Director of Development

The Better Government Association is seeking an experienced, goal-oriented fundraising professional to serve as its next Director of Development.  Reporting to the CEO and overseeing a staff of two, the Director is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive fundraising plan to secure $3.5 million in annual philanthropic support.  

The BGA’s mission is to promote transparency, efficiency, and accountability in government in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. For nearly 100 years, the BGA has vigorously investigated government waste and corruption, advocated for good-government reform, litigated to defend public access to information and mobilized the public to achieve change.

The BGA’s three core functions take a comprehensive and complementary approach: our investigative journalists identify problems; our advocacy team works to fix them through reform; and our civic engagement team informs and empowers the public - particularly communities that are disproportionately impacted by failures of government. Independently but collaboratively, the three areas work toward one vital goal:  to reduce governmental waste, inefficiency, corruption, and the secrecy that allows them to flourish.

The Director, collaborating with the CEO and the Board of Directors, will identify, cultivate and solicit individuals and foundations capable of supporting the BGA’s operations and advancing our mission.  The Director will also serve in a significant role in designing and implementing a campaign focused on the BGA’s centennial anniversary in 2023. 

The Director also:

  • Works with the leadership team to develop and edit grant proposals for submission to foundations and private individuals;

  • Initiates and cultivates relationships with individuals, foundations and organizations;

  • Crafts foundation proposal and reports as outlined in grant agreements;

  • Leads the annual luncheon, BGA’s signature event, which raises approximately $1.5 million annually, has 800 in attendance, and features a conversation with a prominent journalist. 

  • Works with the marketing and civic engagement staff to shape the BGA’s message, formulate, and execute marketing, social media, and civic programs to external and internal constituencies.  
  • Works with the Board of Directors to maximize giving potential of individual members and develop targeted strategies to engage their relationships with other potential new donors to BGA.

  • Coordinates orientations for new board members and oversee ongoing cultivation and education programs for board and high-level volunteers;

  • Staffs development and trusteeship and governance board committees; 

  • Prepares proposals, reports, and collateral supporting materials for volunteers and CEO when needed;

  • Creates and staffs high-level cultivation and stewardship events;

  • Solicits major gifts annually;

  • Identifies opportunities and institutional capacities and resources for enhancing relationships with philanthropic, community, and political leaders, and effectively executing them.

  • Prepares annual development budgets to ensure expenditures are within budget scope.

  • Ensures that all administrative development tasks including gift acknowledgment, grant reporting, and updates to the development database are completed promptly. 


  • 7-10 years+ relevant experience at a management level in development and fundraising activities with a not-for-profit organization(s), including demonstrated success in capital and annual campaign development, soliciting and securing major gifts from both private and public sources, institutional planning, and significant experience working with Board(s) of Trustees required.  Minimum 3 years proven staff and department management experience required;

  • BA required, knowledge and interest in journalism and policy initiatives is a plus.

  • The individual must also be comfortable working in an environment that is mission and values-driven, respecting and valuing diversity and seeking constructive solutions to challenges and problems;  

  • Strategic thinking and orientation. Solid planning and organizational skills; 

  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and to juggle multiple projects,  Possess a high level of energy, self-motivation, and humor, and be able to draft compelling, grammatically correct proposals and assorted correspondence. The successful candidate also will have the ability to establish strong working relationships and work effectively with others outside and within the organization. This team player must have outstanding communications skills, verbal and written, including listening skills, and be able to maintain the confidentiality of privileged information.

Additional Information

Candidates are expected to gain an intimate understanding of the BGA, its work, mission and values, and how development and fundraising activities impact the organization’s sustainability.  The Director of Development must enjoy a challenge, be passionate about the work, and have a commitment to excellence. 

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent health and dental benefits, 401(K) plan and group life insurance.

Start Date: The position is currently available.

Send a cover letter and resume to Alice DuBose, Interim Director of Development at

The Better Governance Association does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, handicap, age, religion, sexual orientation or national or ethnic origin.

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