Director of Donor Relations

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience.




200 S Michigan Ave
United States


Mikva Challenge is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society. We do this by engaging youth in action civics, an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and youth expertise. We are a dynamic youth empowerment agency that provides middle and high school students with unique civic learning opportunities and “hands-on” experiences in political campaigns, public policy advocacy, government internships, and youth activism programs.

Mikva Challenge is seeking highly energetic professional with a track record of building donor relationships and closing significant individual gifts for its Chicago chapter. The Director of Donor Relations reports to the Chief Development Officer and is responsible for actively seeking new funding opportunities while developing strategies for increasing and deepening a broader base of donors to support the organization. This position is responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donor prospects, while developing a pipeline of individual sources from within Mikva’s current constituents and prospective connections. This position will also be responsible for planning and executing proven engagement strategies that result in both donor retention and increased giving and will steward current and cultivate prospective donors through the management of special events.



●      Manage and execute all aspects of major individual giving strategies including research, qualifying, portfolio management, solicitations, appeals, reporting and stewardship.

●       Work collaboratively with and in support of Mikva staff leadership, Board and volunteers to cultivate and solicit donors. Recommend and assist with donor briefings and programming.

●       Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful donor relations.

●       Routinely engage board members, organization executives and current donors in peer-prospect identification, visits, and closings.

●       Work collaboratively and strategically with the National President, CEO, chapter Executive Directors, and other organizational colleagues.

●       Execute an effective program for recognition and stewardship of major and special gift donors. Communicate through personal visits, written proposals, appeal letters, and reports.

●       Work with Development Database Assistant to record in the donor management system the completed action steps, moves and activities with each donor and prospect in assigned portfolio as they occur, for future reference and strategy development.

●       Work collaboratively with Director of Institutional Giving and Communications Director.

  • Lead and implement annual appeal fundraising activities.
  • Develop and implement individual donor stewardship activities and events. Plan annual goals and strategies for individual giving with a focus on building a portfolio of major donors.
  • Manage annual Spring Benefit including sponsorships, ticket sales, event logistics. Oversee goals, budgets, timelines and internal and external resources.
  • Coordinate and spearhead year-round identification and solicitation of prospects for fundraising event sponsorship, in-kind goods or services, and outright contributions in order to maximize net proceeds and meet annual revenue goals.
  • Record, track, and report on progress against annual objectives.


EDUCATION: Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Administration, Business Administration, or a closely related field.



·      Minimum of 5 years of progressively productive fundraising experience. 

·      Major gift cultivation/solicitation experience. Proven track record in developing and maintaining donor relationships.

·      Experience with the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects and securing gifts of $5,000 and above.

·      Experience managing managers and vendor contracts and demonstrated ability to manage and influence through others to achieve results.



●       Thoroughly understand the mission of Mikva Challenge and its initiatives and serve as an enthusiastic, effective advocate of these initiatives within the community.

●       Interest in all aspects of youth development and a dedication to promoting the organization’s fundraising priorities through developing excellent relationships with executive team, Board members, and volunteers.

●       Adhere to the highest ethical standards; demonstrate empathetic disposition, and perseverance; reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to the needs of donors.

●       Excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated record of completing assignments.

●       Strategic thinker, highly organized, demonstrated hands-on experience with proven ability to multitask, handle pressure and meet deadlines.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills that are effective with a diverse range of audiences including board members, internal staff, volunteers, donors, executives, and potential funding partners.
  • Strong computer skills with both Mac and PC environments and proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Salsa or a similar CRM database.


Mikva Challenge provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. Candidates chosen to be interviewed should be prepared to offer three professional references and a writing sample upon request.


Interested candidates should please send a resume and cover letter to Please reference Director of Donor Relations in the subject line.


Please, no phone calls.


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Interested candidates should please send a resume and cover letter to Please reference Director of Donor Relations in the subject line.


Please, no phone calls.