Position Description

Major Gifts Officer
Location Chicago
Job Code 438
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media’s flagship station, WBEZ-Chicago (91.5 FM), is dedicated to producing high-quality, fact-based local journalism across multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, web, streaming services, smart speakers, social media, and mobile apps. WBEZ’s sister station, Vocalo Radio (91.1FM), is Chicago’s Urban Alternative music station. Through a unique mix of music and conversation, Vocalo Radio gives voice to those that enrich Chicago culturally and socially. With a tradition of excellence and innovation, and a culture that embraces positivity, diversity, ambition, inclusion, and impact, Chicago Public Media is posed for a new era of growth. 


Chicago Public Media (CPM) is searching for a Major Gifts Officer at a time of great change and significant opportunity in nonprofit journalism The Development team at CPM plays a central role in the organization’s future and in its revenue. The Major Gifts Officer serves as a key member of the team and will be responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding individuals/families philanthropic support in support of CPM’s mission and objectives.  Reporting to the Director, Major Gifts, the Major Gifts Officer is responsible for building and managing a portfolio of donors/families for the purpose of deepening engagement among existing major donors, increasing giving among donors and ultimately growing annual revenue and increasing the number of major donors to CPM.  

Through WBEZ and Vocalo, CPM serves an important civic role across Chicago. The ideal candidate will be passionate about championing CPM’s mission and vision and have enthusiasm for the organization’s journalism role in the community. In addition to being self-motivated, organized and results-oriented, the ideal candidate is someone who enjoys building relationships with others, both inside and outside the organization. The ideal candidate has an eagerness to learn, is an active listener who can help connect potential donors’ interests with CPM’s key strategic priorities.  

Key Responsibilities:

Frontline fundraising/Relationship Management (85%)

  • Build and manage a portfolio of prospective donors and donors with the capacity to make major gifts, including those who are currently Leadership Circle and membership donors. 
  • Identify, research, qualify, and prioritize donors and prospective donors for cultivation and solicitation.  Develop comprehensive and customized solicitation and engagement strategies to generate new major gifts, upgrade and sustain current annual major gift donors. 
  • Working collaboratively with the Development and Membership teams, create donor-centric cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies to transition qualified individuals from membership giving to major gifts. 
  • As a member of the Development team, actively participate in strategy session and help to inform colleagues’ major gifts strategies.
  • Identify planned giving prospects and partner with the Director of Development to secure new planned gift intentions and steward existing planned giving donors. 

Other Fundraising Activity (15%)

  • As a member of the Development Team, the Major Gifts Officer will play a role in ongoing improvements to the systems/processes supporting major gift work. 
  • Participate in the hands-on, team approach to shaping and executing donor cultivation, engagement and stewardship opportunities. This includes helping with donor events, receptions, holiday card mailings, etc.  

Skills and Qualifications:

  • A minimum of five years’ experience in fundraising or a related field. Goals and results-driven with ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Accountable with an attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Ability to take initiative and anticipate the needs of donors, stakeholders and colleagues. Proactively share information and communicate effectively both internally and externally. Able to overcome obstacles, work independently and as part of a team. 
  • Comfort with picking up the phone to place cold calls, able to secure face-to-face meetings with donor prospects, excellent verbal and written communication skills. High degree of emotional intelligence and the ability to manage multiple competing priorities.
  • Understanding of fundraising industry standards, with regard to donor solicitation, confidentiality, gift crediting, stewardship, and financial principles that shape the work of fundraising professionals.
  • Proficiency with constituent management and fundraising software. Salesforce or other CRM like Raisers Edge, preferred. 

At Chicago Public Media, we are looking for people who are curious about the world and have an excitement for the mission of independent, nonprofit journalism.

Working at Chicago Public Media

At Chicago Public Media, we care deeply about our employees as we know attracting, developing and growing talent is key to our success and enhancing our impact.  Our culture is one where collaboration, ideas, and innovation are encouraged.  We value colleagues who will enhance our culture by bringing new ideas, diverse experiences and talents to our dynamic workplace.

Chicago Public Media’s dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion is reflective across our brands, WBEZ 91.5 FM and Vocalo 91.1 FM, in our staff and in our work.  We are fully focused on equality of opportunity and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, experience and all other characteristics that make us different.

At Chicago Public Media we believe dedication to a great workplace includes supporting our employees and their families. As a result, we provide a broad and generous benefits package for you at hire and in the years to come. Our benefits include:

  • 6 weeks fully paid family leave
  • 12 weeks paid maternity leave
  • High quality Medical, Dental, and Vision plans at an affordable cost
  • 403(b) retirement plan with a company match
  • Generous paid time off, starting with 3 weeks’ vacation and 4 personal days

The essential functions described above are not all-inclusive and may change periodically to meet the needs of Chicago Public Media (CPM). The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment. Chicago Public Media may change the content or format of this job at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion without notice.

Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we actively seek and welcome people from all backgrounds, orientations, and life experiences to join our team. 

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