Bernard Zell is an independent, progressive Jewish day school in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago serving over 450 students in nursery through eighth grade. Founded in 1946, the school combines the best of Jewish learning and traditions with innovative educational practices in a rigorous and nurturing learning environment. Dedicated educators partner with families to fulfill the goal of raising children to be their best selves and good citizens of their communities.
Bernard Zell features a multidisciplinary, layered curriculum of general studies and Jewish studies that builds on each previous year’s learning, an approach that cultivates confidence, creativity, leadership and empathy. Graduates possess a strong foundation, an intrinsic curiosity for continued learning and are exceedingly well-prepared for high school and life beyond.
Now entering its 75th year, Bernard Zell seeks an experienced Director of Development to advance the mission of the school and achieve a $2M+ annual fundraising goal as well as endowed and capital giving efforts. This position reports to and collaborates closely with the Director of External Relations, serving as a key member of the advancement team focused on guiding the school’s strategic development efforts. The ideal candidate will have 10+ years of relevant nonprofit fundraising experience, preferably in a Jewish environment. The Director of Development will be charged with designing, implementing, and managing all fundraising activities.
Partner with professional and lay leadership to develop fundraising strategies, campaign plans and initiatives
Manage a portfolio of major donors; create and implement individualized solicitation, cultivation and stewardship plans
Supervise a development team of 2 – 4 members; work collaboratively with members of the advancement team to develop virtual and in-person events to engage and educate donors
Manage a portfolio of current and prospective major donors while also overseeing a portfolio of middle-tier donors and prospects
Develop and oversee annual, capital, endowed and legacy donor recognition programs, events and communications
Oversee Bernard Zell’s Endowment Growth initiative, Legacy Society, and the final phase of the school’s capital Campaign to Transform Bernard Zell
Partner with and coordinate volunteers, board members and committee leadership who support development
Oversee all restricted giving and foundation relationships, including grant applications and reporting
Develop and implement strategies for securing funding for key school initiatives
Manage the departmental budget for all development related activities
Oversee the routine updating of donor profiles; record all donor touchpoints and progress notes in the donor database management system
Report on and analyze campaign progress, results and giving trends
Bachelor’s degree required
10+ years professional fundraising experience
Experience and comfort working with high-level donors and philanthropists
Excellent written and verbal communication skills; highly organized
Skilled at developing relationships with lay leadership and donors; motivating volunteers to meet goals
Proven ability to secure major gifts of $5,000+
Project management expertise; ability to manage a budget, prioritize multiple requests and meet deadlines
Knowledge and understanding of the Chicago Jewish philanthropic community
Goal-oriented and data-driven with strong follow-through
Energetic team player with a can-do attitude
Demonstrated ability to work with and maintain confidential information
High level of comfort working with business technology including Microsoft Office Suite and Google Suite; experience with Raiser’s Edge preferred
Ability to work evenings, weekends or irregular hours as necessary
Passion for Jewish education and the Bernard Zell mission
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (www.bernardzell.org) is an independent Jewish day school for the 21st century where academic purpose, collaborative learning, and deep commitment to humanity develop engaged, confident learners and compassionate leaders for a stronger, more vibrant community and world. A pluralistic community day school, Bernard Zell welcomes students and families of varied religious beliefs and observance. The school combines Jewish learning and tradition with the best of innovative educational practice in a challenging and nurturing learning environment.