Director of Development, Foundation Relations
Catholic Extension
Job Information:

Catholic Extension

A national fundraising organization, building faith, inspiring hope and igniting change

Founded in 1905, Catholic Extension is the leading supporter of Catholic missions in the United States. Catholic Extension serves the pastoral mission of the Church by ensuring that the essential ministries of under-resourced and isolated U.S. dioceses remain intact by helping these dioceses build their capacity for the future.

Over the years, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $500 million to build strong communities of faith, so that Catholics in these areas have the tools to inspire hope and ignite change. Activities and programs supported include: southern border initiatives, hurricane relief, subsidies for church leaders doing pastoral and social ministry; support for college campus ministry and youth outreach; construction and renovation of churches and facilities; and funding for the education of lay and ordained leaders.

To support this mission work, the organization raises $20 – 25 million 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 50 employees based at its headquarters in Chicago or in one of its regional offices located in Boston, Minneapolis, Monterey, Naples, Florida, Nashville, New York City, and San Diego. The Catholic Extension staff is comprised of talented and experienced professionals working in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment and team-focused culture.

Director of Development, Foundation Relations

Providing leadership in a growth environment

Reporting to the assistant vice president, the director of development, foundation relations will join a 20-person Development team and manage one full-time professional. She or he will carry out a variety of duties related to expanding and enriching Catholic Extension’s comprehensive Foundation Relations program. The director will be externally focused, building relationships with existing and new funders so as to maximize the giving potential of this high value donor constituency. The director also will be tuned into internal audiences, working as an active member of a vibrant fundraising team that seeks to create synergies between individuals and groups, produce quality materials, connect the dots and create positive impact for those served by Catholic Extension. It is an exciting time to be at Catholic Extension and the Foundation Relations program is positioned to play a key role in the success of Catholic Extension’s ongoing fundraising efforts and new philanthropic campaign.

With full oversight of the program and in coordination with others, the director will:

  • Enhance and execute the short and long-term plan for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding Catholic Extension’s local and national foundation donors.
  • Oversee a portfolio of foundation donors (approximately 100), with emphasis on prospects capable of grants of $50,000 or more over multiple years.
  • Guide and assist the manager, foundation relations with her portfolio work and provide her with growth opportunities.
  • Identify new prospective funders working closely with prospect research.
  • Play an active role in strategic communications to funders, which will include idea creation, writing, editing and reviewing documents and publications.
  • Partner with the board of governors and senior management in strategy discussions and the cultivation and solicitation of donors.
  • Input all donor portfolio activity and communications in the database on a timely basis to ensure data is accurate and current.
  • Maintain a comprehensive understanding of Catholic Extension’s regional and national initiatives in order to articulate to donors the organization’s mission and priority programmatic objectives.
  • Be a role model for integrity, fiscal responsibility, ethical behavior and managerial excellence that supports the mission of Catholic Extension.
  • An appreciation for and general understanding of the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church

Candidate Qualifications

Leveraging skills and past experiences for the benefit of Catholic Extension’s mission

Catholic Extension seeks a development professional with a minimum 10 years’ post college work experience and minimum of 5 years in a foundations relations/fundraising role or directly related experience. Bachelor’s degree is required and master’s degree or CFRE is preferred.

Professional and personal attributes of sought after candidates include:

  • An accomplished Foundations Relations officer with a proven track record for soliciting and closing grants from foundations
  • Strong writer and editor
  • Highly collaborative
  • Team player
  • Campaign experience a strong plus
  • A strategic, action-oriented individual
  • Ability to travel up to 25 percent of the time
  • Committed to donor-centered fundraising
  • Demonstrated skills in listening, engaging, and building rapport with people
  • Goal oriented with an appreciation for necessary structure and processes
  • Flexible, yet driven
  • Sense of humor
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Comfortable working independently and as a member of a team
  • Customer service oriented with outstanding follow through
  • Possess business acumen, including ability to follow a plan and manage a budget

To Apply

Showing interest by reaching out 

We are eager to hear from you! Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to To inquire, please call Margie DeVine at 773-892-2993.