Development Associate, Donor Relations
Catholic Extension
Location: Chicago
Job Information:

Catholic Extension 

Founded in 1905, 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. For more information about Catholic Extension, visit the CE Website.

Over the last 116 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.  Last year alone, the financial impact on these communities was more than $100 million when one considers all Catholic Extension’s programs and partnerships collectively.

To support this mission work, every year the organization raises $25 – 30 million from 25,000 donors via a mature and comprehensive development program with diverse revenue streams. To learn more about the role of philanthropy at Catholic Extension you might enjoy reading its 2022 Annual Report.

Catholic Extension has a full-time staff of 50 employees based at its headquarters in Chicago or in one of its regional offices. Its staff is comprised of talented and experienced professionals working in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment and team-focused culture.

Development Associate, Donor Relations

Reporting to the Senior Director of Annual Giving, the Development Associate, Donor Relations will serve as an integral member of the Catholic Extension team with responsibility for helping to create a positive giving experience for donors to Catholic Extension. The position focuses on stewardship communications, donor relations, and accurate record-keeping.

An integral position on the team, the Development Associate will support a priority goal of Catholic Extension’s, which is to offer a best in class stewardship program.  The Development Associate will elevate the donor experience at Catholic Extension by helping the team provide outstanding donor communications and donor relations through gift acknowledgment, stewardship, and impact reporting. Specific duties may include:

  1. Collaborate with the Development, Finance, Mission, and Strategic Communications Departments to contribute to building donor relationships with Catholic Extension’s planned giving donors and annual donors up to $25K.
  2. Coordinate donor receipt and acknowledgment activity:
  • Draft tailored correspondence, work with the Senior Director of Development to incorporate edits, interact with the president’s office to secure signatures, and send letters.
  • Manage daily receipt fulfillment process with outside business partner.
  • Ensure all donor correspondence is documented in donor records.
  1. Interact with the Strategic Communications Department to create printed and digital development communications collateral (i.e., impact-reporting, Lumen Christi Award, birthday cards, and Christmas cards, etc.) to engage donors, support solicitation efforts, and provide meaningful stewardship.
  2. Provide timely and professional customer service to donors who reach out by email or phone.
  3. Assist with the management of the donor database (Virtuous), including organizing and inputting data, database research, and running queries, reports, etc.
  4. Serve as additional support to gift processor, as needed.
  5. Serve as a role model for integrity, fiscal responsibility, ethical behavior, and managerial excellence that supports Catholic Extension’s mission.
  6. Perform other related duties as assigned.


The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and minimum 1-2 years’ work experience.  Additionally, we are looking for a proactive individual with sufficient confidence to be effective in a workplace setting.

  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with other team members.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with strong customer service orientation and follow-through.
  • Ability to present information concisely and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to juggle multiple projects, prioritizing and problem-solve quickly with attention to details.
  • Comfortable asking questions.
  • Interested in receiving feedback to improve performance and grow professionally.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, work ethic, positivity, and a commitment to the organization’s mission.
  • Must be able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
  • An appreciation of and respect for the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • A sense of humor.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.