Development Associate

The Chicago Academy for the Arts seeks a Development Associate who enjoys fundraising and is passionate about the power of the arts to transform lives. This position offers the right candidate valuable exposure to all aspects of fundraising, and to the overall administration of a nonprofit organization that is one of just four independent high schools of its kind in the country. The right candidate must have at least two years of experience in nonprofit development or corporate sales, and enjoy the management of fundraising data and gift processing, as well as Gala event management. The Development Associate must be detail-oriented, entrepreneurial, customer service-oriented, collaborative, and interested in playing a central role in growing a wonderful organization. The right candidate must deliver a high level of quality control and possess a high degree of comfort working with multiple audiences—internal and external, and enjoy leveraging opportunities for revenue growth.


Under the supervision of the Director of Development, the Development Associate will have the following responsibilities:

  • Data Management
    • Manage and maintain CRM database, including:
      • Ensure gifts, grant agreements, pledge payments, and report data is accurate and entered into CRM system in a timely manner
      • Maintain individual, foundation, and corporation files
      • Track all progress with prospects and donors as well as funding progress toward goals
      • Produce reports daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually to help measure and inform progress toward fundraising goals, and to inform gift reconciliation with Finance department
      • Produce queries, labels, data files as needed
      • Manage and maintain constituent records
      • Make updates to donor records, enter call reports, and track event attendance
      • Continually update and correct database records
    • Maintain and produce trustee and prospect manager lists
    • Play a central coordinating role in our CRM platform migration from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce
    • Maintain list of funding priorities
    • Set Campaigns, Funds, and Appeal annually
  • Gift Processing Management
    • Process gifts and prepare acknowledgement letters and other correspondence
    • Produce and send pledge reminders and invoices monthly
  • Annual Giving
    • Help support moves management program for annual donors
    • Coordinate production and mailing of fall and spring appeals
  • Special Events
    • Assist with the planning, management, coordination, and execution of the school’s annual spring Gala in addition to other development-related events
    • Coordinate and support the activities of volunteer leaders and vendors
    • Manage event-related data and produce reports to help ensure progress toward goals
    • Manage auction procurement and management
    • Manage Gala closeout
    • Manage Gala-related meeting calendars, including: sending meeting notices and materials, tracking RSVPs, making follow up phone calls, and scheduling meetings
    • Attend key Academy productions, events, dinners, and meetings when appropriate  
  • Auxiliary Groups
    • Provide support services for Development Committee, Parents Association, and Alumni Association
    • Manage meeting calendars, including: sending meeting notices and materials, tracking RSVPs, making follow up phone calls, and scheduling meetings
    • Conduct regular updates of contact, employment, and biographical information
  • Stewardship and Communications
    • Work with Director of Development to design and implement a disciplined and robust moves management program that includes a meaningful and effective stewardship component
    • Help design and implement development-related content and communiques (social media, email, print)
  • Research and Proposals
    • Research prospective donors – individuals, corporations, and foundations
    • Update records in CRM system with research findings
    • Flag prospects for specific funding proposals
    • Assist with proposal submission


  • Bachelor’s degree in non-profit management, marketing, communications, or related field
  • Minimum of two years of experience in development or sales
  • Proven success in managing a comprehensive set of development functions, which include fundraising goals from a variety of sources and strategies, including annual fund, institutional giving, and special events (or proven relevant success in corporate sales)
  • Significant experience with fundraising and/or sales platform is preferred (e.g. Raiser’s Edge, Salesforce), including the ability to generate complex reports and oversee consistent use and updates within the database
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Computer literacy is a must -- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Comfort level with social media and desktop publishing/design software a plus
  • Ability to work effectively with a team
  • A passion for work with teenagers, families, artists, and in the overall high school education arena
  • Excellent language and communication skills, with the ability to motivate and build a rapport with a variety of stakeholders, including staff, board, volunteers, and donors
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, results-oriented environment while demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness when faced with dynamic priorities and needs
  • Ability to work outside standard work hours when necessary, attending fundraising events, and other meetings and events

REPORTS TO: Director of Development


Please be sure to reference Development Associate within the subject line.