Development Director

The Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that seeks to reduce mass incarceration by providing legal services to individuals incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. We focus on novel and creative approaches to prison reduction including mass commutation campaigns, sentence restructuring, public education, and advocacy.

IPP is hiring a Development Director, who can build on the organization’s solid base of support in its first three years and elevate fundraising to the next level, by tapping into diverse streams of new revenue. With a current budget of over $3 million, it is an exciting time of growth for IPP. The Development Director will have a unique opportunity to join a mighty team of professionals doing purposeful work that brings hope to incarcerated people and their loved ones. IPP requires all team members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Responsibilities include:

  • Recommend annual development budget, help to set and meet revenue and fundraising goals, and create a fundraising plan that includes cultivation and stewardship goals, and new donor and retention goals;
  • Work in partnership with the Executive Director to engage, cultivate, and steward existing and prospective donors; Maintain a focus on gratitude, developing lasting relationships;
  • Continually identify new foundation, individual, and corporate prospects;
  • Build fundraising capacity throughout the organization, helping grow the skills of all staff and making development an organization-wide effort;
  • Manage the foundation proposal and reports calendar to ensure timely delivery, and in collaboration with the program staff and Executive Director, deliver high quality grant proposals and funder reports; oversee routine programmatic and financial reports for government grants;
  • Develop a year-round donor communications strategy in partnership with the Communications Team;
  • Work in collaboration with the Communications Team to design and write fundraising e-updates and appeals, and bring a fundraising lens to marketing materials, newsletters and the annual report;
  • Organize, oversee, and execute engaging cultivation and fundraising events;
  • Coordinate with Executive Director to maximize event fundraising by soliciting sponsors and building event host committees and volunteers;
  • Maintain fundraising data and systems, ensuring the organization’s donor and prospect information is updated and accurate and donors are being acknowledged.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or have had an equally effective and relevant alternative educational or professional experience;
  • A deep commitment to criminal legal change in Illinois and social, economic, and racial justice;
  • 3 years of nonprofit fundraising experience preferred with a demonstration of increased responsibilities and track record of success, particularly with diverse groups and communities;
  • Excellent personal and professional communication skills; competent and clear writing abilities;
  • Outstanding organizational/project management skills;
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends as required;
  • Proficiency using Google suite and Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint;
  • Hands-on experience with CRM software; ability to navigate, run queries and segment lists;
  • Previous experience with legal or advocacy organizations is a plus.

Location: IPP maintains a hybrid work environment, including working remotely and out of IPP’s office at 53 West Jackson Blvd in Chicago, Illinois. Consistent with IPP’s hiring practices, this position can be remote but hiring preference is given to local candidates or candidates who plan to relocate locally. Certain tasks or events, however, may require that the Development Director be physically present in Chicago. 

Reports To: Executive Director

Compensation: This is a full-time position with a salary of $65,000 and benefits that include generous vacation leave, health, dental, vision, long-term disability, life, and 401K.

Illinois Prison Project is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion or belief, sex, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Illinois Prison Project believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as an organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

How to Apply:

  • Please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample (preferably a grant proposal), and three professional references as PDFs via email to with “Development Director” in the subject line. Please note: applications that do not include all the required materials will not be considered.