Director of Development & Marketing

The Position

This is principally a fundraising support position. Reporting to the Executive & Artistic Director, and working very closely with the Board of Directors, the Director of Development & Marketing is responsible for developing and managing a comprehensive fund development program with a goal of raising ~$3 million annually. The Director also builds and manages brand identity and all aspects of marketing communications to raise awareness of the organization and its programs throughout Chicago and beyond. The Director of Development & Marketing is assisted by the Manager of Annual Fund and Special Events and the Marketing Associate, as well as a part-time Development Assistant.



Responsibilities include:     

Board Support

  • Serve as primary staff liaison to the Development  Committee, providing administrative support to committee chairs with scheduling, minutes, and creating meeting materials;

  • Attend all Board meetings and work with Development and Communications & Outreach committee chairs to create and present board reports;

  • Support the Finance committee by providing regular fundraising reports for the former and making recommendations on policies and board recruitment for the latter; and

  • Support the Strategic Planning Task Force through research, writing, and advising on Development and Communications goals and strategy.


Philanthropic grants

  • Researches and initiates contact with potential grant funding organizations;

  • Develops and edits grant proposals;

  • Develops and maintains ongoing relationships with grantors;

  • Ensures that all grant requirements and reporting dates are appropriately met; and

  • Involves appropriate staff and Board in grant solicitation and appreciation efforts.


Individual donors

  • Researches and identifies potential major donors; involves appropriate Board or staff in solicitation of major gifts;

  • Provides Board and/or staff members with appropriate materials and messaging for gift solicitation (accompanying them when appropriate);

  • Works with the Manager of Annual Fund and Special Events to ensure a system that acknowledges gifts promptly and provides follow-up alerts, and that the donor database is up-to-date;

  • Works with the Manager of Annual Fund and Special Events to cultivate and steward the Creative Circle and ChiArts Benefactors annual giving programs; and

  • Oversees ChiArts parent giving activities and approves Parent Support Organization (PSO) budget, expenses and initiatives developed by the Manager.


Events and site visits

  • Works with the Manager of Annual Fund and Special Events, the Board, and parents to execute fundraising events such as the Fall Salon cultivation event, the annual Kerfuffle! benefit, and the Parent Support Organization Silent Auction;

  • Works with the Board to plan other cultivation activities around school performances; and

  • Works with the Executive & Artistic Director and his staff to organize schools tours for donors and prospects.

Marketing Communications

  • Oversee the school’s communications plan including website content, printed materials and mailings, social media, and e-communication platforms;

  • Assist Executive and Artistic Director and Principal with writing organization-wide communications and messaging;

  • Work with Marketing Associate to develop ChiArts’ brand and ensure consistency of messaging and materials across multiple external communications and audiences;

  • Approve marketing and branding materials created school-wide;

Skills & Qualifications: 

Ideal experience

  • Has successfully raised significant funds from the Chicago philanthropic community; has a record of establishing good relationships with funders;

  • Has worked successfully with Board members who actively participate in fundraising activities;

  • Experience with website and newsletter production and message development;

  • Direct experience in successful interaction with diverse, multicultural populations;

  • Direct experience in successful fundraising for arts organizations is preferred; additional experience in an educational institution would be a plus; and

  • Has worked as the sole professional fundraiser or with a very small staff in a larger organization.


Ideal personal characteristics

  • Hard worker with an upbeat can-do attitude; a self-starter willing to pitch in to get things done;

  • Has natural team leadership skills; can encourage and inspire others to accomplish goals;

  • Welcoming and at ease with everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity or wealth status; not only embraces diversity but sees it as an asset; and

  • Has a passion for the mission of providing excellent arts and educational opportunities to students who might lack access or resources.

The Organization

Mission: The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) develops the next generation of artistically gifted, diverse Chicago high school students through intensive pre-professional training in the arts, combined with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum.

The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts®) — Chicago's first public arts high school — provides a tuition-free arts and academic education to diverse, artistically promising scholar-artists from all of Chicago’s fifty wards. By providing pre-professional arts training combined with a college-preparatory academic program, ChiArts hopes to develop the next generation of diverse young artists who will thrive as the creators, thinkers, and community members of tomorrow. Now in its ninth year, ChiArts has been designated a 2016-2018 Exemplary School by the national Arts Schools Network, received the highest rating of a 1+ by the Chicago Public Schools' School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP), and remained in the top 6% of high schools in the nation as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit

To Apply: 

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