• Director of Advancement

    Posted: 02/26/2023

    At Rogers Park Montessori School, we are guided by the progression of peace: within self, relationships, school, community, and ultimately, peace throughout the greater world. We are a strong and collaborative community who is seeking a Director of Advancement to enhance opportunities for children to reach their highest potential, as individuals and learners, and to become vital members of the global community. 

    We are seeking a Director of Advancement to spearhead our fundraising strategies and build relationships that advance the mission of the school and lead to increased philanthropic support. This position is a key part of the school’s leadership team and is an extraordinary opportunity for an ambitious development professional to build and implement advancement strategies that engage our community and grow revenue in alignment with our mission, values and strategic plan. The Director of Advancement will play  a major role in promoting and running  a school that routinely transforms the lives of its students.

    Nestled in the Bowmanville neighborhood just eight miles north of Downtown Chicago, RPMS, founded in 1966, is a community of families and educators guided by Maria Montessori’s vision of the progression of peace in our world. The school is an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational day school offering education and after school programming to 364 children ages 2-14. The students, staff, faculty, and parents of our two toddler classrooms, six 3-6 classrooms, five 6-9 classrooms, four 9-12 classrooms, and one Middle School classroom comprise a close-knit school community.


    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    Strategy and Planning (15%)

    • Create, plan, and implement all development plans and strategies to increase funding sources, including individual donations, grants, sponsorships, and board giving.

    • Monitor and manage all fundraising projects ensuring goals are met and adherence to specific budgets.

    • Analyze fundraising results, create reports and regularly communicate progress on strategies and projections with the staff, Principal, and the Board.


    Annual Fund & Special Events (20%)

    • Manage execution of our Fall Annual Fund campaign communications, solicitations, benchmark tracking, and recognition.

    • Develop and execute strategies to expand our individual major donors, manage our appeals, and collaborate with the Principal to solicit major gifts.

    • Cultivate and maintain relationships with new and existing donors, supporters, board members, volunteers and prospects including opportunities for stewardship, authentic partnership, transparency and meaningful engagement.


    Special Events (20%)

    • In coordination with volunteer committees, plan and execute school and community events including but not limited to a fall community-focused event, a spring fundraising gala, and Grandparents and Special Friends Day open house event.


    Foundation, Corporate and Government Support (10%)

    • Develop, design, and write persuasive funding proposals, solicitation materials, grant applications, and other written development documents.

    • Monitor grant requirements and timelines and prepare all necessary funding reports.


    Community Engagement (25%)

    • Actively engage the Board Development Committee in achieving fundraising goals.

    • Serve as primary liaison to the Families’ Association and in collaboration with school program directors recruit and manage volunteers to fill the school's needs. 

    • Produce and promote community volunteerism activities such as food or supply collection drives; meal creation or delivery to community organizations; neighborhood clean-ups; etc.

    • Create and contribute to communications that increase awareness of RPMS, its achievements, activities and impact.

    • Build and maintain strong relationships with staff and faculty, community volunteers, and community leaders to grow awareness of RPMS and amplify engagement opportunities.

    • Promote and perpetuate wide ranging efforts to ensure inclusion and a sense of belonging in the RPMScommunity.

    • Develop and implement a program to recognize and celebrate volunteerism within the community.

    • Create and execute alumni engagement strategy to promote involvement and eventual support.


    Management (10%) 

    • Oversee the day-to-day implementation of all development strategies. 

    • Maintain the Veracross donor database to process gifts, track and manage relationships and ensure timely delivery of donor acknowledgements and receipts.

    • Conduct ongoing prospect research and build a pipeline of prospects from diverse revenue streams including individuals, foundations, corporate partners and government grants in support of programmatic opportunities and auxiliary fundraising events.

    • Work with Finance and Operations staff to reconcile finances and fundraising reports and ensure tax compliance for all restricted gifts, raffles, sponsorships, acknowledgements, and auctions.

    • Stay current on philanthropy trends for independent schools in Chicago and nationally. 


    The ideal candidate is an outgoing people-person with a broad range of advancement skills who can actively engage donors and prospects and champion the benefits of a Montessori-based education, our unique culture and programmatic offerings. This is a full-time in person position that reports to the Principal  and will work closely with Finance and Operations, Admissions, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees to raise approximately $400,000 annually from individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies with increasing revenue in future years to ensure substantial, ongoing contributed revenue to support the school’s operations,financial aid program and future capital needs. Ideally, our Director of Advancement will have a minimum of five years of successful fundraising strategy and implementation experience, a passion for our mission, and a desire to be a collaborative member of a dynamic, supportive, and forward-thinking school community.



    • 5+ yrs of successful nonprofit fundraising  experience, experience fundraising for an independent school a plus

    • Bachelor’s Degree in communications, nonprofit management or closely related field; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the knowledge and abilities necessary to perform the work.

    • Successful annual fund campaign execution

    • Successful Event coordination and production

    • Capital campaign experience a plus

    • CRM or fundraising database usage

    • Working with and motivating volunteers and staff members


    Skills required:

    • Autonomy to manage and complete work projects independently

    • Eagerness to contribute to a community/team mentality and fill priority needs whatever those may be

    • Excellent verbal and written communication

    • Highly organized project manager

    • Technical adaptability in managing relational databases and communications tools

    • Demonstrable commitment to a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging, underscoring the value of diversity across markers of identity


    Additional abilities:

    • Exhibits a genuine willingness to know people and to ensure that they feel seen and valued as members of the community 

    • Enjoys working with and around children

    • Knowledge of or willingness to learn about development in a school setting

    • Content marketing and social media knowledge 

    • Shares warmth, kindness, and compassion always


    Rogers Park Montessori School offers an excellent compensation package, including 401k match, health, dental, and vision insurance, generous time off and wide-ranging opportunities for professional development; and a talented and dedicated staff of teaching professionals and supportive administrators. 


    Rogers Park Montessori School is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. We celebrate diversity and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.


    To Apply

    Please email the following, with DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT in the subject line, to resumes@rpms.org


    • Cover letter with examples of select gifts and grants secured and salary requirements

    • Resume

    • Names and contact information for three professional references




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