Chief Development Officer
Academy for Global Citizenship
Job Information:

Are you a driven person who believes that creating a better and more sustainable world begins with how we inspire our youth in school?  Do you get excited by big ideas, enjoy producing quality work, and executing successful fundraising strategies?  If so, we are excited you found us!

We are in search of a new Chief Development Officer (CDO) to join the senior team of the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC). The individual will oversee all annual fundraising and lead the second phase of our philanthropic campaignto build a 21st-century learning campus. This opportunity is a new position designed to attract an experienced fundraising professional looking for their next challenge. The CDO will report directly to the Executive Director and enjoy the full weight of an engaged board of directors and supportive donor community.  AGC is also hiring a Director of Strategic Scale who, once hired, will collaborate with AGC’s Chief Development Officer to deepen engagement with current and prospective funders, as well as local and global partners.

AGC was born from an audacious request of a group of idealistic young people led by Sarah Elizabeth Ippel. Sarah Elizabeth, who at the time was 23 years old, demanded that the city of Chicago join her in reimagining what is possible in public education. Ten years later, the school has become internationally recognized as a model of thoughtful integration of environmental stewardship and global citizenship, in addition to its focus on whole student wellness inside the daily curriculum and culture of the school. Serving a low income and minority population on the city’s southwest side near Midway airport, AGC has received not only the highest honors but also international praise for championing a new educational frameworkin an ever-changing world.

AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action to positively impact their local and global communities. The daily work of students, staff and families is built on the pillars of:

  • Modeling academic excellence
  • Developing inquirers
  • Serving the whole child
  • Cultivating international awareness
  • Fostering environmental stewardship
  • Facilitating collaboration within the community

While AGC has been focused on helping local students create lives full of possibility, AGC also has reached 5 million students around the worldby sharing its work openly and encouraging replication of its model.  The successful completion of AGC’s new 21stcentury learning campus is integral to a larger and longer-term goal to serve as a global laboratory of innovation in education and to scale our model through sharing best practices with schools throughout Chicago, across the nation and around the globe.

The “future of learning” campus is one of the most architecturally ambitious projectsin the U.S. today and is paving the way for reimagining the role of “school” and learning environments in cultivating the next generation of globally and environmentally minded leaders.  The net-positive energy learning laboratory will accommodate AGC’s 650 pre-K through 8thgrade students and staff through the addition of an early childhood center, and will also include a teacher training institute, 3 acres of urban farming, reimagined learning spaces and additional sustainability and wellness resources for the community.  To learn more, visit

AGC is seeking a Chief Development Officer who is eager to:

  • Be an energetic and thoughtful leader, producer and champion for the AGC model
  • With the Executive Director, own responsibility for the philanthropic portion of our $45 – $50 millionworking campaign goal ($35 million has been committed to date)
  • Oversee fundraising for general operating support
  • Be a reliable, trusted fundraiser who exhibits drive and strong execution abilities
  • Work closelywith a thoughtful, strategic, and enthusiastic staff that’s in place at AGC, and with our dedicated board of directors
  • Advocate for AGC in the community, strengthening programs and raising funds
  • Serve as one of the “faces” of AGC with a strong external presence,increasing brand awareness and strengthening our reputation

Chief Development Officer

Leading with Energy and Passion

The Chief Development Officer oversees AGC’s fundraising and empowers the Executive Director and board of directors with effective relationship management and fundraising activities across all aspects of development including individual, corporate and foundation giving, as well as events and the campaign.

Reporting to the Executive Director, specific responsibilities include:

  1. Campaign Leadership and Execution – (50%)
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and board of directors, lead the second phase of a $45-50 million campaign (a working target) to build our new campus and global institute. Philanthropy will cover $15-$20 million.
  • Engage the Executive Director and board of directors in campaign fundraising, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding six, seven and eight-figure gifts to the campaign.
  • Lead regular prospect strategy sessions, participate in site visits, go on calls, follow up on requests and provide coaching and supportive activity.
  • Carry a portfolio of leadership gift level prospects and regularly meet with individual, corporate and foundation donors and prospects to tell the story of AGC and inspire support for the campaign.
  • Create a prospect identification program for AGC staff, board and friends, so that donors with giving objectives that are aligned with AGC’s campaign can become involved and make high impact gifts.
  • Maintain the named space and gift opportunities matrix, so that we are able to match donor interests with mission specific projects/spaces and public recognition of donors is available to maximize giving.

2.   Fundraising Leadership and Execution– (35%)

  • Oversee an annual giving program with a goal of a minimum $400,000 generated by grants, individual gifts and AGC’s signature Chefs’ Playground gala.
  • Serve as the primary liaison to the gala committee, which comes together annually to plan the event and raise funds by soliciting sponsorship, selling tables, securing auction items and leveraging their individual and corporate relationships for the benefit of AGC. The annual gala raises $225,000.
  • Maintain the grants calendar, meeting proposal and stewardship deadlines.
  • Maintain information systems, including donor records, prospect research, tracking, reporting and gift acknowledgment.
  • Staff the development committee of the board of directors.

3.  Thought Leadership – (15%)

  • Advance AGC’s public image and model by serving as an active and magnetic ambassador for AGC’s mission and vision with key stakeholders, including representing AGC at local, national and global education conferences and events.
  • Form relationships throughout the Chicago region and around the world that contribute to enriching and collaborative experiences for AGC’s students, teachers and families.
  • Stay abreast of and report on trends in the education movement and philanthropy that may impact approaches to fundraising

Candidate Qualifications

Experienced and Donor Facing

Our Chief Development Officer will be a proven leader with a commitment to AGC’s mission to advancing environmentalism and sustainability through innovative education opportunities.  The individual will be a strong relationship builder who has demonstrated breakthrough outcomes in a similarly mission aligned organization, nonprofit or school setting.  The ideal candidate will excel at campaign work and enjoy driving fundraising to support AGC’s vision.  She or he also will serve as one of the externally facing representatives for AGC’s work.

We seek a professional with a minimum 10 years’ professional experience in a nonprofit or business environment with a minimum 5 years’ in a leadership role.  A bachelor’s degree is required, and a master’s degree is preferred.

Additional skills and attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • Campaign/fundraising experiencewith a record of success in leading and growing a reputable organization, nonprofit or similarly focused school/organization (experience with an environmental education organization a strong plus).
  • Exceptional verbal, written, listening and interpersonal skills with an ability to motivate and persuade people.  Our new CDO must be a more than competent writer.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with an ability to manage concurrent projects and priorities effectively. Follow through is critical.
  • A self-starter who can pivot to work well as part of a team.
  • A consistent communicator whose leadership and work productwill advance fundraising and strengthen AGC overall.
  • Experience forming, cultivating and expanding partnerships with key stakeholders.
  • A passion for advancing educational achievement in low income communities, as well as a commitment to the vision/mission of AGC.
  • Interest in working remotelyfor part of the week.

 To Apply

 We are eager to hear from you! To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to our search partner Margie DeVine at the following email address: