Director of Advancement Operations
Catholic Charities
Location: Chicago, IL
Job Information:


Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (Catholic Charities) serves all in need. Its mission is to provide for the vulnerable among us, regardless of their faith, gender, ethnic or racial identity, by offering compassionate and quality services that strengthen and support individuals, families, and communities.

A staff of over 1,100 utilizes an annual budget of close to $200 million to serve more than 500,000 people annually in Illinois. Catholic Charities is among the largest human service providers in the U.S.—raising $35 million annually and receiving $100 million in government funding. In its more than a 100-year-old history, Catholic Charities estimates that it has helped over 20 million people.

The broad spectrum of Catholic Charities services in the Chicagoland area includes (but is not limited to):

  • Child, Youth and Family Services
  • Community Development and Outreach Services
  • Family and Parish Support Services
  • Housing Services
  • Senior Support Services

Building on a foundation of faith, hope and charity and under the leadership of a new president and CEO, Sally Blount, Catholic Charities is making bold plans. To start, Blount is investing in key senior leadership positions and soon she will begin a strategic planning process that will reimagine the role of Catholic Charities to deepen its impact in an increasingly polarized and economically unequal, post-pandemic world.

In the area of philanthropy, Angel Gutierrez has been named Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Coming off a banner year in 2020 despite the pandemic, with $36.7 million raised from more than 18,000 donors, Gutierrez is cultivating an increasingly donor-centered approach to fundraising at Catholic Charities and is on course to increase fundraising to $50 million annually by 2025. The plan is to provide clarity of roles and streamline activities so that staff has more time to spend with donors helping them help to advance the mission. With a reorganization of the staff structure in place, Gutierrez is hiring several new team members who are specialists in their area of expertise to further build out the fundraising talent at Catholic Charities, starting with two key director positions (including this one). Gutierrez leads with grace, empathy, and confidence, not to mention joy and a sense of humor, and the hope is the new fundraising leaders will do the same.

To learn more about the significant philanthropic support that Catholic Charities received this past year and the many ways that Catholic Charities was present in people’s lives during an unprecedented time, please enjoy reading our annual report: 2020 Annual Report


The Director of Advancement Operations will be a strategic partner to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement. This person will oversee departmental workflows and streamline internal processes through their leadership of our core development processes teams (gift processing, donor relations, special events, analytics, and foundations). The Director will play an integral role in ensuring Catholic Charities continues to implement best practice standards and utilizes the most up-to-date technology to allow us to financially sustain our purpose-driven work for years to come.

Specifically, the Director will provide:

  1. Leadership and Direction (50% of time)

    • Maintain a working knowledge of Catholic Charities mission, and the many programs, services, and stories that constitute our work.
    • Provide supervision and development for 11 staff members within the group as individuals and as a team. Train, mentor, and coach team members, encouraging professional growth and independence.
    • Coordinate communication between core development function teams and program directors to ensure integrated workflows.
    • Utilize targeted analytics and measured outcomes to benchmark success. Provide feedback and direction using metrics about past performance to inform new strategies.
  1. Systems and Processes Optimization (50% of time)

    • Remain informed on trends in fundraising based on new standards and technology—utilizing advances to secure Catholic Charities position as a highest performing advancement department.
    • Oversee the daily operations of development functions. Establish goals and develop operating plans that enable accurate forecasting of revenue streams and financial capacity.
    • Serve as the primary point person who will work with the data and analytics staff to ensure databases are accessible and effectively maintained and managed. Establish data entry and maintenance policies and procedures, and their associated training programs, to ensure accurate reporting.
    • Establish and monitor business process controls designed to protect the integrity of finance-related data. Produce accurate and strategic financial fundraising reports.


Catholic Charities seeks a professional with a minimum five years’ experience in development or a related field. Experience having worked for a social service agency a plus.

The experience, skills, and attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • A demonstrated ability to lead teams and develop strong working relationships
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to use data effectively to inform planning
  • Highly organized, detail oriented, and a systems thinker
  • A proven ability to develop policies and guidelines—as well as train others
  • Experience working collaboratively to plan strategy, execute operations, and evaluate results
  • Skilled at managing diverse constituencies and executing on shared goals
  • Able to respond to shifting priorities and to work efficiently under deadlines
  • An appreciation for the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching
  • An empathetic person
  • Sense of humor