Employment Opportunities



About Advance Illinois
Advance Illinois is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with an independent, objective voice promoting a healthy education system that prepares all students for success in college and career. Leaders from more than a dozen civic, philanthropic, business and education organizations founded Advance Illinois in 2008 to fill the urgent need to prepare more students to compete in a global marketplace.

Advance Illinois is an equity-driven, data-centered, student-focused organization that stays deeply connected to Illinois communities and educators. We approach our work by:

  • Developing policies geared toward improving student success and reaching the state’s goal of having 60 percent of Illinois adults holding a college or career credential by 2025 (“60 by 25”).
  • Building coalitions to influence public opinion and urge decision makers to do what it takes to provide a high-quality education for all children, no matter where they live.
  • Presenting the challenges and opportunities facing Illinois’ public education system through policy briefs and local storytelling to inspire the participation of education stakeholders and the public.
  • Engaging thought leaders, legislators, and policymakers and facilitating action on behalf of Illinois’ students—based on what research tells us what works.

The Opportunity
Since its founding in 2008, Advance Illinois has become a nationally-recognized thought leader in education policy advocacy.

The Development Director will have an exciting opportunity to join the organization as it embarks on its’ 10th Anniversary in 2018 and help set the direction of the organization as it embarks on its next decade of impact.

Advance Illinois currently depends primarily on foundation grants, with some corporate and individual giving, for financial support. We are looking for a strategic leader who can develop and execute on a strategy to diversify our funding mix over the next 3 – 5 years, while reaching annual fundraising goals and supporting our mission.

The Development Director is a senior member of the Advance Illinois team with direct engagement with the Board. S/he will lead work with the Board, Board Development Committee, and the Executive Director to shape and implement the development strategy. S/he will be responsible for leading the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts of the organization in partnership with the Board and Executive Director. S/he takes responsibility for helping set and meet annual revenue and fundraising goals. S/he will help build fundraising capacity throughout the organization, helping grow the skills of all staff in the organization, making development an organization-wide effort. S/he will oversee the grant proposal and report writing for our national and local foundation partners, coordinating with part-time grant-writing support and relevant program and finance staff.

As a member of the senior staff, s/he will provide input in Advance Illinois’ strategy, annual planning/budgeting and goal setting.

Personal Characteristics
The ideal candidate will be passionate about improving public education in Illinois through policy change and state-level impact. S/he will recognize and be able to articulate the multiple ways having in place strong state policy infrastructure serves the needs of students and families in school districts throughout the state. S/he will also be committed to educational equity and learning from and partnering with communities.

S/he will be ambitious and bold, yet practical and able to execute successfully on the strategy. S/he must be hands-on, willing to engage on all aspects of the work.

S/he will have strong fundraising expertise and be excellent at building relationships. S/he will have demonstrated and successful experience in fundraising, with emphasis on individual and corporate, but also able to sustain and grow foundation giving. The Development Director will be able to build and maintain relationships at all levels and with multiple constituencies.

S/he will be intellectually curious, committed to learning, energetic, and strong, yet bring a collaborative approach to the organization and to the work. S/he will be a teacher, coach, and mentor, willing to model and coach others on execution of the development strategy and engagement.

S/he will be of absolute integrity, unquestioned ethics, and bring a high level of professionalism and confidentiality.

Application Procedure
The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should include a letter of interest and a current resume and be submitted electronically.

Nominations, applications, or inquiries about the position and/or the search process should be directed to: development@advanceillinois.org

Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBT persons, differently-abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.