Director of Mission Outreach
Catholic Extension
Location: Chicago or Boston
Job Information:

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. This is achieved by operating as both a fundraising and grant making organization that carries its work out strategically, with a high touch and in a spirit of optimism and innovation.

Over the last 113 years, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $1.3 billion 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, post-hurricane rebuilding in Puerto Rico, 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.

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. Its staff is comprised of talented and experienced professionals working in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment and team-focused culture.

Catholic Extension’s mission department develops strategic relationships with Catholic dioceses to nurture, optimize and implement funding programs and projects that have a transformative impact on faith communities and the populations they serve. Annually, Catholic Extension processes over 1,200 grants for a total of approximately $20 million in funding.

Comprised of seven full-time positions reporting to the vice president of mission, the mission team works closely with the fundraising staff to ensure that current and potential donors are aware of how their support makes a difference. The mission team also collaborates closely with Catholic Extension’s marketing, communications, and public relations team – to share program results, major social and pastoral trends and information about the good work of the Church in the communities we support.

The Director of Mission Outreach will play a key role in continually shaping and implementing the ways in which Catholic Extension invests in the Church’s most under resourced and isolated communities.

Our ability to impact communities in need is limited not only by resources, but also by how we manage and make sense of many moving parts, including programs, people and initiatives; our willingness to embrace ambiguity; and think creativity to identify new opportunities. The incoming Director of Mission Outreach will have a wonderful opportunity to apply his/her talents to maximize the role at this moment and make a difference for so many.

Reporting to the vice president of mission, the director will:

  • Travel to mission territories, connect with leaders and communities, represent Catholic Extension’s interests while there, and return with information and ideas for how we can best serve the mission dioceses and strengthen relationships with lay leaders, pastors and communities we support, now and over time.
  • Develop trust and rapport with our constituencies, acting in a way that is respectful, kind and helpful. Recognize and learn the unique culture of the communities we support to be a bridge both internally and externally. Connect the dots, find synergies and organize ideas in ways that make sense to all audiences.
  • Participate in and lead immersion experiences for pastors, donors and staff. Build trust with those traveling and contribute to a meaningful experience for all. Provide content leadership while on trips.
  • Manage emerging funding initiatives that represent creative opportunities for resourcing Catholic Mission Dioceses. Collaborate on identifying and developing new initiatives in the future.
  • Stay apprised of the current and prospective communities that are served by Catholic Extension by regularly reviewing available grantee demographic data, human resource information and financials, as well as diocesan strategic plans and completed grantee reporting forms.
  • Support Catholic Extension’s ongoing efforts to gather and analyze data and information that enhances our ability to evaluate and measure the impact of our programs.
  • Generate ideas for future projects and approaches that allow Catholic Extension to continually refine its grantmaking strategies.
  • Create and manage special collaborative grant projects that might involve multiple dioceses to create public awareness and donor interest.
  • Contribute to the overall health and productivity of the mission department; help meet short-and-long-term goals of the department.
  • Operate within department budget guidelines.
  • Maintain a comprehensive understanding of Catholic Extension’s regional and national initiatives to articulate 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.

Catholic Extension seeks a professional with a minimum 10 years’ work experience in a nonprofit or business environment. A bachelor’s degree is required. A graduate degree is preferred. Professional and personal attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • Exceptional listening skills with proven experience building and sustaining quality business and personal relationships. An ability to engage with a variety of constituencies with varying interests and perspectives is important, including but not limited to diverse communities, people of different experiences and backgrounds, national leaders or donors.
  • The individual must be Spanish-English bilingual, spoken and written.
  • Possess business acumen in the areas of finance, organizational development, program, strategic planning, marketing or grantmaking.
  • The ability to travel regularly is required (an estimated 5-10 nights per month depending on workflow. Travel is domestic, but some international travel may be required occasionally.
  • The individual will live in Chicago or Boston preferably. If you must live in another city, access to a major airport is required.
  • Ability to excel in a highly collaborative, team-based environment with both internal and external partners. Patience and maturity in interacting with others is imperative.
  • Ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines, remain organized and pay attention to important details.
  • A self-starter with entrepreneurial drive. Ability to think creatively to provide breakthrough ideas and fully execute them.
  • Perceptive, persuasive and energetic individual.
  • Strong work ethic, intelligence, integrity and common sense.
  • Ability to perform well in both a structured and unstructured environment.
  • An ability to interpret the mission and programs of Catholic Extension to various external constituencies.
  • An appreciation for and general understanding of the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and its work and ministry among under-resourced populations (both its humanitarian and spiritual outreach).
  • A passion for your field and a sense of humor.

Catholic Extension is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants may request any reasonable accommodation that may be necessary to participate in the application process.

We offer 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, professional development opportunities, mentoring and more!

Catholic Extension is located at 150 S. Wacker Drive, 20th floor, Chicago, IL. For more information about the organization, please visit: