Director, Development, Chicago and the Midwest

Chicago, IL

Overview of AJWS

Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS advances the health and rights of women, girls and LGBT people; promotes recovery from conflict, disasters and oppression; and defends access to food, land and livelihoods. AJWS pursues lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing supporters in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, the AJWS community strives to build a more just and equitable world.

About the Department

AJWS’s Chicago office is responsible for overseeing and implementing the vision of AJWS in Chicago and the Midwest. The scope of responsibilities includes raising funds in this region, maintaining relationships with key donors and stakeholders, building AJWS’s community in Chicago and the Midwest, envisioning and executing special events and targeted communications for AJWS supporters, and effectively articulating AJWS’s global purpose and impact.

Position Summary

AJWS seeks a strategic and professional Director for Chicago and the Midwest who will expand and grow our presence by enlisting the support of both Jews and others who are committed to AJWS’s mission to promote human rights in the developing world. The Director will design and implement strategies to broaden the cultivation of current and prospective major donors in Chicago and the Midwest, with particular emphasis on generating larger gifts, expanding the capacity of existing donors, and building a pipeline of new donors.

The Director will:

  • Partner with the Vice President for Development and other members of the Development leadership team to lead AJWS’s work in Chicago and the Midwest;
  • Strengthen existing donor relationships and steward and solicit a portfolio of major donors, including individuals, family foundations, professional foundations, and corporations;
  • Oversee a Chicago-based Leadership Council of AJWS supporters;
  • Develop and manage a pipeline of prospects, successfully converting them into long-term AJWS donors;
  • Plan, execute and staff fundraising events for AJWS President and CEO, senior staff, and board members;
  • Conduct research on prospective donors and work with the Development team on information management;
  • Partner with the Vice President for Communications and members of the national communications team to develop and implement a strategic communications and marketing plan for the region;
  • Establish trust, maintain strong relationships and develop partnerships with board members and donors;
  • Speak and write articulately about AJWS, its mission, policies, culture, values, history, key stakeholders, programs, and finances;
  • Stay abreast of philanthropic, economic, social, and community trends related to American Jewish World Service;
  • Build relationships with key institutions in Chicago and the Midwest, including those within the Jewish community and those concerned with human rights and economic development.
  • Supervise at least one staff person.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree is required; advanced degree or equivalent record of continuing professional development preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of non-profit or equivalent experience with a progressively increasing degree of management and fiscal responsibility;
  • Demonstrated successful track record as a major gifts fundraiser;
  • Strong knowledge of the Chicago Jewish, progressive and international human rights communal landscapes with the ability to strategically place AJWS and its work and build alliances within those communities;
  • Ability to build and maintain strong personal one-on-one and institutional relationships;
  • High degree of flexibility in order to achieve organizational objectives;
  • Excellent judgment, an ability to exercise discretion and tact in difficult or confidential situations and an ability to project a positive, professional image to the public;
  • Exceptional analytical, strategic planning, and research skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate articulately and interact comfortably with high-net-worth individuals and groups;
  • The capacity to build and maintain strong relationships with constituents of varied backgrounds, including AJWS’s Jewish constituency;
  • Superior ability to communicate effectively and concisely in English (both in writing and orally);
  • Strong attention to detail with the ability to solve problems, work independently, and excel in a high-performance culture; and
  • The ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally as necessary.

Additional Considerations:
People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, click on the link to apply below. Applications submitted without a resume and personalized cover letter will not be considered.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.