Manager of Development
Job Details
Chicago - Chicago, IL


Opportunity:                     Full-time Position at Cradles to Crayons

Department:                     Development

Title:                                 Manager of Development

FSLA Status:                       Exempt

Reports to:                         Senior Director of Development

Location:                             Chicago, IL


About Cradles to Crayons:

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. C2C is at the cutting edge of volunteer management, and through its “Giving Factory” provides unique, hands-on opportunities for people to help other people. Headquartered in Boston, MA, C2C opened in Philadelphia in 2007 and in Chicago in 2016.

How Our Model Works:  Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. C2C supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

Cradles to Crayons meets a critical need as many children 12 years old and younger live in low-income and/or homeless situations. These living conditions can have negative effects on self-esteem as poverty can lead to increased social and emotional behavioral challenges; it impacts early education since half of children living in poverty start 1st grade up to 2 years developmentally behind their peers; and safety may be compromised as children living in poverty have increased risk of injury.

While meeting the immediate needs of low-income children, Cradles to Crayons also sets a foundation for lasting change by providing meaningful, tangible volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals and families and hundreds of corporations each year by organizing clothing collections, hosting fundraisers, or working in the "Giving Factory" warehouse.

Cradles to Crayons earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator for several consecutive years. Only 2% of charities rated have received this distinction, differentiating C2C from its peers, exemplifying the high standard of service at C2C, and indicating that C2C outperforms most other charities in America.


The Manager of Individual Philanthropy (the Manager) reports to the Senior Director of Development. The Manager ensures that Cradles to Crayons meets our objective of strategic individual engagement by building and maintaining relationships that advance the goals of both Cradles to Crayons and the engaged individuals and families. Working with the Senior Director of Development, the Manager will help build and implement Cradles to Crayons’ day-to-day individual philanthropy strategy, including prospecting, pipeline building, targeting, solicitations, stewardship, or overall donor management.

She or he will be accountable for successful implementation of donor engagement programs for individual givers of up to $2500, helping to build a robust pipeline of engaged individual and family donors that can move up the giving ladder. She or he will also work with the Senior Director of Development to build and implement a robust small donor program for C2C Chicago. She or he will collaborate with and, as appropriate, support the Senior Manager of Corporate Relations in development and execution of all other development priorities of the agency. The Manager will work well in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced and team-based environment.



  • Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.
  • Play a key role in C2C’s Development department and overall fundraising strategies to reach annual revenue goal, focusing on individual gifts of up to $5000, as well as small donor fundraising.
  • Serve as a member of the Development Team.
  • Lead the efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual gifts.
  • Actively engage, steward, and manage existing portfolio of individual relationships to maximize potential, including oversight of all engagement opportunities for these groups such as warehouse volunteer experiences or offsite collection drives.
  • With the Senior Director of Development, manage the Family Advisory Council, including scheduling meetings, managing meeting and agenda preparation, and follow-up efforts.
  • Develop, market and socialize materials and program elements that define and promote C2C as a premium non-profit partner for individuals and families, building out the Leadership Circle, or other programs.
  • Contribute to new business development efforts by identifying and engaging prospective individual partners through proactive outreach, leveraging C2C’s network and warehouse visits.
  • Support individual fundraising efforts for C2C’s signature Gear Up for Winter Un-Gala and Winter Celebration events.
  • Strategize, schedule and manage logistics for individual and family cultivation events (Un-Gala, Winter Celebration, women’s event, etc.) with support from Development Team and in collaboration with Operations Team.
  • With the Senior Director of Development, design, build and manage a small donor program to widen C2C’s base of support
  • Work on special projects needed to support organizational priorities, as outlined by the Executive Director.
  • Lead selected families, donors, and key volunteer groups in The Giving Factory as needed.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned by the Senior Director of Development.


Performance measures

  • Establish and meet aggressive fundraising objectives to meet the annual goals of the agency.
  • Build sustainable funding opportunities for individuals.
  • Demonstrate ability to generate new business.
  • Increase and renew existing donor commitments.
  • Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with other C2C staff, including across markets, and the C2C Councils.
  • Uphold high quality of customer service with all C2C stakeholders.


Required Experience/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

  • College degree required.
  • 5+ years of professional experience in development; experience in the Chicago philanthropic community a plus.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, especially donor/sponsorship communications and marketing communications. Strong presentation, negotiation and liaison skills are required.
  • Results driven with a history of intentional cultivation, asking, and stewardship skills.
  • Orientation for creative problem solving and identifying and developing strategic opportunities for expanded partnership.
  • Resourceful and entrepreneurial skills with the flexibility to work in a fast paced environment as well as adapt in changing circumstances; willingness to work outside standard established business hours.
  • Excellent ability to prioritize and organize with strong attention to detail.
  • Demonstrate initiative, self-motivation, and the ability to absorb new information rapidly.
  • Strong commitment to Cradles to Crayons’ mission; knowledge and understanding of relevant social issues.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite; familiarity with CRM systems such as Salesforce and research tools such as Foundation Directory or DonorScape.



Diversity and Inclusiveness are core values at Cradles to Crayons, and we continuously strive to be a team where everyone feels welcome and supported. It is the policy of Cradles to Crayons to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. Individuals from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.


Working Conditions:

This is a warehouse environment and normal changes in temperature are to be expected while working inside the warehouse or outside, on or around the loading dock. There are no hazardous or significantly unpleasant conditions.



In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made by Cradles to Crayons which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others, or which impose undue hardships on the organization.


To Apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume with relevant experience to