Working at CHF

The Chicago Humanities Festival has opportunities for year-round and seasonal positions. We invite you to work alongside leading thinkers and performers, share your passion for the humanities, and help bring outstanding cultural programming to your community.

  • Managing Director of Development

    Position:                      Managing Director of Development

    Reports to:                  Executive Director

    Classification:              Full-time, exempt

    Supervises:                 Team of 5 FTE plus interns



    The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew. The Festival envisions a city and society in which its members engage in thoughtful dialogue, explore a diversity of ideas and come together to find positive solutions. Collaborating with many of Chicago’s major cultural and educational institutions, CHF produces over 130 events annually all across Chicago. CHF has a national reputation for featuring some of today’s most important, influential and inspiring minds—exceptional authors, scholars, journalists, performers and visual artists—both on stage and online.



    The Managing Director of Development oversees the full breadth of the Festival’s fundraising efforts—individual giving, foundation, corporate, public sector, and an annual benefit. The position is responsible for developing and executing an integrated fundraising strategy to secure $3+ million annually to support Festival programming.

    The Managing Director is a member of the Festival’s senior leadership (which defines overall institutional strategy) and works closely with the Executive Director, and the programming, marketing, and finance teams. The Managing Director plays a leadership role with the Board, supporting the efforts of its Governance and Nominating, Development, Benefit, Endowment Campaign Committees. The Managing Director is responsible for the completion of a $6 million endowment campaign ($3.5 million raised to date).

    The ideal candidate has a broad understanding of Chicago’s philanthropic and cultural communities, meaningful team management experience (including the ability to prioritize multiple projects, to lead in a fast-paced high-pressure environment, and to provide professional development for staff), development experience (with an emphasis on major gifts, corporate partnerships, and endowment campaigns), and relationships with both local and national foundations that support the arts, education, and humanities. Experience with producing and managing events and audience engagement a plus. The position supervises a staff of five development professionals plus seasonal interns.

    This is a full-time position with a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include: health, dental, vison, 403b, and a commuter spending plan.


    • Develop a contributed income growth strategy to drive the Festival’s individual, institutional (foundation, public sector), and corporate (philanthropic and sponsorships) portfolios.
    • Lead Development Team to achieve annual goals and manage departmental budget.
    • Oversee strategic stewardship of individual, corporate, and foundation relationships, including the cultivation of new relationships and the deepening of long-standing partnerships to identify expanded opportunities for support.
    • Lead select Board Committees—Governance and Nominating, Development, Annual Benefit, and 25th Anniversary Campaign.
    • Working with Development Team, maintain detailed donor records and develop systems to ensure consistent, active and effective outreach.
    • Provide fundraising guidance to the Board and Senior Leadership, including fundraising strategy, prospect and donor briefings, and accurate and timely financial reporting.
    • Coordinate with annual Festival fundraising events and gala—which raises more than $500,000 net annually—and create seasonal Board and donor cultivation and stewardship events.
    • Work closely with Senior Leadership to identify and pursue sponsorship opportunities.
    • Other duties as assigned.


    • Strategic thinker, possessing solid problem solving and analytical skills
    • A natural communicator—possessing strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to simply communicate complex stories about the institution and its programs.
    • A relationship builder with the ability to nurture and maintain strong rapport and positive relationships with Festival supporters, Board, and staff.
    • A well-organized and thoughtful planner able to clearly set priorities and guide a team. Able to manage the intimate details necessary to succeed, without losing focus onlarger overall objectives.
    • Significant experience soliciting and securing major gifts from private and public sources, institutional planning, and experience working with Boards.
    • Possess a high level of energy, be self-motivated, and extremely confident.
    • Budget and P&L experience required.
    • Knowledge and experience with fundraising management systems (Raiser’s Edge, Patron’s Edge, Tessitura) required; deep experience with Raiser’s Edge a plus.
    • 7+ years of development/fundraising experience with expanding responsibilities, including demonstrated success in annual fundraising and endowment/capital campaigns.
    • 4+ years of management responsibilities and/or development leadership.
    • B.A. required; M.A. in a related field preferred.


    Submit resume, cover letter, and references to [email protected].

    Deadline April 27, 2018.


    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer



how to apply

Please contact Saloni Dar, Associate Director, Administration & Operations, at 312-661-1028 ext. 715 for details about volunteering.

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