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Manager, Institutional Giving

Shedd Aquarium
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 16, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Grant Seeking, Other Fundraising, Programs, Grant Administration, Grant Making, Government Relations and Advocacy
Animal Protection, Environment, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time
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Shedd Aquarium is seeking an innovative and experienced fundraiser to join the Development Department as the Manager of Institutional Giving. Working in a front-line capacity, the Manager of Institutional Giving grows and oversees a portfolio of current and potential funders. An accomplished and impactful writer, the Manager develops and writes new grant requests, proposals, and reports, focusing on foundational, state, and federal opportunities. Must maintain current knowledge of aquarium programs and operations, as well as a companion library of proposals.

In order to be successful in this role, the Manager must develop innovative strategies for stewardship communications with funders, manage current grant activity records and archives, and prospect and achieve new funding from local and national foundations. As needed, the Manager will coordinate and participate in site visits and tours for donors and prospects. This is an exceptional opportunity to join a strong, collaborative team and make an indelible impact on Shedd Aquarium during its Centennial Commitment.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values.
  • Support and grow portfolio of foundation funders that are new, have increased capacity, or are already supporting Shedd at high levels; work with and guide the coordinator to ensure the effective utilization of the portfolio. This includes timely and well-written submissions, creative stewardship strategies, and documenting grant activities and archives.
  • Prepare proposals and reports, annual solicitation letters, briefing packets, stewardship reports, letters, research backgrounds, and other written materials for foundations. Maintain high standards of accuracy, quality, and writing style when relaying aquarium information and statistics.
  • Successfully find and secure new funding from foundation sources that can help grow the overall portfolio of the grants team.
  • Respond to compliance requests from funders including required forms, statistics and/or additional requested information.
  • Maintain an annual solicitation calendar for foundation and government proposals in conjunction with the Director.
  • As needed and requested, assist in staffing after hours special events hosted by the Development Department, including the annual Gala, BLU, holiday breakfast, member and donor events. Participate in tours as requested.
  • Assist with the planning for donor site visits including working with the aquarium’s special events managers and booking meeting rooms.
  • Other duties as assigned.


The Manager, Institutional Giving will be an innovative strategist and can support the vision of the organization, knowing how to skillfully translate ideas into a concrete course of action. The Manager will be an accomplished fundraiser and collaborator who can deliver on both strategy and execution.


  • Bachelor’s degree is preferred, but comparable experience would be accepted in lieu of a degree.


  • A minimum of 2 – 4 years’ experience in development with direct focus on securing grants, managing partnerships, and funding with foundation sources.
  • Experience securing and applying for large gifts with a focus on foundation sources.
  • Experience securing gifts >$10,000. However, working with gifts >$25,000 is preferred.
  • Experience as a grant writer with the ability to translate complex issues into fundraising goals and objectives; must possess the ability to articulate the organization’s mission to the funding community deftly.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work well in a team setting and collaborate across departments and teams, as well as the ability to work independently with clear roles and deliverables.
  • Accomplished and versatile writing background, with ability to prepare a variety of materials.
  • Strong active listening skills, excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to plan and facilitate meetings.
  • Ability to successfully present projects and programs to prospects, donors, and aquarium leadership.
  • Ability to manage multiple demands and deadlines; must possess excellent time management and organization skills, with strong detail orientation and follow-through.
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to multi-task and prioritize.
  • Ability to work independently and under tight deadlines.


We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team.

If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).

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