Executive Director and Chief Development Officer, College Foundation

  • Full Time
  • Hybrid
  • Grayslake, IL
  • $166,500 - $195,700 USD / Year
  • July 26, 2024

Website College of Lake County

The Executive Director and Chief Development Officer is the equity-minded, visionary executive leader responsible for advancing the mission of the Foundation and strategic alignment with the mission and vision of the College of Lake County to improve success outcomes for its diverse student body and community. Through operational excellence, consultative partnerships and innovation, the Executive Director leads a high-performing team in resource development through major gifts, corporate gifts/sponsorship, foundation gifts, employee giving, planned giving, events and alumni engagement. The Executive Director is responsible for the implementation of plans, projects, policies, integrated technology and the leadership and development of the Foundation team. The Executive Director is a strategic thought leader for the organization, reporting directly to the Vice President of Community and Workforce Partnerships and monitors the outcomes of the Foundation in collaboration with the CLC Foundation Board.

The Executive Director and Chief Development Officer demonstrates collaborative, values-driven leadership to create a dynamic work environment characterized by collegiality, creativity and communication. The Executive Director ensures inclusive, equitable, personalized, and culturally relevant student and employee experiences within a flexible work environment. The Executive Director leads the development of a giving culture at CLC as a key driver on fundraising initiatives and capital campaigns that support the College’s strategic priorities and enact the vision of the Foundation.

As the Chief Development Officer, this role creates and maintains philanthropic relationships through an engaging and dynamic approach with donors, corporate foundations, family foundations, and key partners in the community. The Executive Director leads strategic communications individually and through their team to ensure the philanthropic community is continuously informed on strategic priorities, campaign progress, and programmatic successes.

Foundation Vision Statement: The College of Lake County Foundation inspires philanthropic giving to support student scholarships, college programs, and capital projects that create life-changing opportunities for Lake County residents.

Summary of Essential Job Functions

The Executive Director and Chief Development Officer role supports excellence in student, community and employee success outcomes as follows:

Administrative Functions

1.     Ensure the stewardship and management of donor resources in accordance with accounting standards for non-profit agencies, College Board Policies, the Foundation By-Laws, and donor agreements.

2.     Manage the Foundation’s operating budget allocation from institutional resources within the Board Policies and College procedures.

3.     Use best practice standards in the integration of fundraising technology within business operations and reporting, including customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems.

4.     Establish and monitor interdepartmental and cross-departmental/unit standard processes, workflow and meeting structures to ensure effective, efficient and high-quality outcomes.

5.     Oversee and support the annual audit procedures in partnership with the Foundation accounting team and the CLC Finance division.

6.     Ensure monthly, quarterly, annual reports for the College, the Foundation Board, and individual, foundation and corporate donors are completed in accordance with agreements and procedures.

Leadership & Management

7.     Coordinate, lead and foster collaborative working relationships with the Foundation Board to ensure actively engaged membership and committees operating within established by-laws and organizational policies to fulfill the Foundation’s mission, goals and commitments aligned with the College priorities.

8.     Lead with transparency, openness, active listening and application of equity, diversity and inclusion to foster employee retention, a high performing team and exemplary customer service to internal and external stakeholders.

9.     Evaluate the performance of individuals and teams in accordance with College values, policies and procedures. Provide performance coaching and support to Foundation team and ensure the competency of all team members on required technology and tools to complete their job duties within designated standards.

10.  Ensure professional learning, skill development and career progression experiences for staff members that are aligned to the outcomes of the Foundation and College. Leverage the strengths of individuals and the team in achieving growth and outcomes.

11.  Champion the values of excellence, purpose, integrity, compassion, unity and inclusion. Align leadership behaviors and actions to ensure student and employee retention and success outcomes are achieved.

12.  Sustain a professional working environment, positive working relationships and maintain consistent standards and timely communication with all team members, leadership and the Foundation Board. Ensure conflicts or issues are addressed and resolved.

Strategy, Vision & Planning

13.  Develop and implement annual plan and goals aligned to the College’s priorities. Manage and monitor accountability to the plan, ensuring that specified outcomes and metrics are achieved. Communicate progress within the defined reporting structures of the Foundation, the Community and Workforce Partnerships unit and the College.

14.  Model and expect a data-informed approach and systems-thinking to establish strategy in prospect research, grant opportunities, major gifts/campaigns, corporate, community, and individual giving.

15.  Use the internal data systems to inform Foundation planning and strategy development with evidence-based decisions. Establish leading and lagging measures to monitor progress on SMART goals.

16.  Serve as the project sponsor, leader or manager on the implementation of significant Foundation projects or goals. Cultivate, develop and lead innovative and transformative projects through the “discover, design, do, and review” process. Apply project management principles within the established project management structure.

Resource Development and Relationship Cultivator

17.  Explore, develop, and execute comprehensive major gift and capital campaigns to support College priorities in alignment with the College Leadership Team and President.

18.  Apply best practices in relationship-building for resource development, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors and prospects in support of student success and strategic priorities. Leverage internal partners for successful development of case statements, proposals and event planning, such as Institutional Research, Grants, Student Success, and Educational Affairs/Academic Divisions, Communications and Engagement or President’s Office.

19.  Establish standardized communication plans that build trust and exemplary stewardship for individual, foundation, and corporate donors and alumni.

20.  Build unity and connection with the internal and external community through multi-modal methods to inspire and engage others in the visionary work of the Foundation. Actively engage in friend-raising, relationship-valuing and partnership-networking internally and externally.

21.  Be a visible and accessible ambassador of the College and the Foundation when engaging with the community. Create opportunities to teach others about the positive impact College of Lake County has on the economic, social and well-being of the communities it serves by sharing the stories of students, graduates, partners, and donors.

22.  Emulate the values of the College in all interactions and uphold ethical practice.

Required Qualifications

1.     A bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution.

2.     A minimum of ten (10) years of resource development work with a portfolio of successful cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual, foundation, and corporate donors, including major gift and capital campaigns, resulting from internal and external friend-raising, relationship-valuing and partnership-networking.

3.     A minimum of seven (7) years of senior leadership and managerial experience with application of equity, diversity and inclusion efforts to foster employee retention within a high performing team providing exemplary customer service to internal and external stakeholders.

4.     Experience in the coordination, leadership and achievement of a productive working relationship with a non-profit board and its associated committees, within the by-laws and the policies of the organization, to achieve strategic outcomes.

5.     Demonstrated financial acumen and budget management, including working knowledge of general accounting standards required of non-profit and publicly-funded agencies to meet the highest standards of reporting and audit outcomes.

6.     Competency in the integration and use of fundraising technology within business operations and reporting, including customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems.

7.     Demonstrated experience in data utilization and working knowledge of current literature and trends for evidence-based decision-making in strategy and plan development leading to the implementation of high-impact practices.

8.     Proven ability to work inclusively with persons across diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural, and abilities within a diverse community and organization. Demonstrated commitment to the open access mission of community colleges.

9.     Exemplary competence in active listening, written and verbal communication skills that inspires and engages others in the visionary work of the Foundation, builds unity and connection with the community, and ensures that conflicts are mediated productively with strengthened relationships and established shared solutions.

10.  Demonstrated commitment to individual professional growth, the growth of others through mentoring and coaching, and the creation of intentional skill development and career progression experiences for employees.

11.  Experience in leading innovative and transformative projects through change leadership and the use of project management principles to achieve lofty aims.

12.  Proven record of a professional demeanor emulating the values of the College through demonstrated emotional intelligence, diplomacy, and ethical practice in service as an ambassador of the organization.

Desired (Knowledge, Skills, and Experience)

1.     Fundraising and leadership experience within postsecondary education or related nonprofit organizations.

2.     A master’s degree in nonprofit management, business administration, or related field.

3.     Working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge, Financial Edge (FE NXT), Academic Works and Workday.

4.     Leadership and management experience within a flexible work environment structure.

5.     Bi-lingual Spanish and English.


The College of Lake County (CLC) offers excellent benefits that include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois medical (PPO and HMO options), Delta Dental and Superior Vision insurance plans, tuition support for employees and qualified family members, three voluntary retirement plans offering pre- and post-tax savings options (College sponsored 403(b) and 457 plans and a State-sponsored 457 plan), disability, group and supplemental life insurance, health and dependent care flexible spending account plans, flexible work arrangements including College-wide compressed work week for eight weeks in the summer, generous vacation, sick and personal time off and 14 paid holidays each year.

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