Leadership Gifts Officer

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Reports to:
Associate Vice President, Development
Title: Leadership Gifts Officer

Exemption Status: Exempt

Department: Development

Reports to: Associate Vice President, Development

Year-Round Full-time

Position Overview
The leadership gifts officer is a front-line fundraising position, dedicated to building support for a preeminent institution that is making a difference in the world by connecting people to the power of plants. The leadership gifts officer will actively engage individual donor prospects, capable of giving $1,500 to $25,000, to create and enhance new and existing relationships and share opportunities to meet fundraising goals. The successful candidate will have an excellent ability to communicate the Garden’s mission—verbally and in writing—as it relates to science, community engagement, and horticulture in order to secure support for the Garden’s future.
Duties and Responsibilities:


In this role you will be responsible for the following:  

  • Managing a portfolio of leadership gift donors and new prospects; securing annual gifts of $1,500 to $25,000, including increased gifts. 
  • Developing solicitation strategies to increase leadership giving and to qualify donors and prospects for assignment in a major gift portfolio. 
  • Creating stewardship plans to maintain personal, regular communications with donors.
  • Developing and maintaining a comprehensive working knowledge of the Chicago Botanic Garden and its programs and clearly communicating the Garden’s needs to donors and prospects in conversation and in writing.
  • Participating in Development special events, some of which may occur outside of the customary workday, in a way that supports the success of the overall Development program. 
  • Providing individualized service to donors including golf cart and custom tours and responding to inquiries.
  • Researching gift prospects as required using online data sources and preparing briefing materials as needed.
  • Entering call and visit results and records of contacts in Raiser’s Edge.


Chicago Botanic Garden Values & Behaviors:


As an organization, we…


As an organization, we…

Prioritize a culture of GROWTH.

We commit to remaining curious in how we approach our work.

  • Create and maintain spaces for learning.
  • Test new ideas and are willing to take risks to achieve our vision.
  • Collaborate to strengthen our skills and impact.
  • Demonstrate perseverance and humility as we work towards our long-term impact.


We seek to understand others from their perspective.

  • Provide opportunities for input and feedback from others.
  • Actively listen to all points of view.
  • Consider individuals’ lived experiences.
  • Advocate for and protect time for reflection especially during times of conflict or confusion.

See one another through a lens of RESILIENCE.

We believe that all individuals can experience good outcomes with support.

  • Give others the space to balance work and personal needs. 
  • Support others and demonstrate empathy especially during challenging and stressful times.
  • Seek opportunities to learn from and about one another.
  • Ask questions about and anticipate the needs of others.


We hold ourselves and others accountable by centering decision making that honors all people.

  • Communicate information in a timely manner.
  • Provide clarity in complex situations with the goal of common understanding.
  • Discuss both positive and negative outcomes openly.
  • Evaluate the impacts of our actions.



Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Two years’ experience in nonprofit fundraising with strong front-line experience in development or relationship management.
  • Excellent organizational skills, an ability to manage multiple priorities, attention to detail, and the ability to maintain confidentiality and work with high-profile donors.
  • The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal skills, be well organized, and be able to function successfully within a team structure. 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and occasional access to a vehicle.
  • Donor database software experience required, with Raiser’s Edge highly preferred. Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite.
  • Ability to staff events outdoors in a variety of weather conditions and some evening and weekend hours are required.


Click to APPLY:

Cover letter required in addition to online application form.


*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.* 

Physical Demands:
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.