small group of French and American families, the Lycée began as an international school of fewer than 150 students. Twenty years later, our community has grown dramatically to almost 800 students, attracting families from around the world who share the value of an academically challenging and culturally diverse education.


Role Focus:

  • Successfully fundraise to enable the LFC’s Strategic Plan: Excellence in the Classroom, Cultural Identity and Global Engagement.
  • In consultation with community members ensure a strategically focused philanthropic plan, with key fundraising efforts, tools and team management that meets or exceeds goals.
  • Responsible for the comprehensive development, implementation, administration, sustainable support, and evaluation of the Lycée Français de Chicago’s fundraising efforts, creating campaigns and programs to fund a variety of needs

The Philanthropy Director reports to the President of the school with two direct reports: the Philanthropy Manager and the Events Coordinator.

Education and Experience:


The ideal candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred with a minimum of 10 plus years of experience in fundraising for a school or other NFP organization; French fluency a plus; evidence of excellent written and oral communications skills; superior interpersonal and analytical skills, strong leadership, organizational and motivational abilities. Occasional travel required. Competence in IT applications that are relevant to the department including, but not limited to: Raiser’s Edge, MS Office and Google Drive.

Immediate Priorities:

The Philanthropy Director’s immediate priorities are to:

  • Thoroughly understand the Lycée Français de Chicago – its values, history, culture, traditions, communities, programs, personalities, constituencies and governance structure; understand its base of financial support and the short and long-term funding requirements of all segments of the school;
  • Develop strong relationships with, and secure the trust and confidence of the President, key donors, board members, staff, influencers, community members, fundraising and marketing consultants, and others critical to individual and institutional fundraising efforts;
  • Assess and evaluate the advancement department; ensure that the department is well-structured and able to support annual fundraising goals.

Overview of Responsibilities:

  • Effectively engages with the LFC President, admissions and marketing staff, LFC Board, parent volunteers of key initiatives, parent community, potential and current donors and sponsors to achieve fundraising goals.
  • Manages the daily activities of the Philanthropy department and recruits volunteer leaders. Also manages a portfolio of prospective and current donors across all donor constituencies. Focus on corporations and foundations.
  • Participates with the Board of Trustees, President and Chief Financial Officer to determine the priorities for fundraising; establishes and executes a comprehensive development plan based on short and long-term needs of the Lycée as determined by senior and board leadership.
  • Coordinates and conducts regular meetings with the Board Development Committee, and or as directed by the Chair of the committee.
  • Responsible for all auxiliary fundraising initiatives that are originated by volunteers, parents, teachers and staff or outside entities such as individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Puts together and manages the operating budget of the department in coordination with the Chief Financial Officer.
  • With the Chief Financial Officer, develops best practices for gift processing and gift accounting procedures and prepares a regularly scheduled gift report, in utilizing the Raiser’s Edge software, for senior leadership and the Board of Trustees.
  • Designs timely and effective stewardship practices, donor recognition policies and programs, gift acknowledgement procedures, and pledge reminder protocols.
  • With the Director of Communications and Marketing, and Director of Admissions, oversees the creation of brochures, publications, annual reports, newsletters, social media, parent-wide communications, etc. that relate specifically to fundraising.
  • Initiates and maintains close personal contact related to all fundraising activities with major prospects and donors before and after gifts are committed and fulfilled.
  • Achieves the highest standards of donor satisfaction, donor communication, event management, presentations, proposals/grants, departmental quality, team building, fundraising progress, and budget oversight and process improvements. Identifies best practices across institutions.
  • Maintains and grows a strong culture of philanthropy throughout the Lycée community by reporting regularly to all relevant Lycée internal constituents.
  • Establishes annual goals for the Development Department and aligns staff around those goals. Encourages professional development opportunities.
  • Supervises and motivates staff and develops policies relating to the Department. Performs staff evaluations bi-annually.
  • Initiates and cultivates relationships with Chicago community leaders, associations, French entities, city officials, businesses, trade associations and Consulates with Francophone populations and other civic organizations.
  • Reporting to the President, maintains regular reporting contact in 1:1 meetings and through e- mail, phone, memo, written reports or other preferred methods.
  • Oversees and coordinates the collection process of all outstanding pledges as scheduled in the Raiser’s Edge software data base, including working closely with the external auditor during the annual audit process.
  • Assesses and evaluates regularly any potential nonperforming donor receivables, including pledge agreements with the help of the direct support staff.


  • To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:
  • Ability to Learn and teach others established processes - Recognizes the importance of learning and motivates others by own enthusiasm. Is able to learn and reproduce the current processes and recommend best practices to streamline them.
  • Time Management Skills - Manages many tasks and projects simultaneously while adhering to deadlines and promises. Maintains work/life balance without compromising expectations of others. Respected for ability to “find” or “make” time to get things done.
  • Organizational Skills - Creates action plans to meet divisional goals and objectives. Conducts periodic reviews of progress and measures against goals. Establishes broad policies for the office to ensure success.
  • Communications Skills - Effectively communicates accounting, financial and service issues that are complex in nature. Maintains open communications channels with peers, administrators, and customers at the School.
  • Written Communication Skills - Effectively communicates broad and very complex business issues.
  • Problem Solving Skills - Considers a broad range of internal and external factors when solving problems. Grasps complexities and perceives relationships among different problems or issues.

Other Skills and Abilities:


The Philanthropy Director must possess proficiency with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, MS, Google Drive, and Raiser’s Edge software applications.


Other Notes:


All prospective employees must be able to clear a background check.


The Lycée Français de Chicago offers a generous benefits package, including 4 weeks of vacation, 1 week of sick leave, 3 days of PTO, and 2 weeks off during the winter holidays. We also offer health, dental, and vision insurance, as well as a retirement package with up to 4% matching after 2 years, tuition remission, and employer-paid life insurance and short- and long-term disability.

Level of Language Proficiency

French fluency is a plus.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Please visit our website to submit an application.