Website Ingenuity, Inc

About Ingenuity

Ingenuity, born from a city-wide collective impact movement in 2011, addresses arts education inequities in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). We connect diverse arts education stakeholders and promote data-driven decision-making to benefit CPS students. With an annual budget of approximately $3M, our efforts serve 320,000 CPS students, 650 schools, and 300+ community arts organizations.

Our Strategies

  • Data + Research: We collect and analyze data from CPS and arts organizations, sharing insights through artlook®, State of the Arts in CPS Progress Report, Data Snapshots, and Roadmaps. This informs strategies to uplift the arts in CPS.
  • Partnerships + Learning: We engage and align arts education stakeholders, offering learning events, coaching, technical assistance, and partnerships to strengthen the sector’s efforts for arts education equity.
  • Advocacy: We advocate at local, state, and federal levels for policies and funding to improve arts education access, working with CPS and the City of Chicago to remove barriers.
  • Investments in Arts Programs: Through the Creative Schools Fund (CSF), we’ve provided over $20M in grants to CPS schools since 2013, supporting teacher-designed arts learning experiences, professional development, and arts infrastructure improvements.


Position Summary

The Director of Development is responsible for growing the financial resources to ensure the sustainability of Ingenuity. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Director of Development designs and implements an annual plan to raise $3 million from individuals, events, foundations, corporations, and government. The role reports to the Executive Director and oversees a Development Manager and Operations Manager. The Director of Development also serves as the primary liaison to the Board of Directors.

The Director of Development will be responsible for coordinating efforts to increase the organization’s overall funding base and diversify its revenue streams. The primary responsibility of the Director of Development is to implement and maintain fundraising activities that ensure the organization operates within its board-approved budget. The Director will oversee all revenue-generating activities – including major giving, corporate and foundation giving, and planned giving – to expand and diversify the donor base to meet the organization’s ambitious fundraising goals. The Director will also actively participate in any future plans for special fundraising campaigns.

The Director will be expected to create and administer all fundraising programs and spend significant time engaging and meeting with donors. The Director of Development will foster strong communication and partnership with the Executive Director; support the Board of Directors in their respective cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities; and interact with donors to share the impact of their involvement and support.


Key Responsibilities


  • Own the “big picture” vision for fundraising strategy and growth while actively participating in donor-facing work and development functions
  • With input from the Board of Directors and staff, create an annual development plan and revenue projections for fundraising, including personal solicitation of individual, corporate, and foundation prospects, special events, and direct mail and e-appeals; oversee the implementation and fulfillment of all goals in the development plan
  • Lead and support Ingenuity leadership, Board of Directors, committee members, and staff in ongoing donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship; create a culture of philanthropy among Ingenuity staff and board to make development an organization-wide priority
  • Develop innovative strategies to expand institutional funding, with a focus on major giving and corporate support
  • Author the strategy for and implement the development and cultivation of a major gift strategy, an individual VIP donor and membership program, and/or other individual fundraising initiatives as deemed appropriate
  • Track progress towards goals and make mid-course adjustments as necessary.
  • Identify, research, and evaluate potential governmental, corporate, and foundation prospects for solicitation
  • Partner with the Executive Director, Chief of Staff, and Program Directors to identify programmatic priorities and potential funders



  • Serve as the lead solicitor and steward of key donors, including individuals, corporations, and foundations
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, Program Directors, and other staff to develop appropriate strategies, language, and priorities for proposal submissions; collect, maintain, analyze, and evaluate anecdotal data from Program Directors and external arts education industry sources to assist with solicitation
  • Create thoughtful and strategic communications, including proposals, impact reports, and communication to key donor audiences, including the execution of an Annual Appeal Letter
  • Serve as Ingenuity’s external liaison to its existing institutional funders and all potential funders
  • Develop and implement innovative strategies and tactics to cultivate and retain the interest of long-standing donors while also attracting new high-potential donors through special funds, campaigns, and partnerships
  • Support the management of existing and creation of new donor partnerships with local corporations and institutions as needed
  • Facilitate discussion and cultivation with existing and potential individual donors, especially major donors, and create systems to show meaningful appreciation for their gifts
  • Support the Executive Director on the management of their donor portfolio and provide administrative support for their solicitations


Communications, Marketing + Events

  • Develop a plan for donor cultivation events to attract new prospects
  • Oversee the fundraising needs and logistical plans for all special events, including Ingenuity’s annual celebration dinner, Tapestry
  • Work closely with the Chief of Staff and Communications Manager to support the planning and implementation of annual integrated marketing and communications plans, including fundraising-related PR materials, print and electronic appeals, brochures, and bulk mailings
  • Maintain and present an up-to-date case for support to be used by the staff and board


Board Relations

  • Serve as the primary liaison to the Board of Directors and support the board in identifying, soliciting, and stewarding foundation, corporate, government, and individual relationships within each member’s purview; staff the Board Development and Community Engagement and Board Membership and Governance committees
  • Work closely with appropriate board committees to ensure fulfillment of organizational fundraising goals and facilitate board involvement in the fundraising process



  • Develop and maintain internal systems that will document, track, and provide sufficient information to the appropriate staff and board members in support of their respective fundraising efforts and overall organizational success
  • Provide regular development reports covering all aspects of organizational fundraising to the Executive Director and the Board of Directors
  • Oversee the timely submission of grants and proposals, program updates, and year-end reports to local, state, and national corporations, foundations, and government sources; oversee and support the management of the calendar for grant submissions and reports
  • Collaborate with consultants as needed



Skill Requirements

  • A proven track record of success in direct cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts from individuals
  • Demonstrated ability to take primary responsibility for projects and complete them in a timely manner with limited supervision
  • Experience managing, coaching, and developing the emerging talent of a team
  • Exceptional, effective, and persuasive written and oral communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to articulate a broad vision of the organization to various stakeholders
  • An understanding of the Chicago nonprofit and philanthropic sector
  • Strong fiscal management and budgeting skills
  • Experience working effectively with diverse populations and leading projects that involve numerous tasks and multiple teams while maintaining a positive attitude
  • Experience in establishing and maintaining effective partnerships is a must
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office programs


Desired Background

  • Six to eight years of experience in fundraising or philanthropy, preferably connected to the arts and/or education
  • The ideal candidate is expected to have a bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree in business administration, nonprofit management, communications, marketing, journalism, or equivalent is preferable; candidates without a degree who have significant relevant work experience will also be considered
  • Knowledge of different CRM platforms; knowledge and experience in DonorPerfect donor management software is a plus
  • Holding a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) certification is a plus
  • Fundraising experience at the national level is desired
  • Candidates with flexibility, maturity, vision, personal grit, and a sense of humor will enjoy working here


Reporting Relationship

This position reports directly to Ingenuity’s Executive Director and supervises a Development Manager and an Operations Manager.


Compensation + Benefits

This is a full-time, salaried position with a salary range of $100,000-$120,000.

Ingenuity offers a generous health insurance and benefits package, matching retirement plan contributions, personal days, and paid vacation and sick time.

A competitive benefits package is provided, including:

  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Short- and long-term disability insurance
  • Paid vacation time
  • Paid sick time
  • Paid personal time
  • Twelve (12) standard company holidays per calendar year
  • Up to 4-weeks per year of fully remote/offsite work
  • Pre-tax Commuter Expense Reimbursement Plan
  • IRA retirement plan with up to 3% employer match
  • Funds to support professional development related to work
  • Employee Assistance Program


Please note that all employment-related pay and benefits provided to Ingenuity employees are subject to all applicable policies, practices, processes, and legal requirements, including changes to them that may occur from time to time.

As a reflection of our firm’s commitment to equity and equal pay for all, Cooper Coleman requires that salary ranges or salary starting points be published for every search we conduct. The practice of not posting salaries perpetuates the gender and racial wage gap and discriminates against women, people of color, and other historically excluded populations by causing individuals to negotiate from a disadvantaged starting point.


Location + Travel

Ingenuity’s offices are based in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. We gather in the office two to three days a week. Depending on business needs, additional days in the office may be necessary from time to time. Most team members work remotely on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Our team believes in the power of connection and collaboration when people work face-to-face. We believe in giving people the flexibility to focus, balance personal priorities, and save themselves two to three commutes per week.

Minimal travel outside of Chicago may be expected occasionally, including participation in professional conferences.


EEO + Diversity, Equity + Inclusion

Ingenuity is an equal-opportunity employer. Ingenuity encourages qualified candidates of any gender, race, class, sexual orientation, faith, disability, or age to apply, including ALAANA candidates, transgender and gender non-conforming candidates, as well as candidates from all socio-economic backgrounds. All applicants will be evaluated on a merit basis.

In 2020, Ingenuity partnered with the Morten Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm with expertise in racial equity work. As a result of that partnership, Ingenuity launched our first-ever Equity Action Plan in the fall of 2022. It includes our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion vision, values, and goals and serves as a tangible roadmap for our equity journey, with metrics and accountability measures. However, we know this work is never “complete.” We see our plan as a living document that will serve as our steadfast beacon for monitoring progress, implementation, and continual prioritization of our DEI vision, values, and goals. Read it here.


Background Checks

Before sending your resume for this position, please read it over for accuracy. Cooper Coleman verifies its candidates’ employment and academic credentials at the time of offer.

As a current Chicago Public Schools vendor, Ingenuity may be required to submit annual background checks for all employees.


Submission Instructions (please read carefully)

Cooper Coleman is leading this search on behalf of Ingenuity. To apply, please visit this link ( Inquiries and nominations of qualified candidates can be sent to:

Paul Towne |

Kindly use the position title as the subject line of your email. All inquiries will be held in confidence.

A cover letter is not required with your initial application but is welcomed to help us understand your fitness for this role during our initial evaluation. Candidates invited for interviews with the Ingenuity team will be asked to provide a thoughtful letter of interest indicating their specific qualifications for the opportunity, desire to join Ingenuity, and connection to its mission.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

Cooper Coleman LLC is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified candidates and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or identity, age, ability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.

To apply for this job please visit