Senior Development Associate

The Forest Preserve’s Foundation’s mission is to engage in protecting and restoring the treasured natural habitats within the Forest Preserves of Cook County and to enhance the outdoor experiences of all communities.

The Foundation, which is an independent, 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, encourages and administers private gifts to further the Forest Preserves of Cook County's mission and goals.

In 2015, The Foundation adopted its first strategic plan to help guide its growth and impact over the next two years.

Scope of the Position

To support the Foundation’s leadership in fundraising, communications and administration activities aligned with its mission and strategic plan. Position requires an ability to effectively and successfully communicate the Forest Preserve Foundation’s mission, goals and accomplishments to others; fulfill Forest Preserve Foundation’s short and long-range fundraising needs and goals. This position reports to the Executive Director and supervises no staff.

The primary responsibilities of the position are:


  • Conduct donor research, qualification and cultivation, and coordinate other fundraising efforts (donor relations, corporate sponsorships, fundraising special events, and planned giving) to help sustain the Foundation’s annual operating needs and accomplish its long-term fundraising goals.
  • Identify prospective donors including individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Support the implementation and expansion of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.
  • Manage small prospect portfolio (including event sponsorship and tribute gifts).
  • Solicit donors via face-to-face meetings, phone, written proposals, direct mail, etc.
  • Plan and coordinate stewardship activities of donors.
  • Maintain and improve donor databases and systems to: a) track contributions by project, by donor and by solicitation source; b) produce timely donor acknowledgements; and c) create reports as appropriate.
  • Write/prepare grant proposals and reports, donor solicitations and campaign materials, and correspondence related to development activities.
  • Work with the Executive Director to develop and maintain prospect and donor portfolios.


  • Work with Executive Director an annual communications plan.
  • Develop and implement communications and information activities including producing newsletters, annual report, brochures, press releases and informational materials, and website development and maintenance.
  • Develop and advance social media communications for the Foundation.
  • Partner with Forest Preserves of Cook County and other entities, as appropriate, for mutual benefit to accomplish the Foundation’s mission and leverage resources.


  • Assist with staffing activities to the Board of Directors.
  • Support implementation of the annual strategic plan.

Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree (graduate degree preferred).
  • At least three years relevant experience including nonprofit fundraising (required); and communications, marketing, public relations, non-profit management (preferred).
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent computer skills including experience with Microsoft Office, desktop publishing (Adobe) and web-based software preferred.
  • Ability to utilize internal and external tools to conduct prospect research – including Raiser’s Edge contact management database.


  • Demonstrated experience with managing volunteer and donor relationships.
  • High level personal and professional integrity.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Excellent time management skills including ability to meet established goals and deadlines.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to occasionally use personal vehicle as necessary in the performance of work-related activities – travel and mileage expenses will be reimbursed.
  • Shared commitment to the Foundation’s mission and work.
  • Ability to maintain strong, positive, collegial working relationships with staff, Board, and outside consultants and professional service providers.
  • Ability to access to the Internet/email when not in the Foundation’s office.
  • Must be willing to support an ethical, smooth and efficient working environment with staff, Board, funders and partners.

Benefits of the Position (following a 90 day probation period the following are available and offered to the successful candidate)

  • This is a full-time position with potential for advancement.
  • Starting salary commensurate with experience. Annual salary increases are based on performance metrics.
  • Two weeks paid vacation to start.
  • Health insurance stipend.
  • Eligibility for enrollment in Foundation’s retirement plan after one year of employment.
  • Training and career development opportunities available as annual budgets permit.
  • Joining a young, dynamic and growing organization.

Forest Preserve Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and provides a smoke-free, drug-
free work place.

Please mail or email letter of interest, current resume, brief writing sample(s) not to exceed three pages, and three references to:

Shelley A. Davis

President and Executive Director

Forest Preserve Foundation

69 W. Washington Street, Suite 2040

Chicago, IL 60602

[email protected]

Position open until filled. Candidates will be notified regarding the status of their applications. For further information about the organization, please visit

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