Development Director

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $60,000.00
Maximum: $70,000.00



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



906 South Homan Avenue
5th Floor
United States


Free Spirit Media

Job Title: Development Director

Reports To: Executive Director

Supervises: Communications Coordinator, Development Associate

The Development Director provides leadership in crafting and executing strategic fundraising at Free Spirit Media. The successful candidate will be an experienced development professional, project manager, and relationship builder with the ability to multi-task and adhere to internal and external deadlines. This position requires a team player and self-starter, who can maintain focus, perspective, calm, and attention to detail in a fast-paced, creative, and youth-focused environment.

The Development Director will lead Free Spirit Media’s Development & Communications department, which works to promote Free Spirit Media and its youth artists; garner financial support for the organization through philanthropic efforts that complement the organization's earned revenue models; and build an audience for youth media and organizational projects.

Development Responsibilities:

·              Lead annual development plan and strategy, including individual giving program, institutional funding, special events, social enterprise, and program contracts.

·              Prospect, solicit, and steward major donors ($1,000+ annual gift).

·              Host supporter engagement events, including volunteer management.

·              Oversee grant proposal and report writing, database management, and acknowledgement processes conducted by Development Associate.

·              Collaborate with Board members, especially those on the Fundraising Committee, to solicit support for Free Spirit Media. 

·              Manage implementation of Free Spirit Media’s three-year strategic plan in the area of advancement.

Communications & Engagement Responsibilities:

·              Position Free Spirit Media's mission and stories of success in external media through effective public relations.

·              Oversee production of marketing materials (print documents, newsletters and e-mails, social media and digital presences) conducted by Communications Coordinator and Communications Associate.

·              Build and steward relationships with relevant partners.

·              Center youth media in communications and development practices.

·              Contribute to implementation of Free Spirit Media’s three-year strategic plan in the area of media distribution.

Management Responsibilities:

·              Participate on the staff Leadership Team to support organizational development and innovation.

·              Support program assessment and evaluation.

·              Contribute to the introduction and maintenance of organization-wide systems.

·              Support, coach and supervise Development & Communications team members.


Qualifications & Experience:

·              Minimum 5 years professional experience in development, communications, and management at a nonprofit organization, preferably with a focus on youth development, education, community development, and/or film, media, and the arts.

·              Experience in a work setting with a diverse staff team and/or organization serving predominantly black youth and/or youth of color; cultural awareness training preferred.

·              Excellent writing and communication skills.

·              Strong knowledge of and interest in fundraising trends.

·              Excellent organizational abilities and capacity to manage multiple projects.

·              A track record of innovation, creativity, problem-solving, and initiative.

·              Excellent analytical, organizational and project management skills.

Work Requirements:

This is a full-time position, based out of the Nichols Tower in Homan Square/North Lawndale. Hours may exceed 40 hours a week. Occasional evening and weekend hours required. 


Compensation & Benefits:

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with experience; range $60,000-$70,000.

Benefits: Competitive package including healthcare, dental, and vision; IRA match after 1 year.

Paid Time Off: 18 Paid Time Off days accrued during first year in addition to 16 paid holidays.

Professional Development: Funds available to support staff in achieving skill objectives.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply



To Apply:

Please e-mail resume and cover letter to with subject line: Development Director - {Your Name}.

Free Spirit Media is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and equitable environment in which all staff can excel regardless of race, ethnicity, age, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. People of color, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

About Free Spirit Media:

The mission of Free Spirit Media is to cultivate diverse youth voices to transform media and society. Free Spirit Media provides youth on Chicago’s South and West sides with a comprehensive foundation in media literacy and a hands-on media production experience through a youth development lens. We employ a holistic program model to develop youth into productive, connected, and engaged adults. Since our founding in 2001, Free Spirit Media has empowered more than 5,500 youth to share their stories, discover their potential, and engage their peers and communities through digital media. Free Spirit Media’s programming includes school-based media arts education, after school digital media programs, and advanced pathways programs that connect participants with opportunities in professional media industries. Participants at all ages and levels of our programming are supported in developing 21st Century skills that prepare them for success in college and careers. Please see for more information.