Director of Development
The Chicago Bar Foundation
Location: Chicago, IL
Job Information:


For more than 70 years, The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) has been dedicated to bringing Chicago’s legal community together to improve access to justice for people in need and make the legal system fairer and more efficient for everyone.

The largest voluntarily supported bar foundation in the country, the CBF is both an advocacy and grant making organization. With an annual budget of nearly $4.5 million, more than 5,000 annual donors, and support from more than 200 law firms and corporations and many other dedicated partners, the CBF is nationally known for its work. That work has three essential pillars:

  • Support for pro bono and legal aid services via our 30+ grantee organizations
  • Innovation to meet the most pressing challenges of the times
  • Advocacy to create systemic change over time

The CBF is well-positioned to make an even bigger impact in the coming years, as the experience of 2020 offers a unique and unprecedented opportunity to shape a more accessible, efficient, and equitable justice system that can play a lead role in making our community a fairer and better place for all.

The CBF offices are located at 321 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago, Illinois. For more information about the CBF, visit


We are in search of a new Director of Development to join the team of the CBF. The director will own responsibility for significant portions of our fundraising program working collaboratively with the Executive Director, COO and others on the team.  In doing so, the director will:

  • Serve in an externally oriented, revenue-generating role
  • Offer expertise and leadership for all fundraising related matters
  • Expand on what works and develop new growth opportunities

This is a newly vacant position that we hope will attract a talented fundraising professional looking for their next challenge.

The successful candidate will report directly to the CBF Associate Director for Grants & COO, will supervise the Manager of Development & Communications, and will also collaborate with and have the added support of the Executive Director, other members of the staff, engaged Board members, and a strong base of financial support.

The CBF seeks an early to mid-career development professional willing to:

  • Provide the necessary leadership, innovation, organizational and planning skills to execute and expand on our existing $3 million+ annual fundraising program with diverse funding streams. We are a small team, and this is a hands on position.
  • Be outward facing, cultivating relationships with donors and stakeholders establishing trust and rapport to strengthen their ties with the foundation.


Individual Giving – (60%)

  • Oversee all aspects of the CBF individual giving program, which includes annual, major and planned gifts totaling approximately $1.5 million annually from more than 5,000 donors.
  • Lead annual fund efforts by executing direct mail solicitations, including drafting content and coordinating with our business partner.
  • Engage with our annual donors along the entire cycle of donor giving – i.e., identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Grow the donor base over time.
  • Manage our two giving societies, one for annual donors and the other for planned giving donors.
  • Expand our major gifts program with a focus on multi-year giving that results in an increased standard of giving overall.
  • Build the CBF’s new planned giving program.
  • Staff the Development Committee of the Board.
  • Represent the CBF at select legal and philanthropic community events, i.e., hosted by donors, grantees, etc.
  • Streamline policies and procedures for new systems and gift processing as appropriate.

Law Firm and Corporate Giving – (15%)

  • Work with the Executive Director, COO, and the CBF Board to maintain and expand law firm and corporate giving, continuing to implement our Cornerstone Sponsorship Program, as well as a la carte giving options.
  • Help identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward relationships with law firm and corporate partners and support the Board, COO, and Executive Director in doing the same.
  • Develop and customize proposals for law firm and corporate prospects as needed.

Investing in Justice Campaign – (15%)

  • Oversee this annual community-wide fundraising initiative, which raises almost $2 million annually, both to maximize campaign fundraising and also to develop new and deeper relationships with the CBF more broadly.
  • Help to recruit and staff volunteers, develop solicitation materials, coordinate logistics, communicate progress, and generally manage all aspects of this well-established personal appeal by lawyers and their teams at area law firms.

Event Management – (10%)

  • Support the successful execution of our three signature events, which are held annually in May, July and November (Family Event, Passport to Chicago and Pro Bono Awards luncheon).
  • The Manager of Development and Communications is the lead on event logistics, and these are largely engagement opportunities.


Our Director of Development will be a proficient fundraiser with a minimum 5 years’ direct experience. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Additional skills and attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • Fundraising experience with a record of success in a reputable organization, nonprofit or similarly focused foundation.
  • Outgoing and engaging personality, comfortable in virtual and face-to-face interactions with a variety of volunteers and donor audiences.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills with an ability to manage concurrent projects and priorities effectively, including campaigns and events.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral presentation.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to pivot when necessary.
  • Experience in successful management of people and processes.
  • Experience with nonprofit marketing and communications a plus.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; flexible; adaptable.
  • A passion for the CBF mission.


To participate in our confidential search process, please send your application (to include both a cover letter and resume) directly for consideration to our recruiting partner Margie DeVine at Further inquiries or questions?  Call Margie on her cell: 773-892-2993.

The CBF offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package to include a generous medical and dental plan as well as disability, 403b, paid time off, paid company holidays, professional development opportunities and more. The CBF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants may request any reasonable accommodation that may be necessary to participate in the application process.