Position Description

Development Associate
Req ID 8127
Location Chicago - Loop
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National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)

Development Associate

Program Description:

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is a human rights organization committed to advancing justice for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through direct representation, impact litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications.  NIJC has a 36-year track record of protecting the rights of marginalized immigrants, including low-income asylum seekers, sexual and gender minorities, children, immigrant families, and individuals in detention. Drawing on its unique, multi-strategy approach, NIJC is at the forefront of advancing human rights and access to justice for immigrants.


The Development Associate reports to the Director of Development and is a member of the development team. This position contributes to NIJC’s strategic fundraising efforts by providing administrative support with development and fundraising activities. The Development Associate’s responsibilities fall into three primary areas: 1) support individual giving, including donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and acknowledgment; 2) provide logistical support for NIJC’s fundraising and cultivation events; and 3) assist with seeking and managing grants from corporate, foundation, and government sources. A successful candidate must be a team player; possess excellent verbal and written communication skills; manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment; be highly attentive to detail; exercise good judgment; and maintain confidentiality as necessary.

NIJC is currently a hybrid workplace, and the Development Associate can expect continued opportunity for remote and in-office work but must be based in the Chicagoland area to facilitate regular office coverage at NIJC’s downtown office to process donations and issue acknowledgment letters.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Development Operations

  • Manage gift acknowledgment process, including the drafting of acknowledgment letters, to ensure that all donations are acknowledged in a professional and timely manner in accordance with established protocols
  • Process donations by receiving and scanning checks, monitoring online donations, and providing the necessary information to Heartland Alliance’s donor information systems team for gift entry into the donor database
  • Monitor and maintain the organizations donor databases to ensure information is accurate and current, including performing regular data quality management projects (such as duplicate record cleanup, address updates, etc.)
  • Maintain development calendar to track fundraising activities, including events, appeals, and grant applications and reports.
  • Serve as the primary contact for donors and potential donors with administrative questions about contributions to NIJC and provide exemplary customer service
  • Manage the monthly donor process including updating donor payment information and ensuring annual tax letters are sent

Fundraising & Development Support

  • Assist with the planning, design, and production of fundraising events (including the Human Rights Awards and 5K for Immigrant Justice), performing tasks such as scheduling; invitation coordination; logistics; staffing; and post-event follow-up, tracking, and reports.
  • Support the Director of Development and Executive Director with donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, including conducting prospect research to identify new donors
  • Collaborate with the Development and Communications teams to identify and implement strategies to grow NIJC’s online fundraising effectiveness and efficiency
  • Develop materials for potential and current donors and funders demonstrating NIJC’s impact and response to emerging environment.
  • Work collaboratively with development and project staff to identify and research public and private funding opportunities to support existing and future programs/projects.
  • Under the supervision of the Director of Development, support the development of grant applications and reports, including writing narrative, compiling supplemental documentation, and collecting and analyzing data.


  • Participate in regular Development team and organization-wide meetings
  • Provide input into the Development team’s shared goals and annual plan and work collaboratively team members and stakeholders toward team goals
  • Represent NIJC at special events, business networking events, and community outreach events
  • Maintain a thorough understanding of the organization’s services, goals, mission, and strategic direction.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and Experience:  Bachelor's degree in a related field, such as communications, marketing, English, etc. One to two years of experience in fundraising, nonprofit administration, event coordination, communications, marketing, or similar area. Prior successful experience in fundraising events, individual giving campaigns, or grant seeking strongly preferred. Familiarity with philanthropy, immigration, legal aid, and/or issues related to civil/human rights is beneficial.
  • Language Skills: Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational, research, and analytical skills and ability to manage complex, multi-step tasks.
  • Extremely high attention to detail, consistent and reliable follow-through, and ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously.
  • High energy, creative self-starter who will take initiative and work independently to achieve results, but can also collaborate and contribute positively to team efforts.
  • Computer Skills: Strong computer skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite. Experience with Raiser’s Edge or a comparable donor management software preferred.


  • Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; develops realistic action plans.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling and grammar; varies writing style to meet needs; presents numerical data effectively; able to read and interpret written information.
  • Relationship Management – Communicates purposes, goals, timelines, and strategies clearly; establishes action plans for constituent interactions; manages multiple stakeholders with varying agendas with respect.
  • Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem-solving situations; uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Adaptability – Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events; able to multi-task and lead in a fast-paced environment.
  • Dependability – Follows instructions, responds to management direction; takes responsibility for own actions; keeps commitments; commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; completes tasks.
  • Quantity - Meets productivity standards; completes work in timely manner; strives to increase productivity; works quickly.

Physical Demands: 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.


Work Environment: 

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.


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