Director of Advancement & Engagement Chicago

AJC | Chicago, IL, United States

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Posted Date 7/10/2024

Founded in 1906, AJC seeks to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. Among Jewish advocacy organizations, AJC is the leader in the global arena. We are known for our unparalleled access to diplomats, government officials, and faith leaders in more than 100 countries. In addition to our New York headquarters and Office of Policy and Diplomatic Affairs in Washington, D.C., AJC has offices across the U.S. and around the globe and maintains partnerships with Jewish communities worldwide.

AJC seeks a passionate senior level fundraising professional to serve as its next Director of Advancement & Engagement in Chicago, its largest market. As the face of and primary driver for philanthropic activities, the Director of Advancement and Engagement provides vision to the comprehensive philanthropic efforts of the organization’s top-performing office. The ideal candidate takes an entrepreneurial approach and will build on the region’s stable foundation, drive the $3.2 million annual campaign, expand revenue streams, and ensure a healthy donor pipeline for a dynamic future.

The Director of Advancement & Engagement must be a genuine relationship-builder who is energized by AJC’s mission and is able to communicate that commitment to an increasingly broad and diverse audience. They are a smart, high-energy initiator who combines organizational acumen, good judgement, and professionalism with knowledge of the Chicago Jewish community as well as the larger philanthropic and corporate communities. A strong manager who is a consummate team player with a curious, informed, and compassionate mindset is essential for success in this role.

The Director of Advancement & Engagement does all of this while adhering to AJC’s core values: Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, Excellence, and Accountability. 

Responsibilities Include:

  • Envision and implement a comprehensive plan for managing and growing an approximately $3.2M annual campaign;
  • Manage a growing portfolio of donors and solicit new and increased gifts;
  • Coordinate efforts with the Regional Director and National Development office to increase focus on $25k+ annual major gifts; 
  • Utilize all tools for an effective major gifts process including Donor Recognition societies, targeted parlor meetings, solicitation strategies, and moves management;
  • Oversee planned giving and foundation initiatives including coordinating with AJC’s national planned giving office and identifying and cultivating foundation prospects;
  • Cultivate, steward, and enhance the relationships lay leaders and current donors have with AJC, inspiring them to increase their commitment and giving;    
  • Advise and support solicitation efforts of the AJC Chicago Regional Director;
  • Supervise, mentor, and provide guidance to a team of four made up of two Assistant Directors, an Alexander Young Leadership Associate, and a Coordinator;
  • Advise and support local program staff’s portfolio management and coordinate with them to ensure donors are engaged and aware of the breadth of AJC’s impact;
  • Manage AJC Chicago’s leadership cultivation efforts and nominations process;
  • Mentor new leaders to maximize their leadership and giving potential;
  • Design and support an Advancement and Engagement Committee to assist with development and increase lay leader involvement;
  • Strategize, solicit honorees, and produce exceptional virtual, hybrid, and/or in-person honoree events in coordination with the Advancement & Engagement team;
  • Perform other tasks needed to support overall office effectiveness.


The ideal candidate has an extensive knowledge of, and a strong commitment to, Jewish issues and the objectives of AJC. The ideal candidate is an experienced development professional with a proven track record of fundraising success and significant experience in major gifts, corporate and special events, and general campaign management. They are a goal-oriented planner who is accustomed to developing strategies and following through on them. Other qualifications include the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree required and a minimum of 7 years related professional experience that includes roles as an organizational leader, fundraiser, and manager
  • Passion for AJC’s mission
  • Goal-oriented campaign strategist who can create and execute a multi-faceted vision and plan for increased financial resource development results
  • Extensive experience with major donor management and direct solicitations
  • Past experience working closely with lay leaders and leadership development in a non-profit setting
  • Self-directed leader who can work independently and collaborate with professional colleagues and volunteer leadership
  • Flexible, creative, and strategic thinker able to develop sophisticated new ways to engage potential and existing donors and create new giving opportunities and programs
  • Takes and conveys pride in individual and team successes
  • Strong organizational, time management, and project management skills with the capacity to comfortably handle a large volume of work
  • Ability to creatively and proactively solve problems
  • Successfully lead, manage, and work on multiple projects simultaneously, with multiple parties, to advance AJC’s work
  • Knowledge of and ability to manage data and develop, implement, and oversee budget
  • Sense of humor and strong desire to add to a culture of collaboration and feedback
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity with the greater Chicagoland area and demographics
  • Experience overseeing large fundraising events preferred
  • Flexibility with schedule (occasional mornings, evenings, and weekends)
  • Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft Office, particularly Excel


Comprehensive benefits package includes:

  • Medical, vision, and dental plans
  • Flexible Spending Account options
  • Generous Paid Time Off (PTO) - 15 vacation days per year, that increases with continued employment
  • Paid Holidays (many Federal and major Jewish Holidays)
  • Hybrid work schedule
  • 403(b) participation, after one year of employment
  • Transit plan

 AJC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 The salary range for this position is $130,000 to $150,000, depending on relevant experience.

 Please submit your application to:


Salary130,000.00 - 150,000.00 Annual
Full Time
Advocacy | Community Outreach | Director | Director of Community Engagement | Other | Social Justice
Organization Type
Civil Liberties | Community Relations | Global Nonprofit | Fundraising | Other | Outreach | Public Affairs
Retirement Plans | Dental | FSA | Leave Early for Shabbat | Life Insurance | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Paid Vacation | Parental Leave | Sick Days | Vision
Job Location
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