Development Associate, Foundation Giving (Grant Writer) CLOSED
Catholic Extension
Location: Chicago, IL
Job Information:

Opportunity Highlights

We are in search of a new grant writer to join the development team of Catholic Extension. The individual will manage the grants calendar, write grant proposals and oversee stewardship of existing funders to Catholic Extension.  This opportunity is designed to attract a junior development professional or experienced writer looking to transition to the development field.

Catholic Extension is a donor-centric fundraising organization that recognizes that its employees are its greatest asset. We invest in our staff by providing resources and training; professional development; a career trajectory; and much more!  Our hope is to develop our employees so that they may enjoy a long and fruitful career at Catholic Extension should they choose to do so.

The Development Associate will:

  • Work directly for the Vice President for Development who has been at Catholic Extension since 2008 and receives high marks for being both a terrific fundraiser and an excellent manager of process and people.
  • Collaborate with a Director of Foundation Relations who has brought significant grant writing experience to her position and is a thoughtful colleague and team player.
  • Serve as a member of a thriving development team that works synergistically with other departments at Catholic Extension toward common annual goals and strategies that support the Mission, Vision and Values of the organization.


During this unprecedented time, Catholic Extension’s mission is as relevant as ever, as our staff has been working hard throughout the pandemic to provide continued support to people in America’s poorest regions.  Our offices have re-opened and employees are able to work at a safe distance respecting city, state and CDC guidelines.

About Catholic Extension

Catholic Extension works in solidarity with people in America’s poorest regions to build up vibrant and transformative Catholic faith communities. With the generosity of individual donors and local and national foundations, Catholic Extension raises funds to help these poor, forgotten, and often isolated communities to flourish.

  • Catholic Extension invests in buildings by supporting the construction and renovation of churches and church facilities.
  • Catholic Extension invests in leaders for the Church by providing education, training and support to seminarians, priests, sisters, deacons, and lay leaders.
  • Catholic Extension invests in ministries by supporting pastoral, youth, young adult, campus and outreach ministries, Catholic schools, and religious education.

Established in 1905, Catholic Extension is a papal society that is answering Pope Francis’ call to go out to America’s “peripheries.” Since its founding, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $1.3 billion in today’s dollars to dioceses that cannot support themselves.

To support this mission work, the organization raises $20 – 25 million annually from 30,000 donors via a mature development program that includes direct mail, annual giving, major gifts and planned giving. Additionally, Catholic Extension is in the quiet phase of a $75 million philanthropic campaign focused on maximizing individual and foundation major gifts for ongoing and special initiatives.

Catholic Extension has a full-time staff of 42 employees based at its headquarters in Chicago or in one of its regional offices located in Boston, Dallas, Monterey, Naples, FL, Nashville, New York City, Richmond, VA and San Diego. Catholic Extension staff is comprised of talented and experienced professionals working in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment and team-focused culture.

About the Role

Reporting to the Vice President for Development in the Chicago office, the Development Associate, Foundation Giving will be a key member of the team running a program that currently has 68 foundation partners and shows much promise for growth. The base of the program yields $1 million or more each year in revenue. Over the past four years, Catholic Extension added to this base by securing new 7-figure commitments with continued growth expected.

The specific responsibilities of the Development Associate are to:

  • Serve as a key resource on Foundation Giving, thoughtfully and strategically managing the program in a way that empowers the Vice President of Development, Director of Foundation Relations and others to focus their efforts on donor-facing cultivation and stewardship activities.
  • Manage the foundations calendar to ensure timely and accurate tracking of letters of inquiry (LOI), proposal and reporting deadlines, including working within and across teams to proactively generate information and drive progress against goals.
  • Write grant proposals, letters of inquiry, reports and other communications that might be required by an existing or potential foundation partner.
  • Direct and manage day-to-day efforts to renew existing grant partnerships by communicating regularly with grantors, providing stewardship and fulfilling the obligations outlined in existing grant agreements. This work will include staffing senior staff members to liaison with funders where appropriate.
  • Proactively seek new grant partnerships by identifying and researching funding opportunities with foundations whose guidelines support the work of Catholic Extension.
  • Produce regular summary reports on Foundations activity and results.
  • Input all donor portfolio activities and communications in the database on a timely basis to ensure data is accurate and current.
  • Participate in regular Development Department meetings and serve as a valued member of the team by offering insights on emerging sector trends and new funding opportunities.
  • Be a role model for integrity, fiscal responsibility, ethical behavior and managerial excellence that supports the mission of Catholic Extension.

Candidate Qualifications

Catholic Extension seeks a professional with a bachelor’s degree and minimum three years’ post-college experience.  While having worked in a midsize to large nonprofit will be considered an asset, it is not required.

Professional and personal attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • Strong command of the English language
  • Strong persuasive writing skills and ability to write compelling grant proposals
  • Able to navigate public information sources to identify strong prospects
  • Can seek and synthesize information to share with funders, effectively working with other development and program staff
  • Brings a strong working knowledge of project management
  • Understanding of budgets as they relate to proposals and grants
  • Strategic and creative thinking skills
  • Strong follow through and commitment to customer service
  • Attention to detail
  • Able to meet deadlines
  • High level of computer literacy
  • Results oriented team player who can work in a fast-paced environment
  • A sense of humor
  • An appreciation for and general understanding of the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church

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

Catholic Extension offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package to include medical, dental, vision, disability, 403b with company matching, paid time off, paid company holidays, commuter assistance, professionaldevelopment opportunities, mentoring and more!

Catholic Extension is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants may request any reasonable accommodation that may be necessary to participate in the application process.  Catholic Extension is located at 150 S. Wacker Drive, 20th floor, Chicago, IL. For more information about the organization, please visit: