Vice President for Advancement

Spertus Institute

Posted: 8/5/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Fundraising/Development

Primary domain: Education

City: Chicago

Postal code: 60605

State: Illinois

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

Spertus Institute is a center for Jewish learning and leadership that invites people of all backgrounds to explore the multifaceted Jewish experience. Spertus Institute inspires learning, serves diverse communities, and fosters understanding for Jews and people of all faiths. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

Position Overview

The Vice President for Advancement will serve as a key leadership team member and strategic partner to the President and CEO, Board of Trustees, and Spertus staff on all aspects of philanthropic resource development. The VP for Advancement will also be directly responsible for Spertus Institute’s major gift portfolio.

As a professional with significant fundraising experience, the Vice President for Advancement will lead the strategic growth of the Institute’s fundraising across all philanthropic revenue streams. Specifically, over the next three years, as Spertus Institute implements a new Strategic Plan, grows its programmatic and geographic footprint, and approaches its Centennial, the Institute seeks to expand both its annual fund and endowment. The Vice President for Advancement will engage a broad spectrum of donors and supporters, building enduring relationships.

Position is based in Chicago.


Leadership on Fundraising Direction and Strategy: Serve as a thought partner and strategist with Spertus leadership in shaping the Institute’s growth. Provide internal missional and fundraising thought leadership. Lead the development team to create and successfully execute the organization’s annual fundraising plan and special campaigns or initiatives. Inspire an organizational culture of philanthropy to foster new areas of revenue, including alumni giving. Set annual and multi-year fundraising goals to meet Spertus current and future financial needs in alignment with Spertus’ strategic plan. Work closely on with organizations’ Marketing and Communications team on the development of strategic fundraising communications and the integration of fundraising messaging into the organizational brand. Create and monitor metrics for success across all fundraising campaigns. Oversee all fundraising activities.

Relationship Cultivation and Stewardship: Ensure the growth and management of current and prospective donors, building strong and enduring relationships with major gift donors (at Spertus, major gifts are considered $5,000 and above) as well as Trustees and corporate partners. Coordinate with team members across the Institute to ensure effective engagement and stewardship with donors and stakeholders, deepen relationships with existing donors, including alumni, and ensure a rewarding donor experience to increase retention and giving.

Board Relations: Work closely with the Board of Trustees on fundraising initiatives, including the annual Trustee Campaign, Legacy & Endowment Committee, and corporate sponsorship through Trustees’ business affiliations. Assist the President and CEO with identification and qualification of potential new board members. Organize sessions to educate Trustees on their ambassador and fundraising roles. Be available for individual Trustee consultation as needed.

Second Century Campaign: Lead the organization’s fundraising efforts for the Second Century Campaign, a campaign to build Spertus’ endowment, set to launch in a quiet phase in 2021 with a goal of raising $10 million in conjunction with the 2024 Centennial.

Advancement-Driven External Relations: Represent Spertus in meetings with donors, corporate, foundation, and community partners, and other stakeholders. Maintain and grow existing relationships and forge new ones to increase brand awareness and funding. Manage Major Gift Portfolio: Identify major gift prospects, develop and execute solicitation strategy, and secure gifts to meet goals.

Fundraising Systems: Work with the Director of Development and Development Coordinator to build and ensure the efficient use of best practice fundraising systems and processes and oversee accurate and timely reporting. Ensure effective use of the development database system, Raiser’s Edge.

Special Assignments as requested. 


Experience and Qualifications Necessary for this Role

  • Possess at least a Bachelor’s degree
  • Be an outstanding advancement professional with a minimum of 7-10 years of relevant nonprofit fundraising experience and deep knowledge of best practice fund development.
  • Have demonstrated success cultivating, soliciting and stewarding relationships with major gift donors, raising major gifts in the range of $100,000 and above.
  • Have experience in all aspects of a multi-faceted development department.
  • Possess exemplary people management skills and strategic leadership abilities with proven success in leading, managing and supporting a team of development professionals in the achievement of fundraising goals.
  • Demonstrate experience in leading, organizing, managing and evaluating events, campaigns and special projects.
  • Have highly developed interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Be an effective and engaging presenter of information to trustees, staff, and other stakeholders.
  • Be informed by data, with experience leveraging data to understand opportunities, create and execute strategy, and drive decision making.
  • Understand and have experience using a development database, preferably Raiser’s Edge, as well as knowledge and aptitude using Microsoft Office Suite.


You will be successful in this role if you are a dynamic, results oriented leader and a creative, innovative thinker who is:

Relationship-driven: Loves having the opportunity to engage a wide range of donors and community members; is effective in training Trustees to be fundraisers and inculcating in them a culture of philanthropy.

An active listener: Asks powerful questions and elicits stories for and from potential donors.

Inspiring: Is a leader who can bring people along with you and can articulate a clear vision, whether to external partners or internal stakeholders.

Collaborative: Can work closely with all parts of the organization, regardless of department or role, and understands that the best results come from teamwork.

Ethical: Has a high level of integrity, transparency, and is focused on creating a culture that fosters high ethical standards.

Action Oriented: Knows how to get things done and is driven by results; sets challenging goals and develops plans to achieve them.  


Attractive Benefit Package includes vacation and paid sick leave, medical and dental insurance, retirement savings, employee assistance program, early Friday closures, and Jewish and secular holidays. 


$155k - 175k

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with the words VP for Advancement in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


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