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Gift Officer

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and community organizations to help students stay in school and be successful. During the 2022-2023 school year, CIS of Chicago will partner with 200 Chicago public schools and connect 2,240 services and programs to more than 70,000 CPS students and their families by leveraging community partner programs and services. In addition, CIS of Chicago places full-time Student Supports Managers in 30 Chicago public schools – our Intensive School partners. Our staff in these schools provide intervention services to a caseload of 45-50 students per school who are at risk of dropping out, as well as connect support services to the whole school. 

CIS of Chicago was founded in 1988, and is an affiliate of Communities In Schools, Inc., a national nonprofit organization with offices across the country, reaching more than 1.6M students annually. 

The mission of Communities In Schools of Chicago is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The vision of CIS of Chicago is to ensure that every public-school student in Chicago graduates from high school prepared to succeed. The organization’s core values are ImpactIntegrityRelationships, and Social Justice. 


CIS of Chicago is currently seeking a mid-level fundraising professional to join the team as a Gift Officer. This is a newly created position in the context of the Brighter Futures Campaign, which is supporting an ambitious three-year organizational strategic plan focused on doubling CIS of Chicago’s reach and impact. The position will be vital post campaign as well, to sustain significantly elevated revenue levels well into the future. 

The Gift Officer is a frontline fundraising and donor services position working with individuals and select corporations and foundations. The position is multi-faceted and a pivotal part of the organization’s growth.  Managing a starting portfolio of more than 50 donors, the Gift Officer will identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward contributions of $5,000 and above in support of general operations, program, and program expansion (campaign). The Gift Officer will function as part of a highly coordinated nine-person Development team. Reporting to the Senior Gift Officer, this position is not a supervisory role but will receive some administrative and program support. 


  • Develop a strong working knowledge of CIS of Chicago’s mission, culture, programs, values, and priorities 
  • Promote gratitude in donor cultivation and stewardship 
  • Support the organization’s Brighter Futures Campaign by identifying and cultivating prospects with the capacity to make a multi-year commitment of $25,000+ 
  • Work with select members of the Board of Directors and Leadership Council to leverage and manage donor relationships, stewarding current donors and engaging more major donors 
  • Write/prepare letters of request, donor proposals, and other donor communication 
  • Navigate a relationship-oriented, fast-paced workplace 
  • Model professionalism, accountability, and aspiration in accordance with CIS culture 
  • Other duties as assigned as part of a growing collaborative team 


CIS of Chicago seeks the following skills, knowledge, and abilities in its next Gift Officer: 

  • Passion for serving the most vulnerable children and commitment to the equity and social justice issues central to CIS of Chicago’s mission 
  • Capacity to interact comfortably with major donors and the Board Directors and Leadership Council 
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal) 
  • Superior organizational function and adaptability; able to independently cultivate and manage donor relationships 
  • Ability to draft compelling donor proposals and donor correspondence 
  • Aptitude to create and implement new programs and opportunities for donors/clients/customers 
  • Experience in fundraising or a related field, with strong track record of success (at least 3 years of experience preferred); role is well-suited for candidates with direct fundraising or sales experience, though we welcome applications from non-traditional candidates 
  • Bachelor’s degree 


Submit an application here. In addition to a resume, applicants are highly encouraged to include a cover letter with their application.

This position is a full-time, year-round position and follows CIS of Chicago’s holiday and vacation time calendar and corresponding policies. Currently, the work environment is hybrid (2 days a week at CIS of Chicago’s downtown headquarters / 3 days remote), which may be adjusted at the discretion of CIS of Chicago leadership. Office hours are from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Staff enjoy “Summer Hours” between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with the Friday workday ending at 1:30. The Gift Officer must be available to work occasional evenings and weekends. 

CIS of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training. The organization does not tolerate any discrimination or harassment of any type.