Director of Development

Meadville Lombard Theological School
Chicago, IL

KEES has been exclusively retained by Meadville Lombard Theological School in its search for a new Director of Development.


The Director of Development is an engaging, experienced professional with a high degree of initiative and follow-through, committed to advancing the school’s mission through development. Possessing a personal and professional commitment to social justice, this leader is driven to utilize their fundraising skills for short-term and long-term impact. This is a full-time exempt position reporting directly to the President. The Director will provide leadership for planning, guiding and evaluating the development efforts of the School in fundraising, event planning, grant writing and alumni affairs. The Director is expected to exhibit cultural competency and the ability to operate/thrive in a multiracial, multicultural and theologically diverse learning and work environment. This position supervises a part-time Development Assistant. 

Specific Requirements Include:

  • Provide effective leadership and oversight for the School’s philanthropic program, working collaboratively with the President, board members, faculty and staff.
  • Develop and implement measurable objectives, strategies, budgets, funding strategies and timelines, including development and maintenance of a five-year strategic plan for the fundraising program that encompasses Meadville Lombard’s efforts in Annual Campaign, General Assembly fundraising and event management.
  • Nurture partnerships and relationships with current and prospective donors through donor recognition programs and stewardship. Cultivate long-term relationships to ensure continued support, engagement and involvement.
  • Assist the President on all matters pertaining to this person’s role in the development program, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting and securing leadership gifts. Provide input, strategy and management for a selected number of leadership gift prospects assigned to the President.
  • Create new and innovative outreach strategies using technology and social networks in order to increase visibility of the organization for diverse, new audiences.
  • Serve as the President’s liaison to the Board’s Development Committee and provide support for individual board members who are assigned to major gift prospects for the purpose of cultivation and solicitation.
  • Demonstrated strategic and tactical fundraising skills and a record of accomplishment in applying them in an academic, nonprofit or knowledge-based organization.
  • Track record of successful project and budget management, including experience in directing and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Aptitude with technology is essential, including MS Office Suite, Internet applications, social media, and a familiarity with other emerging communication innovations and willingness to learn new applications.
  • Career track record that shows stability with an organization and capacity to develop and nurture relationships culminating in overall success.
  •  Adhere to and promote industry ethical standards and practices, including The Donor Bill of Rights and AFP’s Code of Ethical Standards.
  • Minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in a development or related administrative position, preferably in a higher education environment, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree a plus.
  • Membership in a professional association for fundraisers, such as AFP, is preferred.
  • Approximately 30% travel time is expected, along with weekend and/or evening work required to meet the goals of the position.



To assure confidential tracking of all applicants, no applications will be accepted via email. ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE HELD IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.

The salary and benefits package are marketplace competitive, including spouse/partner/family insurance options. Membership in the local AFP chapter will also be covered. Meadville Lombard is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women, persons of color and persons with disabilities to apply. The School is committed to enriching its educational experience through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff.


This search is being managed by Heather Eddy, President and CEO, and Kiana Martin, Project Manager of KEES. Questions may be addressed to  


KEES is a retained executive search and consulting firm that builds transformative teams and leaders in the nonprofit sector. KEES was founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search. For more information, please visit


Meadville Lombard Theological School seeks to fulfill a mission to educate students in the Unitarian Universalist tradition to embody liberal religious ministry in Unitarian Universalist congregations and wherever else they are called to serve. Meadville Lombard does this to take into the world our Unitarian Universalist vision of justice, equity and compassion. For more information, please visit