Chief Development Officer

Illinois, United States
Salary Not specified
Nov 25, 2020
Dec 24, 2020
Arts, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chief Development Officer

Glencoe, Illinois

The Chicago Botanic Garden cultivates the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.

The Chicago Botanic Garden opened more than 45 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. Every year, more than one million people visit the Garden's 27 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres on and around nine islands, with six miles of lake shoreline. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection, and its Lenhardt Library contains 150,000 volumes—including one of the nation's best collections of rare botanical books. The Garden is one of only 17 public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The Garden is well-balanced among its horticultural, scientific, and learning programs. With more than 50,000 members, it has one of the largest memberships of any U.S. botanic garden. People of all ages, interests, and abilities participate in programs, take classes, and stroll the grounds year-round. Within the nine laboratories of the Garden's Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, scientists and graduate students conduct a wide array of plant research. The seven-acre Regenstein Learning Campus advances the Garden's influence as a science and education institution. The Campus functions as a hub of social and educational activity for civic engagement, plant-based intergenerational learning, hands-on coursework, and a range of health and wellness activities, reaching more than 120,000 people a year. The Garden is a world leader in providing therapeutic horticulture experiences to visitors at the Garden and facilities throughout the Chicago area. Windy City Harvest, the Garden's urban agriculture education and jobs-training program, helps build a local food system, healthier communities, and a greener economy through its network of 16 farms, most of which are in the city of Chicago.

The Chicago Botanic Garden achieved one of its most successful years ever in 2019, including a record 1.275 million visitors and completion of the 10-year “Keep Growing” capital and endowment campaign that raised $140 million, achieving record levels of earned and raised revenues. Energized by ambitious executive leadership and the growing body of research showing that people live happier, healthier lives when they spend time in nature, the Garden seeks to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and more relevant than ever to the health and well-being of the communities it serves. The Garden indeed aspires to be a garden for everyone, by growing its presence as a welcoming and inclusive organization, and by expanding the breadth and depth of its service to communities.

The Chicago Botanic Garden seeks candidates for the role of Chief Development Officer. This individual leads and guides the development and implementation of the Garden’s comprehensive fundraising efforts (including major donors, corporate and foundation relations, annual fund, membership, and capital and endowment campaigns), assures alliance with mission and strategy, cultivates a culture of philanthropy, and motivates a team of approximately 34 individuals to deliver against short and long-term objectives in an evolving and growing organization. Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Development Officer will be a member of the Garden’s Executive Leadership Team and a key liaison to the Board of Directors. 

The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

- Passion for the mission and programs of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Ability to inspire and engage others as a senior representative of the Garden.

- Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree preferred. Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) certification is highly desirable.

- Ten or more years of development experience with progressive levels of responsibility, including broad knowledge of all functional areas of fundraising (major, planned, and annual giving; corporate and foundation giving; annual giving/membership; stewardship) and leadership in a major capital campaign, preferably within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.

- Demonstrated ability to provide strategic and operational management, leadership, and coaching, including creating and managing a budget.

- Proven ability to personally cultivate, solicit, and steward individual and institutional donors at seven to eight-figure levels. Demonstrated strength in prospect discovery and in building effective strategies to compel new major donor investment. Experience integrating giving programs at various levels to cultivate greater donor commitments.

- Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic, and innovative communications in support of achieving fundraising goals.

- Ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. A working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations that can streamline the development process and contribute to the integration of related functions.

- A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of donor engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing philanthropic best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.

- Ability to travel as necessary, consistent with public health guidelines.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call 847.835.8264 to contact the Garden’s Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.

The Chicago Botanic Garden has retained the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.

Managing Director

Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy

Diversified Search Group

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