Director of Development

Our Mission

Fueled by the belief that talent is ubiquitous, the Academy Group unlocks opportunity for young people from the most resilient communities to realize their full potential.

Program Model

The Academy Group is a fourteen-year journey that develops students’ core understanding of wealth creation, business, leadership, and justice topics. We accept rising fourth-grade and tenth-grade students. Their journey begins with summer and school year programming that includes experiential learning, high school, college and career awareness. Also, the students have access to academic acceleration and differentiated enrichment experiences.

To further support its mission and operations, The Academy Group seeks a charismatic, visionary, strategic leader who is highly adaptable and eager to meet and exceed the needs of our rapidly expanding organization. This individual will lead with exceptional communication, a proven track record of high-level project management, and fluency in innovative thinking.

The Role

In partnership with the Managing Partner, the Director of Development is responsible for all fundraising and development activities. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build Academy’s Group’s nonprofit’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. The Development Director also will design and implement a comprehensive plan for developing key external alliances by cultivating individual and philanthropic support.

The Director of Development will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to grow a $1M budget through the solicitation of major gifts, federal and state grants, special events, and corporate and foundation support.

The Director of Development will expand and diversify the Academy Group’s nonprofit’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives. In addition, the Director of Development will work closely with the board of directors and support board members as they take on a more active fundraising role.

It is expected that the amount raised by Academy Group’s nonprofit will increase in future years as the Director of Development systematically and effectively strengthens the organization’s overall fundraising capacity.


  • Lead and partner with the Managing Partner and board members on all major fundraising initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Finance to develop and implement Academy Group’s Nonprofit’s financial strategy.
  • Actively work with the Managing Partners to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy to include corporate, foundation, government grants, etc.
  • Have primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals; write and archive all proposals with a long-term relationship-management approach.
  • Oversee research funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position Academy Group’s Nonprofit ahead of major funding changes or trends
  • Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to the Board and Executive Team.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the development program.


  • 5 plus years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization demonstrated success in a development function (managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources)
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s preferred
  • Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside of Academy Group
  • High energy and passion for Academy Group’s mission is essential
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement annual strategic development plan
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time


This position will be based in Chicago.


The Academy offers competitive benefits and salary for this role aligned to senior administrative staff of a top tier education program.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

  • Continually required to stand, walk, sit.
  • Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity.
  • Occasionally required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl.
  • Continually required to talk or hear.
  • Continually utilize visual acuity to operate equipment, read technical information, and/or use a keyboard.
  • Occasionally required to lift/push/carry items up to 25 pounds.
  • Occasionally loud noise.

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or physical requirements. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The Academy Group is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Academy Group does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

To Apply

Please send your resume and a short (<250 words) note about your interest in the role to: