Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights seeks a talented development professional to lead our annual giving program, including special events, and increase overall contributions from individuals, corporations, and law firms. This is an ideal leadership opportunity for a person who has a passion for civil rights and racial equity, and the drive and skills to advance the organization’s growth. The Development Director will report directly to our Chief Advancement Officer, who directs overall development strategy and leads our foundation development work, and also will work closely with our Executive Director/CEO on all aspects of annual giving. This person will coordinate with our Communications Director to strengthen our marketing and donor cultivation and outreach efforts and increase our brand and visibility.
Building on a highly successful 50th Anniversary Gala in 2019, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee is well positioned to take its fundraising to the next level. Founded by attorneys and law firms in 1969 at the height of Chicago’s Freedom Movement, we are Chicago’s leading nonprofit civil rights legal organization. Our mission is to secure racial equity and economic opportunity for all. We provide legal support through partnerships with the private bar and collaborate with grassroots organizations and other advocacy groups to implement community-based reforms. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s Board of Directors recently adopted a Strategic Plan that puts racial equity and community-centered advocacy front and center, and that specifies board engagement as key to increasing financial support from a broad range of sources.
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee pursues its advocacy through litigation, transactional legal assistance, policy advocacy, community education, coalition building, and media advocacy. Our core practice areas are Education Equity, Equitable Community Development and Housing, and Voting Rights and Civic Empowerment. Our robust pro bono program – Pro Bono Works – features one of the largest and most diverse offerings of volunteer opportunities in the city. Each year, over 700 pro bono attorneys take on matters involving litigation, transactional legal assistance, research, and Election Protection.
We have a diverse staff of 19 and a 23-member board that includes leaders from law firms, corporations, government, and philanthropy. We are committed to racial equity both inside the organization as well as through our external advocacy. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee has achieved significant litigation and policy reform victories throughout our history with support from over 40 member law firms. Pro bono partnerships are central to our business model and delivery of legal assistance.
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee currently holds a Gala each year and smaller fundraising/cultivation and volunteer recognition events. Our Gala has grown significantly in the past four years, and the Development Director will play a key role in managing and continuing to grow this event. Our 2019 budget is approximately $2.3M. We secured over $1M in foundation grants; raised nearly $650,000 in special events; received over $300,000 in law firm membership contributions; and brought in additional revenue from individual donors, attorneys’ fees, and government grants.
Implementing a development plan with specific goals, targets, and tactics to continually increase revenue across categories, including: major donors, gala and other special events, law firm memberships, corporate giving, and annual appeals.
Planning and executing our current annual fundraising events, and developing smaller, more targeted fundraising and cultivation events.
Increasing the breadth and giving levels of our individual major donor base, including managing a Moves Management plan.
Increasing corporate support and helping build the new Corporate Leadership Council.
Developing and managing fundraising efforts of our Young Leaders’ Network.
Managing our fundraising database and developing other systems needed to support fundraising.
Working closely with the Communications Director to creatively communicate with donors and prospects and build our brand identity.
To Apply: Please send cover letter and resume to:
Elesha Jackson, Director of Administration at email@example.com
Please, no telephone inquiries.
CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY BY JANUARY 15, 2020.
Five or more years of direct experience with planning and executing special events, as well as annual campaigns that raise funds from individuals and institutions.College or university Bachelor’s degree required.
A commitment to and ability to articulate our mission and impact.
Experience in serving on development teams for nonprofit organizations or educational institutions.
Experience with making direct asks and working directly with board members to create prospect lists.
Experience with marketing and brand building.
Experience and success in the cultivation and stewardship of volunteer and donor networks through a variety of creative outreach strategies, including events and communications.
Experience in managing and manipulating fundraising databases.
Excellent written and oral communications skills.
Team player with excellent organizational, networking, and relationship-building skills.
Self-starter who is able to multi-task.
Preference given to applicants with knowledge of the Chicago legal, corporate, and philanthropic communities.
Additional Salary Information: Salary competitive and dependent on experience. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee offers a generous package that includes medical, life and dental insurance, generous leave, participation in a retirement savings program, and other benefits.
About Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
In the summer of 1963, civil rights activists throughout the South risked their lives to end discrimination and segregation in education, housing, employment, and voting. At President Kennedy’s request, nearly 250 lawyers met at the White House where the President urged them to use their legal training to move the struggle for the protection of civil rights from the streets to the courts. As a result, the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its regional affiliates were born.
In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the northern front in the civil rights movement. As part of the Chicago Freedom Movement’s push for open housing, Dr. King organized freedom fighters to march in all-White southwest side neighborhoods where they were met by violent mobs. These actions laid the groundwork for the country’s passage of the Fair Housing Act. In 1969, in the aftermath of riots, violence, and mass arrests in response to Dr. King’s assassination, and political protest and police brutality at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, a group of Chicago attorneys and law firms formed the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Since that time, the organi...zation has operated as Chicago’s preeminent non-profit, civil rights legal organization, producing important victories in fair housing, hate crime, education, and other cornerstone civil rights cases. Among our major successes are the nationally recognized Lewis v. the City of Chicago race discrimination class action suit, where the federal court required the city to hire by-passed black firefighter applicants and awarded over $50 million in damages for pensions and loss of opportunities to be hired, and the Coiley v. Delawder case, where the state court awarded $1.44 million to three young Black men who were brutally beaten by a mob of white men in a racially motivated and unprovoked attack near Manteno, Illinois.
Today, the civil rights battle continues in policing, housing, voter access, education, and other aspects of public life. With entrenched segregation and deepening poverty in parts of our city and state, the organization operates with an even sharper focus on racial equity and community empowerment. Chicago is ground zero in the fight to make America fulfill its promise of democracy and equal justice for all under the law. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee answers the call to create a new narrative for Chicago and beyond so that residents in all neighborhoods can thrive.