Director of Philanthropy

Karam Foundation
Illinois, United States
$70,000.00 - $80,000.00
Closing date
Jul 12, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts
Philanthropic Advisors
Employment Type
Full Time



Karam Foundation is seeking a new Director of Philanthropy to inspire donors to give generously to support displaced Syrian communities. We are looking for an expert with strong experience in this field to elevate our successes. Your role will be central to scaling Karam’s future impact and growth. 




You are a builder. You get excited by our accomplishments but are always looking at ways to expand our successes. Whether that means building new tactics or tools, or investing in the team you are working with — you have a growth mindset.  


You initiate. You see the good but also see where work needs to be done. And you go and fix it. You will research solutions and propose them, with the hopes of helping our organization operate more smoothly. 

You are creative. You never stop thinking of ways of leveraging our impact to mobilize and inspire people to give. 


You are a go-getter. You have entrepreneurial zeal. You set your goals and plan the way to achieve them. You adapt to unexpected challenges and to donor needs. You know that results matter most. 


You are a great communicator. You understand Karam’s tone and deliver polished, pitch-perfect messages to our supporter base across various constituencies.  


You care. You are motivated by a love of humanity that doesn’t stop at borders. You want to be part of our mission of building a better world. 

You are collaborative. You come with positive energy and want to work with our small team and with partners to get things done. You don’t let ego, process, or dogma get in the way. 




Karam means generosity in Arabic. We are a Syrian-led organization founded in 2007 in Chicago. We have been supporting Syrian communities in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the US since 2011. We've developed various innovative education projects including community innovation centers (Karam Houses) for refugee teenagers in Turkey and a higher education scholarship program for refugee youth, as well as sustainable development projects to address the evolving obstacles that Syrians face. 


We have built two Karam Houses, innovative workspaces for Syrian refugee teens, in Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey, which defy traditional approaches to refugee education. At Karam Houses, hundreds of Syrian refugee teens learn through access to technology (maker spaces, internet, computers), expert mentorship (Syrian refugee architects and engineers), and a sophisticated design-based curriculum (developed by MIT grads) that teaches youth how to build their ideas and their community. 


We think about refugees and humanitarian aid differently and so we do things differently. We believe in investing deeply in communities affected by conflict. We are on a mission to build 10,000 Leaders for the Future of Syria by 2028 - guiding Syrian refugees on a path to leadership. We do this by creating safe spaces to connect learn, and develop a support ecosystem for them - and their families - to thrive. These spaces are called Karam Houses.


What We’re Looking For: The Essentials 


    3-5 years experience in major gift strategy and fundraising, including experience raising 2-5m annually and/or securing 6- or 7-figure gifts.  Track record of setting, measuring and delivering development strategies  Track record of utilizing different fundraising tactics to mobilize donor bases Excellent verbal and written communicator Strong teamwork and leadership skills Experience working with remote teams -Karam Foundation’s Philanthropy team are all located in the US (most at IL HQ), but also work closely with staff members in Turkey. Extremely organized and results-oriented


What We’re Looking For: Strongly Preferred 


    Experience working on Syria and/or humanitarian crises Familiarity/proficiency with donor databases (Salesforce ideal) Experience working on education and/or innovation causes Experience of working with volunteers 




Strategy: You will be the lead in developing and executing the Development Strategy to meet the organizational goals of increased financial support. Your team will work to secure our $4m budget, and to do so, you will set and achieve revenue and activity goals for the Philanthropy Department across different revenue tracks (grassroots, major donors, foundation grants, etc.). 


Major Donor Engagement: You will manage a portfolio of 10-15 key donors and support our CEO in managing her portfolio. 


Management and Mentorship: You will manage our philanthropy staff (currently two other team members) in addition to day to day operations of the department. 


Support Department Activities: You will be responsible for providing robust support to development initiatives including campaigns, major gift solicitation, donor outreach, and grant applications. You will prepare materials and reports for board meetings.


Leadership: You will be part of the Executive Team of Karam Foundation and play a role in setting the organizational vision, strategy and culture. 



Our HQ is located in Lake Forest, IL (employees in the Chicago area are currently in the office two days/week). We are open to remote candidates who are excellent. 


Some US travel for donor trips to be expected once COVID allows, along with possible travel to Turkey to observe programs.



Full-time, 40 hours per week. 

Salary range: $70,000-$80,000 

Benefits include health insurance (premiums 50% paid by Karam); 15 days vacation, plus 8 team-wide Mental Health Days set on the calendar; and 5 sick days; 401(k) with 2% matching (after 6 months employment with Karam); flexible work environment; and capacity building stipend.



Please fill out the application form on our website below, and upload a copy of your resume and a cover letter outlining why you are the right fit for the role. For any questions or application issues, you can email 

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