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Director of Development

Job Details

Become the Director of Development for the American Library Association – the world’s largest library association!

 The American Library Association (ALA) will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2026 with an historic fundraising campaign for its endowment. You will lead this targeted fundraising effort along with our senior leadership team. As development director, you would also develop strategies for major gifts from foundations and individual donors, implement strategies for increasing giving to the Association’s ongoing annual fund, and build partnerships to increase corporate support from our Library Champions.

 The Director of Development leads and coordinates fundraising efforts to secure capital, endowment, annual, planned, and special purpose gifts, and identifies grant opportunities and other sources of funding—with the goal of increasing ALA’s total philanthropic revenue. The Office of Development secures philanthropic support for institutional priorities by engaging, cultivating, soliciting, recognizing, and stewarding current and prospective donors; and works collaboratively with ALA units and stakeholders to advance the development effort.

 Key Responsibilities Include:

Supporting the Chief Advancement Officer’s work on the executive team

  • Provide strategic recommendations to the Chief Advancement Officer for the planning, implementation, evaluation, and administration of all fundraising activities.
  • Plan and facilitate major fundraising initiatives in collaboration with the CAO and the ALA Executive Director, and other members of the ALA leadership team.
  • Support the CAO’s  efforts to Increase ALA visibility and position the ALA as an organization worthy of support.
  • Supplement the CAO’s role on the ALA executive team to advance the Association’s overall goals that include fostering a culture of philanthropy.

 Working collaboratively with external groups to facilitate fundraising efforts and raise ALA’s profile

  • Serve as staff leadership on ALA’s 150th anniversary fundraising campaign.
  • Establish targets for fundraising campaigns, identify prospective donors and develop strategies for securing gifts.
  • Work with volunteers and fundraising committees to further fundraising initiatives.
  • Represent and promote ALA as a speaker, an author, through board service or committees, and otherwise.

Managing the ALA Development Office

  • Work with staff, grant writers and others to oversee the identification and preparation of funding proposals for government, corporate, and public and private foundation support.
  • Coordinate and facilitate fundraising and fundraising resources across ALA units.
  • Manage two full-time staff and the Office’s consultants.
  • Oversee and plan donor cultivation events.
  • Manage the data collection, accounting, and reporting for development activities in conjunction with Accounting and other units.
  • Oversee and improve the infrastructure and technology for fundraising.
  • Administer the department, fulfilling human resources, financial and budgetary, technological, professional development, and other requirements and goals.

 This is a regular full-time position based in our Chicago office.

ALA staff are currently working on a hybrid schedule.  Please note that although we have a generous telecommuting policy for our employees, we do not have any truly remote positions in states outside of our workplace sites. Relocation package available.

ALA currently requires that employees be fully vaccinated as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proof of vaccination will be required on or before start date. 

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check and proof of your eligibility to work in the United States.   

Starting salary range negotiable from the low 100s, based on relevant experience. ALA has an excellent benefit package that includes flexible work schedules, medical, dental, generous paid vacation, a retirement annuity, and a 35-hour work week. You may also qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Closing Date:  Consideration of candidates will begin May 10, 2024 and continue until the position is filled. 


Apply online, including resume and cover letter detailing your past experience and accomplishments in fundraising and securing philanthropic support.


Send resume and cover letter detailing your past experience and accomplishments in fundraising and securing philanthropic support to:

Lorelle Hopkins

ALA Associate Executive Director, Human Resources

Ref: dirDevOffice


The American Library Association is an equal opportunity employer:  Disability/Veteran.

 Your Skills and Talents Include:

  •  Knowledge of fundraising and development strategies.
  • Experience with fundraising campaigns of at least $10 million.
  • Cultivating major donors ($25K plus).
  • Proven ability to develop and foster relationships with people at all levels of an organization, and to collaborate and influence at a high level.
  • Experience with multiple volunteer committees, prospective and actual donors, and staff from a range of varying perspectives
  • Knowledge and experience with time management, project management, and team building.
  • Well-developed writing, interpersonal, and organizational skills, and public speaking ability.
  • Evidence of self-motivation and the ability to work both independently and in teams, with high personal standards representative of ALA’s commitment to excellence.
  • Ability to respond quickly to changing business needs and priorities in an environment with uncertainty.
  • Management experience that includes leveraging new technologies to improve operations.

 Requirements Include:

  •  A proven track record of overseeing or engaging in successful major gift fundraising.
  • Learning and adoption of ALA and library perspectives and values.
  • Ability to sustain a moderate domestic travel schedule.
  • Prior supervisory experience.
  • Relevant undergraduate degree and 10 years of related experience; graduate degree is a plus.
  • Based in or willingness to relocate to the Chicago or Washington, D.C. areas.

 More about ALA

ALA offers professional services and publications to members and nonmembers, including online news stories from American Libraries and analysis of and advocacy on crucial issues from our office of Public Policy and Advocacy(PPA) located in Washington, DC. Our main headquarters in Chicago is located on the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Ave, with other satellite offices in Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. 


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