Chief Development Officer (CLOSED)
Academy for Global Citizenship
Location: Chicago, IL
Job Information:

Opportunity Summary

We are in search of a new Chief Development Officer (CDO) to join the senior leadership team of the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC). The individual will oversee all annual fundraising efforts and lead our philanthropic campaign focused on creating a visionary new campus and community learning hub.

This opportunity is designed to attract a talented fundraising professional looking to work in an entrepreneurial environment on behalf of a meaningful cause with global impact. The CDO will report directly to the Executive Director of AGC and will enjoy the full weight of an engaged board of directors and supportive donor community.  The new campus is scheduled to open in the summer of 2022.


Clearly, we are in unprecedented times, not only in the United States but throughout the world, as we face the challenge of living in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At AGC, we are working from home, however, we continue to work hard to advance our mission, including hiring the necessary leadership to accomplish our goals. The following position guide describes fundraising activities that have been successful for AGC to date to provide for the new campus and scale our mission. In light of the current situation, we expect that our new CDO will make adjustments to the fundraising plan as needed for sound public health while applying creative strategies to achieve our set objectives.

About AGC 

AGC was founded by Sarah Elizabeth Ippel whose life mission is to reframe the purpose of education. When she was 23 years old, she rode her bicycle to the Chicago Board of Education with a request:  to reimagine what is possible in public education.  Three years later, in 2008, the Academy for Global Citizenship opened on the city’s underserved Southwest side.  A Chicago Public Elementary School on a global mission, AGC is developing the next generation of critical thinkers and mindful leaders who take action to positively impact their communities and the world beyond.

At AGC, we focus on five key strategies to accomplish our mission:

  1. Deliver academic opportunity to under-resourced communities
  2. Embed trauma-informed approach in all student engagement
  3. Provide nutrition and nutrition education to all students and their families
  4. Prepare students to become responsible global citizens
  5. Involve the community in the success of their children

More Than A School

In addition to operating a K-8 school as a learning laboratory for the Chicago Public School district, AGC’s bold vision is to serve as an incubator of innovation and center of learning for the entire community.  Our mission is to reimagine community learning by building partnerships, providing services and establishing a living institution that model how to coexist peacefully and productively on a more sustainable planet. We envision a world where all have access to inspired educational opportunities, preparing communities to tackle local and global challenges and to live within our planetary boundaries.

New Campus Project

Leading up to this moment, AGC has not only been focused on helping its Chicago area students create lives full of possibility, but also has reached 5 million students in multiple states and countries by sharing our work openly and encouraging replication of our model. We are now poised to invigorate the AGC mission on a visionary new campus. Experts from all over the world helped us reimagine the nexus between inspirational learning and healthy communities, and we have attracted a $31 million capital commitment from the State of Illinois.

The new AGC learning hub is one of the most architecturally ambitious projects in 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. AGC’s new learning hub will provide critically needed access to tuition-free early childhood learning, high quality K-8 public education, health care and mental health services, community wellness facilities and programming, neighborhood gardens and green spaces, and a fresh foods market featuring produce from the campus three-acre urban farm, food forest, orchard, apiary and greenhouses.

AGC worked with renowned architect, Jeanne Gang, to reimagine school design for the social and environmental needs of the 21st century.  The “school of the future” design will be net-positive energy, featuring a renewable energy generating roofscape, wind turbine and geothermal system, and is set to be the first project in the entire Midwest to achieve the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most comprehensive sustainability performance standards that have only been achieved by 24 other projects globally. To learn more, we encourage you to visit

Opportunity Highlights

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

  • Serve on the senior leadership team and work directly with board members to execute a $60 million capital project that is multi-faceted and time sensitive
  • Oversee a $24 million campaign to support the remaining philanthropic portion of the project
  • Carry a portfolio of high-level donors and work with them directly
  • Work closely with a thoughtful, strategic and enthusiastic AGC staff
  • Build a team
  • Have a strong external presence
  • Work in an entrepreneurial environment where innovation, optimism and hard work are all valued 

Chief Development Officer

Reporting to the Executive Director, specific responsibilities of the CDO are:

Campaign Leadership – (50%)

  • Own responsibility for raising $24 million in new campaign commitments, with significant help from the Executive Director and board of directors. $5 million has been raised to date.
  • Manage campaign case documents, proposals and messaging for gift conversations.
  • Lead regular prospect strategy sessions, participate in site visits, meet with donors, follow up on requests and provide coaching and supportive activity.
  • Ensure proper stewardship for all campaign donors.
  • Build on AGC’s existing campaign prospect list focusing on capacity, interest, and connection.
  • Maintain the named space and gift opportunities matrix to match donor interests with campaign priorities

Annual Fundraising – (35%)

  • Oversee an annual giving program with a goal of $400,000 generated by grants, individual gifts and determine the 2020-21 plans for AGC’s signature Chefs’ Playground gala.
  • 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.

Thought Leadership – (15%)

  • Advance AGC’s public image and model by serving as an ambassador for AGC’s mission and vision with key stakeholders and form relationships that enrich AGC’s present and future work.
  • Stay abreast of and report on trends in the education movement and philanthropy that may impact approaches to fundraising. 

Candidate Qualifications

We are looking for an experienced individual who will hit the ground running and will enjoy the challenge of the new campus project and philanthropic campaign.  The ideal candidate might be in a senior position doing similar work.  We are also open to someone in a director level role with the necessary skills and raw talent who aspires to be a chief development officer.  We are offering invaluable experience and have people on board already who will lend support as you grow.

Candidates with the following attributes would be ideal:

  • Campaign/fundraising experience with 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).
  • Strong work ethic, flexible and productive.
  • Exceptional verbal, written, listening and interpersonal skills with an ability to motivate and persuade people.
  • Strategic thinking and planning skills, with an ability to manage concurrent projects and priorities effectively.
  • A self-starter who is able to pivot and work well as part of a team.
  • A consistent communicator whose leadership and work product will advance fundraising and strengthen AGC overall.
  • Experience forming, cultivating and expanding relationships with stakeholders.
  • A passion for advancing educational achievement in low income communities, as well as a commitment to the vision/mission of AGC.

To Apply

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to our search partner Margie DeVine at the following email To inquire for yourself or someone you know, please feel free to call Margie:  773-661-1504 (Office) and 773-892-2993 (Cell).

AGC offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, disability, 401k, paid time off, paid holidays and professional development opportunities.  Additionally, AGC offers a faculty innovation fund, employee wellness program and free scratch-made organic breakfast and lunch.

AGC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Applicants may request any reasonable accommodation that may be necessary to participate in the application process.  AGC is located at 4647 West 47th Street, Chicago, IL 60632.  For more information about the organization, please visit: