Director, Annual Giving and Events

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Reports to:
Associate Vice President, Individual Giving
The  Director, Annual Giving and Events, is responsible for the leadership, management, and execution of our annual giving program, the Garden’s annual fundraising event, and Annual Fund donor cultivation and stewardship events. Reporting to, and working directly with, the Associate Vice President (AVP), Individual Giving, the Director will play a vital role in growing philanthropic revenue in support of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s mission.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Meeting or exceeding the Annual Fund and events-related fundraising goals
  • Acknowledging, stewarding, and growing Annual Fund contributions
  • Developing and successfully implementing fundraising-related events
  • Representing the organization to donors, vendors, and the public
  • Producing various fundraising-related collateral
  • Managing volunteers
  • Responsible for the planning, management, and implementation of the Garden’s Annual Giving program (direct mail, email, online giving, in-kind donations, workplace giving)
  • Work in collaboration with the AVP, Individual Giving ,and across teams to establish short- and long-term Annual Fund goals, objectives, and metrics for success
  • In partnership with the Membership and Major Gifts teams, identify strategic growth opportunities, and implement a coordinated, best-in-class individual giving fundraising program
  • Oversee annual budgeting, tracking, reporting for Annual Fund progress. Maintain all relevant data in Raiser’s Edge database to include donor meetings, correspondence, actions, etc.
  • Responsible for managing all content and collateral for Annual Fund donors, including appeals, newsletters, and invitations
  • Oversee stewardship plan and process around special projects, including follow-up letters after special events, holiday card mailings, invitations to special events, personal calls to donors, etc.
  • Oversee and manage the Garden’s annual fundraising event, and all special donor events, including acting as the staff liaison with volunteer leaders
  • Actively lead annual fundraising events outreach, solicitations, tracking, recognition, and follow-up
  • Develop and meet event revenue goals for existing and new events; manage event expense budgets
  • In collaboration with the Membership and Major Gifts teams, create and execute cultivation, engagement, and stewardship events for Annual Fund donors
  • Solicit and manage all vendors related to special events, and manage and negotiate contracts with input from the AVP
  • Prepare event collateral material, plan events, generate guest lists, coordinate leadership, and staff, and follow through on event logistics and execution
  • Interface and work with the Manager of Development Operations and Finance to ensure adherence to gift acceptance, gift counting, and gift processing policies and procedures, and to fulfill information requests and maintain reporting accuracy

Key Garden competencies / behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Minimum Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Minimum five to seven years of development experience, including demonstrated success in individual giving and special events fundraising and management
  • Experience with moves management, including prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Experience with digital fundraising and data management systems; Raiser’s Edge,
  • Proven track record of working with high net-worth individuals and C-Suite executives as part of special event
  • A record of measurable results in organizing and implementing annual fund programs and special event
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills required. Demonstrated ability to write clear and persuasive communications

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • SFMC experience is highly desirable
  • Excellent time management skills and a high degree of organization, careful attention to detail, ability to multitask and to prioritize, and manage multiple projects and deadlines
  • Ability to participate in cross-departmental projects, using tact and diplomacy
  • Ability to effectively identify, analyze and solve problems

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*


TO APPLY: Click here to Apply

Physical Demands:
Office setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds.
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.