Director of Development

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $80,000
Maximum: $90,000




180 N. Michigan Ave
Suite 600
United States



Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) is an independent, not‐for‐profit organization dedicated to the healing and empowerment of sexual assault survivors through non‐judgmental crisis intervention counseling, individual and group counseling, and medical and legal advocacy in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. RVA provides public education and institutional advocacy in order to improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors and to effect positive change in policies and public attitudes toward sexual assault. Established in 1974, RVA now serves over 2000 survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones annually through our main office in downtown Chicago and our community‐based offices in Austin, Ravenswood, and on the Stroger Hospital campus.



The Director of Development will provide strategic leadership in the creation and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising plan that reflects a diverse portfolio including an individual donor program, foundation support, annual appeals, corporate sponsorship, and special events. The Director of Development will create the vision for fundraising growth and ensure implementation of a multi-year development plan that supports and aligns with the vision for growth and our agency’s overall strategic plan. The Director supervises a Marketing and Communications staff person and a Development Associate, as well as development intern(s) and a contractual grant writer. This is a full-time, exempt position.


Individual and Corporate Donor Identification, Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship

  • Develop, implement, and maintain an individual donor strategy including the identification, management, cultivation, and solicitation of individual donors with specific focus on major donor acquisitions and stewardship.
  • Responsible for meeting and/or exceeding annual fundraising goals as established in the strategic plan.
  • Identify and cultivate new relationships with individuals, businesses, and corporations to solicit financial and in-kind contributions.
  • Oversee the implementation of appeal letter campaigns, including the annual year-end appeal and all other fundraising initiatives and communication.
  • Establish and ensure operating practices regarding but not limited to correspondence, gift processing, acknowledgements, and financial reporting.
  • Accountable for analytical measurement of campaigns and activities, measuring effectiveness and ROI ensuring the best use of development resources.
  • Accountable for the quality and integrity of the donor management system and donor related information, and reporting.

Grants Management and Foundation Relations

  • Ensure that research, letters of intent, grant proposals, and grant reports are submitted on a timely basis to funders, in coordination with contract grantwriter and program directors.
  • Cultivate institutional supporters by maintaining regular communication with current and potential funders, and coordinating and leading site visits.
  • Oversee prospect research for potential funders, including local, regional, and national foundations.
  • Maintain a comprehensive internal grants calendar tracking current and potential funders.



  • Oversee the creation and implementation of an annual marketing and communications plan, including but not limited to social media communication, website messaging and management, agency-wide collateral and promotion materials, and public campaigns.
  • Oversee public relations outreach and establish a proactive strategy to manage messaging and branding.



Special Events

  • Ensure that the special event planning initiatives of the Resource Development Committee (or their assigned delegates) are supported and appropriately staffed by the development department and/or volunteers.
  • Lead the planning and implementation of all other special events, including a major donor cultivation/stewardship event.
  • Recruit volunteers and manage event planning committees.


Board Engagement

  • Engage the board and/or Resource Development Committee (RDC) as appropriate to effectively implement the annual fundraising plan.
  • Work directly with the RDC chairperson and committee, staffing meetings and supporting the agenda of the chairperson as they work to meet the responsibilities and goals of the committee as outlined in their charter and in the strategic and development plans.
  • Support and advise all Board members on their annual give/get pledges including their fundraising activities, individual giving, donor identification, donor cultivation, donor solicitation, donor stewardship, and donor recognition.
  • Provide guidance, support, and ongoing training to develop and maximize Board fundraising capacity.
  • Prepare regular reports on progress related to fundraising and the management of the fund development activities, providing relevant data analysis.


Development Budget Management

  • Develop and submit an annual revenue and expense budget for the development department based on fundraising goals as established in the strategic plan.
  • Track and monitor revenue, expenses and ROI in effort to ensure the fundraising goals as approved in the annual budget and strategic plan are met.



  • Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization.
  • Participate as a key member of the staff Leadership Team.
  • Attend board meetings.
  • Hire and supervise a Development Associate and Marketing/Communications staff and/or consultants.
  • Recruit and supervise intern(s).
  • As necessary, recruit, hire, and supervise a Contractual Grant Writer.


Perform other duties as assigned to further the reputation and financial stability of RVA. 


  • 4-5 years of experience in non-profit fundraising and communications with demonstrated accomplishments, including a proven track record in achieving fundraising goals and experience in development and managing a diverse portfolio of support.
  • Proven track record in successfully developing and implementing an individual donor strategy.
  • Successful history of working with boards and event committees.
  • Independent, results-focused, highly organized self-starter.
  • Excellence in time management and prioritization skills.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Superior responsiveness and impeccable verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, manage multiple tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to function well within a team environment, which includes cross-department collaboration.
  • Ability to write LOIs, proposals, and grant reports with a history of success in raising dollars via private foundations.
  • Ability to give and receive honest, constructive feedback.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with Chicago philanthropic community highly desired.
  • Technologically savvy, with advanced experience in Microsoft Office Suite, online fundraising, e-communications, and donor databases required; specific knowledge of the Salsa database a plus.
  • An understanding of and commitment to RVA’s mission a must; understanding of and/or experience working with sexual assault, women’s issues, and human rights issues preferred.
  • Minimum of one year of supervisory experience required.
  • BA/BS (or equivalent) in a related field required.
  • Completion of minimum 40-hours of sexual assault training within 90 days of hire is required.
  • Flexibility to work occasional evening and weekend hours required.


Persons of color and LGBTQ persons are encouraged to apply. RVA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability in its procedures and policies.


HMO, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance fully covered by employer. Holiday, Vacation, and Sick time.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To Apply:

Please send your cover letter, resume and a writing sample by e-mail to the following:

Erin Walton, Executive Director


Include Director of Development and your last name in the subject line.


Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

No phone calls, please.