Chief Development Officer


Salary: $105,000

In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and housing. Since 1989, Inspiration Corporation has assisted thousands of individuals and families affected by homelessness, extreme poverty and recent incarceration.

Inspiration Corporation programs are voluntary, and all service needs and goals are participant- driven. Our case management philosophy is strengths-based and trauma-informed. Inspiration Corporation practices harm reduction and focuses on reducing or minimizing the harm associated with high-risk behavior through motivational interviewing.

At Inspiration Corporation, employees live this mission by demonstrating the following core values. Inspiration Corporation believes that these core values are what make the organization one of Chicago’s leading facilitators of personal transformation, and a great place to work:

  1. Communicate honestly
  2. Act with compassion
  3. Pursue growth and learning
  4. Be humble
  5. Take care of ourselves so we can help others
  6. Work greater together
  7. Create a fun and productive environment

Position Summary

As a member of the executive management team, the Chief Development Officer is an agency-wide leader and participates in executive-level planning and decision-making.  The Chief Development Officer is responsible for overseeing the operation of Inspiration Corporation’s development department and fundraising activities and works closely with program staff, senior management and executive leadership teams and board members to achieve fundraising goals and to ensure transparency and accuracy in measuring and evaluating the agency’s programs and operations.  The Chief Development Officer provides leadership and supervision to the development team, which consists of four staff persons.

Key responsibilities of this position include overseeing private (non-governmental) fundraising for the agency’s operating and capital needs, including the annual fund and any special or capital campaigns and managing the agency’s brand, which includes oversight of the organization’s website, publications, print and electronic communications, social media and public relations.  The Chief Development Officer will spend considerable energy on enhancing or developing new fundraising programs and strategies to develop financial support, including individual and major gifts, corporate and foundation grants and events, in close collaboration with the Executive Director & CEO, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Program Officer and board committees. 

This position requires outstanding written and verbal communication skills, excellent judgment and ethics, the ability to work in a team environment as well as independently, strong multi-tasking and organizational skills, and ability to problem solve. The Chief Development Officer reports to the Executive Director & CEO.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:



  • Demonstrate Inspiration Corporation’s Core Values
  • Exhibit professionalism and high standards in all aspects of performance
  • Oversee configuration and maintenance of the agency’s donor database and compile required development reports
  • Ensure that all files and records are kept current and include appropriate detail
  • Actively pursue gifts in-kind to minimize spending
  • Ensure the efficient and effective provision of services with dignity and respect in accordance with the agency’s mission
  • Work with all departments as appropriate to ensure that the needs of the agency’s participants are addressed
  • Attend agency All Staff meetings and department meetings.



  • Oversee private (non-governmental) fundraising for the agency’s operating and capital needs
  • Work with program staff to ensure transparency and accuracy in measurement and evaluation of program outcomes and operations
  • Develop new or modify fundraising programs and strategies to develop financial support including individual and major gifts, corporate and foundation grants and events
  • Provide supervision and leadership to members of the development department
  • Oversee all fundraising campaigns, including the annual fund and any special or capital campaigns
  • Maintain awareness of trends and innovations in fundraising and nonprofit marketing, evaluate their utility, and test or implement new techniques as appropriate
  • Prepare and monitor department’s budget
  • As a member of a four-person leadership team, work with Executive Director & CEO, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Program Officer to monitor agency finances, develop budgets, and reach consensus on agency direction; to communicate agency’s mission, vision and performance internally and externally; and strengthen and support agency’s work culture
  • Represent the agency to individual donors, corporations, foundations, and other supporters through participation in meetings, site visits, membership in professional organizations, and community involvement
  • Participate in Board meetings and staff Board committees related to development and marketing; provide support for Board members’ fundraising efforts
  • Ensure agency support for and oversight of the Auxiliary Board, including monitoring membership and promoting and supporting marketing and fundraising activities
  • Develop and maintain policies for development procedures, gift acceptance, external communications, etc.


  • Develop and execute major giving, planned giving and other individual giving programs to ensure financial goals are met
  • Manage development and execution of direct mail, electronic solicitations, social media campaigns, and other individual fundraising strategies
  • Manage donor cultivation, stewardship, and acknowledgement program
  • Oversee development of individual donor solicitation materials, and ensure timely and accurate reporting to contributors
  • Oversee all Inspiration Corporation fundraising events, including One Inspired Evening and  Chefsgiving
  • Drive research program to identify and cultivate new individual donors



  • Oversee grant writing program and grants schedule for trusts and foundations
  • Work with Executive Director & CEO and Development and Communications Manager to develop strategies for grant requests
  • Maintain and enrich existing relationships with foundation supporters
  • Oversee research of new potential trust/foundation supporters



  • Oversee corporate giving program and grants schedule for corporations
  • Work with staff to develop corporate giving strategies, including cause-related marketing, event sponsorship packages, volunteer engagement activities, etc.
  • Maintain and enrich existing relationships with corporate supporters, including in-kind contributors
  • Develop relationships with new prospective corporate supporters



  • Manage Inspiration Corporation’s brand, including oversight of the organization’s website, publications, print and electronic communications, social media and public relations
  • Create policies and ensure appropriate use of corporation’s brand identities
  • Maintain relationships with public relations and marketing agencies as required
  • Oversee agency marketing calendar, including planned dates for fundraising campaigns and solicitations, as well as social enterprise marketing and special events
  • Develop promotional materials, such as signs, banners and merchandise


Supervises development staff, including Events and Marketing Coordinator and Development Associate, providing direct supervision to Development and Communications Manager and Associate Director of Development.  Provides training for this staff as required.  Utilizes staff to ensure satisfactory completion of all goals and responsibilities.


    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty at a high level. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



    A bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university required; a graduate degree in nonprofit management, public administration, social services administration or a related field or Certified Fund Raising Executive is preferred.  Five or more years of related experience and training is also required.  Excellent financial and quantitative skills are required.  Strong computer skills are essential, including advanced proficiency with fundraising database management and Microsoft Excel.



    Effectively represent agency to diverse stakeholder groups to ensure agency’s external reputation remains strong and agency is respected and admired among current and potential individual donors, foundations, corporations, volunteers and the community at large.



    Ability to establish challenging but achievable fundraising plan and objectives that align with agency’s mission and support financial and programmatic goals.  Ability to translate strategic objectives into operational goals and milestones that lead to successful outcomes. Ability to project realistic income goals and to advocate for them internally.



    Ability to build and maintain a high performing development team and to work effectively with Board members and Development committee of the Board, providing leadership and support.  Model the agency’s core values and strengthen agency’s work culture.



    Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents.  Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, vendors, consultants, donors, volunteers, regulatory agencies or members of the business community.  Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format.  Ability to clearly and compellingly present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors, tailoring each presentation appropriately for the intended audience.



    Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability, statistics and forecasting.  Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.  Ability to understand, analyze and disseminate agency’s finances from a business perspective.



    Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.



    The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear.  The employee frequently is required to walk.  The employee is occasionally required to stand.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10-20 pounds. 



    The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


    Maintains standard office hours.  Occasional travel between the primary office in Uptown and Inspiration Kitchens in Garfield Park will be required.  Attends evening, weekend, and early morning functions as required.

    In keeping with COVID-19 safety precautions that Inspiration Corporation has implemented, the Chief Development Officer will be asked to perform work remotely to the extent possible; however, on-site work will be regularly required of the Chief Development Officer due to the nature of the duties of the position.


    To Apply:

    Email resume & cover letter to Please include “Chief Development Officer” in the subject line of your email.

    Inspiration Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.

    Posted on 10/15/2021