Creating. Sharing. Growing.
2010 W Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
United States
(312) 829-2787
1963 Johns Drive
Glenview, IL 60025
United States
(847) 486-0808

Director of Development & Communications


At The Arts of Life, we advance the creative arts community by providing artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership.

We are seeking a dynamic, results-oriented and mission-driven professional to join our team and lead the revenue-generating operations of the organization. The Director of Development & Communications is responsible for implementing an overall fund development strategy to grow both earned and contributed revenue while serving as The Arts of Life’s representative to local and national funding communities. This strategic leader manages a team of professionals specializing in communications, development, marketing, and media.  This is a full-time exempt position that includes health insurance benefits and a liberal PTO plan.  This person reports to The Arts of Life’s Executive Director.

A successful candidate for this position will be someone who understands how individual giving programs work, and who has strong grant writing skills. S/he will enjoy working with a wide range of people from varied and diverse backgrounds. Employees who thrive at The Arts of Life are strong collaborators and self-starters. Building strong connections and relationships with donors is a large part of this job, so a successful candidate for this role will be someone who enjoys the social component to this work.  The ideal candidate for this position is someone who has experience with fundraising, loves to strategize and think big while understanding what it takes to implement a plan from start to finish.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Individual Fundraising

  • Lead efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit, and oversee the accurate acknowledgment of current and prospective individual donors.

  • Plan and execute an integrated individual giving and annual fund campaigns ($500,000+) with a special focus on major gifts.

  • Develop and launch a major giving program.

  • Facilitate board involvement in the fundraising process and track progress toward fundraising goals.

  • Work with Program Team to develop compelling messaging, anecdotal program information, relevant statistics, and the impact of The Arts of Life.  

  • Support and engage the Associate Board including building an annual event and developing other avenues for raising funds and awareness.

Institutional Fundraising

  • Manage strategic relationships for The Arts of Life’s existing and potential institutional funders.

  • Lead efforts in research, writing, and submission of foundation, corporate, and government grant proposals and reports in partnership with the Executive Director and the Program Team.

  • Oversee the maintenance and disseminate a calendar for proposal submissions and reports.

  • Coordinate funder site visits and gallery/exhibition tours.

  • Design and launch an enhanced corporate giving strategy and support Board Members and close supporters in implementing the strategy.

Event Planning

  • Produce a successful annual fundraising event with the support of the Development Manager while engaging a board-driven planning committee, a Host Committee, and a team of volunteers.

  • Provide direction and support to board members for their annual donor cultivation and fundraising events.

  • Provide direction and support for donor-initiated fundraising events.


  • Design and implement brand-conscious campaigns to increase awareness about the mission of The Arts of Life and to support project-based programming and fundraising events.

  • Manage and execute basic graphic design and layout tasks for multiple events and initiatives.

  • Manage internal and external outreach and communication with various audiences, including oversight of tAofL’s growing social media presence, e-newsletter, and website maintenance.

  • Develop and maintain relationships with arts, cultural, and educational institutions.

  • Coordinate and support organizational leadership to enhance the coverage and awareness of The Arts of Life through the press, with policy makers, and among current and prospective donors and partners.

  • Provide staff leadership and support to the Board of Director’s Development Committee.

General Responsibilities

  • Oversee donor database systems and record-keeping procedures to identify and track current and potential donors and their solicitors, and to oversee the Development team’s efforts to record, report, and acknowledge all gifts.

  • Provide regular progress reports covering all aspects of organizational fundraising.

  • Collect, maintain, and analyze data from the Program Team and external arts industry sources to assist with solicitation.

  • Act as a staff liaison to the Board of Director’s Development.

  • Support all office administrative activities as necessary.

To apply please upload your resume and cover letter using the form bellow

Files must be less than 5 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf.
Files must be less than 5 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf.