Development Manager
Catholic Extension
Location: Chicago, IL
Job Information:

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 $90 million when one considers all Catholic Extension’s programs and partnerships collectively.

Every year, Catholic Extension raises new revenue – $25 to $30 million from 25,000 donors via a mature development program that includes annual, major, and planned giving.  To learn more about how philanthropy makes Catholic Extension’s work possible, see a recent 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 Manager

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Development, the Development Manager will serve on the development team with responsibility for mid/major giving ($5,000 to $24,999).  The Development Manager will carry out a variety of duties related to supporting and enriching Catholic Extension’s development program, to include the following:

  1. Support the Assistant Vice President of Development in creating an annual plan to achieve fundraising goals, including strategies, tactics, and a timetable for achievement.
  2. Manage a portfolio of approximately 250-300 individual mid/major prospects capable of making an outright gift of $5,000 – $24,999. Through personal interactions, the Development Manager will guide the process of identification, cultivation, solicitation, communication, and stewardship of these donors to meet fundraising goals.
  3. Engage with prospective, lapsed, and current donors throughout the United States via in-person visits, virtual meetings, phone calls, personalized mailings, and stewardship activities.
  4. Solicit and secure mid/major gifts from unmanaged Two by Two donors ($1,000 – $4,999) who can make mid/major gifts but are unlikely major gift prospects.
  5. Identify new donor prospects through collaboration with Prospect Research and through personal research and networking to increase the donor portfolio.
  6. Retain and upgrade existing mid/major donors who are unlikely major gift prospects.
  7. Support the efforts of the Major Gift Officers to attract mid/major gifts from their assigned donors who are not yet ready to make major gifts ($25,000+) to Catholic Extension.
  8. Maintain ongoing engagement with local philanthropic networks (Catholic initiatives and organizations; education; arts and culture; science and technology; and other charitable endeavors) and maintain up-to-date knowledge of the evolving culture and trends of those networks.
  9. Contribute to maintaining the integrity of the national donor database.
  10. Input all donor portfolio activity and communications in the database on a timely basis to ensure data is accurate and current.
  11. Support the Director of Events & Special Projects on coordinating donor cultivation events, which includes determining invitation list, mailing invites, pre-event briefing for staff and post-event follow up.
  12. Support the Communications department to prepare accurate proposals, communications, and stewardship reports within established guidelines.
  13. Maintain a comprehensive understanding of Catholic Extension’s regional and national initiatives to articulate to donors the organization’s mission and priority programmatic objectives.
  14. Be a role model for integrity, fiscal responsibility, ethical behavior, and managerial excellence that supports the mission of Catholic Extension.
  15. Perform other related duties as assigned.


Catholic Extension seeks a professional with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5 years of post-college work experience with at least two years in a front-line fundraising role. We hope that our new Development Manager will have multiple years of experience with at least one other organization. Additional professional and personal attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • An accomplished fundraiser with a proven track record for soliciting and closing gifts
  • Strategic, action-oriented individual
  • Ability to travel at least 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
  • Strong writer and editor
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Customer service oriented with outstanding follow through
  • Possess business acumen, including ability to follow a plan and manage a budget
  • An appreciation for and general understanding of the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church
  • A passion for fundraising and a sense of humor