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Manager of Donor Relations

  • Saturday, October 01, 2022 10:23 AM
    Message # 12938881
    Maeven Sipes (Administrator)

    Job Description – Manager of Donor Relations (Major Gifts)

    Bridge Communities is looking for a seasoned Manager of Donor Relations to serve as a key member of the Development team. This position is responsible for developing and stewarding long-term relationships with individuals capable of providing $1,000+ in financial resources, with the goal of deeper understanding of homelessness in our communities and engaging said donors to respond to those needs through Bridge Communities. This position leads activities related to recurring giving program (Circle of Hope), planned giving program (Cornerstone Society), and stewardship for both new and major donors.

    The Manager of Donor Relations is expected to manage a portfolio of donors at the $1,000+ giving levels, while working to identify, qualify, and cultivate prospective donors. Portfolio management requires the position to lead the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies and execution while tracking donor moves management in a database system. The typical portfolio count is 150+ donors and prospects. Additionally, the position is expected to lead the recurring giving program and planned giving program.

    To be successful in this role you must be well organized, able to make a compelling case for investing in Bridge’s mission, and a natural relationship builder. You must also enjoy working in a fast-paced environment that requires independent decision-making and strong problem-solving skills.  Additionally, the ideal candidate is persistent and consistent in their outreach efforts, an excellent listener, and is energized by the day-to-day challenges of a client based social service agency.

    The Manager of Donor Relations is a 40-hour per week, salaried exempt position.  This position is a member of the Development team, but their work stretches across all aspects of the organization. This position reports to the Senior Director. This position qualifies for all Bridge Communities offered benefits, including health and disability insurance, vacation and sick leave, 403(b) retirement matching, et al. This position may require occasional work outside of normal business hours.  The Manager of Donor Relations will have an office at the organization’s headquarters in Glen Ellyn. This position is hybrid with 3 days in office and 2 days at home, after agreed upon onboarding time.

    About Bridge Communities

    ·         DuPage County’s largest provider of transitional housing and supportive services for homeless families.

    ·         Owns and operates 24 apartment buildings in 7 DuPage communities, 154 total apartments. Headquarters office is in Glen Ellyn.

    ·         Serves over 100 homeless families, with Program staff providing case management, employment counseling, children’s services, nutrition counseling, and donated automobile program.

    ·         Unique business model with faith communities and community-based organizations providing both financial support and volunteer mentors for families.

    ·         Numerous collaborations with public schools, medical and behavioral health, legal services, local and county government, and recreational service partners to provide holistic scope of support to families.

    ·         Strong fundraising and resource development team that has created diversity of funding streams and high donor retention.

    ·         $ 5 million operating budget, $16 million in net assets, with $3.8 million endowment, 26 staff 300+ volunteers, and 2,000+ annual donors.

    ·         $3.5 million of operating budget is raised through contributed revenue, with approximately $500,000 raised through efforts of Manager of Donor Relations.


    Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Manage a portfolio of major individual donors and prospects, cultivating, assessing, prioritizing use moves management strategies. Maintain regular contact with portfolio members through telephone calls, emails, in-person visits, and Bridge events.
    • Collaborate with development team to manage a customized donor-centric cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies, proposals, and marketing materials to retain and upgrade major gift donors, as well as to generate new donors and recapture past donors.
    • Collaborate with Senior Director to manage and execute strategies to grow planned giving donors (Cornerstone Society).
    • Collaborate with development team and board of directors to manage a comprehensive stewardship process that acknowledges and engages donors at all giving levels, with an emphasis on new, recaptured and major donors.
    • Collaborate with Senior Director to manage and execute strategies to grow the recurring giving program (Circle of Hope).
    • Collaborate with Senior Director and CEO on development of projected annual revenues from your portfolio and recurring giving program. Develop donor events budget accordingly.
    • Provide leadership in growth of various demographics, including age, race, culture, geography. Collaborate with Senior Director, CEO, and leadership volunteers to develop strategies that attract new and diverse donors and volunteers.
    • Serve as “chief protector” of the donor database. Collaborate with Senior Director and Office Coordinator to ensure accurate entries and reporting. Provide donor reports to members of development team and leadership. Demonstrate the skills needed to forecast future database, wealth screening, and other technical needs.
    • Meet monthly with Senior Director and other leadership staff and volunteers to ensure consistent communications with donors and prospects. Provide training and coaching to staff and volunteers on major gift moves managements. Engage appropriate staff and volunteers in your donor cultivations, visits, and stewardship. Attend program meetings, as appropriate; to gain compelling stories and information needed to share with donors and prospects.  
    • Stay abreast of changes in laws and tax codes regarding charitable giving. Understanding of IRA, DAF, and RMD giving benefits and strategies.  Lead development and execution of marketing and communication materials to be sent to appropriate audiences.
    • Identify trends and monitor current events to anticipate opportunities for Bridge to engage in and/or lead the local, regional, and national conversation on housing instability and family homelessness.

    Key Competencies:


    • Innovative and creative
    • Servant leadership
    • Donor-centric


    • Inspiring and persuasive
    • Accuracy


    • Values teamwork
    • Timely in response to others
    • Flexible to others needs


    • Ethical reasoning and decision making
    • Excellent listener
    • Strong oral communicator

    Qualifications and Skills:

    The Manager of Donor Relations will be suited for this position if they meet with following qualifications.

    1.       A minimum of 5 years, ideally 6-10 years, of similar job requirement experience.

    2.       Post-secondary degree in sales, non-profit management, communications. A candidate with CFRE designation will be given priority consideration. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word / Excel / Outlook/ PowerPoint). Knowledge and previous use of donor management database a requirement. Experience using Abila Fundraising 50 is helpful. 

    3.       Demonstrated ability to develop and sustain positive relationships with donors and volunteers.

    4.       Demonstrated record of accomplishment in raising funds through in-person and virtual visits. Candidate must show history of closing $1,000+ gifts and be able to demonstrate strategies used. 

    5.       Excellent oral communicator. Must be able to create compelling vision and case for investment through oral and written communications.

    6.       Excellent listening skills and ability to engage in sensitive conversations.

    7.       Knowledge of best practices in major and planned gift cultivations and solicitations.

    8.       Ability to set priorities, communicate those priorities and ask for help when needed. Ability to clearly communicate and collaborate with others. Desire to lead as well as learn.  Ability to maintain composure and humor in times of stress.

    9.       Must align with Bridge Communities commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    10.   Be open to working outside of the “normal” workday, occasional nights and weekends are required.

    11.   While performing duties of this position, employee will be required, on occasion, to climb stairs and lift up to 20 pounds.

    12.   Valid Illinois Driver’s License and the ability to travel locally.

    This job description does not list all duties of the job. You may be asked by supervisors to perform other duties as needed to achieve the mission of Bridge Communities. You will be evaluated, in part, based upon your performance of the tasks listed in this job description. You employer has the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description is not a contract for employment, and either you or the employer may terminate employment at any time, for any reason.

    To Apply:

    • Browse our website www.bridgecommunities.org to learn more about Bridge Communities.
    • Compose a cover letter – one-page maximum – to clearly state your case for your candidacy. Resumes submitted without a cover letter will not be considered.
    • Email you cover letter and resume to amy.vanpolen@bridgecommunities.org.
    • Candidates whose backgrounds are a strong fit with our requirements and have followed the explicit instructions can expect contact within 10 business days of application. No follow-up phone calls or emails please. Resumes will be accepted until position is filled.
    • Please do not supply references at this time.
    • Annual salary range is $77,000 – $82,000.

    Bridge Communities is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, client families, volunteers, and vendors.  Bridge Communities does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.  These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring, and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. 

    Bridge Communities will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or applicant on the bases of the above-mentioned protections. 

    Reasonable accommodation will be provided as needed to enable qualified applicants with a disability to participate in the pre-employment process.

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