Fundraising and Advancement, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Social Services

Director of Development, Midwest Region

  • Catholic Extension
  • Chicago, IL

This position has been filled.

Catholic Extension works in solidarity with people in America’s poorest regions to build up vibrant and transformative Catholic faith communities. With the generosity of individual donors and local and national foundations, Catholic Extension raises funds to help these poor, forgotten, and often isolated communities to flourish.

  • Catholic Extension invests in buildings by supporting the construction and renovation of churches and church facilities.
  • Catholic Extension invests in leaders for the Church by providing education, training and support to seminarians, priests, sisters, deacons, and lay leaders.
  • Catholic Extension invests in ministries by supporting pastoral, youth, young adult, campus and outreach ministries, Catholic schools, and religious education.

Established in 1905, Catholic Extension is a papal society that is answering Pope Francis’ call to go out to America’s “peripheries.” Since its founding, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $1.3 billion in today’s dollars to dioceses that cannot support themselves.

Catholic Extension has a full-time staff of 50 employees based at its headquarters in Chicago or in one of its regional offices in the following locations: Boston; Dallas; Monterey; Naples, Florida; Nashville; New York City; and San Diego. Its staff comprises talented and experienced professionals working in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment and team-focused culture.

Catholic Extension seeks candidates for the role of Director of Development for the Midwest Region. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Development, the Director of Development will join a 20-person Development Department, which includes eight gift officers who focus on major and planned giving and are each responsible for a geographic region of the country. The Director of Development for the Midwest Region will be based in Catholic Extension’s Chicago headquarters, with proximity and access to the organization’s senior leadership, mission team, and support services.

The Director of Development will work in collaboration with the Assistant Vice President of Development and Vice President of Development, as well as with other colleagues in senior administration and in the Development Department, to advance Catholic Extension’s major gifts presence in the Midwest Region, focusing on Chicago. Catholic Extension enjoys tremendous areas of existing support in the region, particularly in Chicago, as well as significant potential for new donor engagement.

Required qualifications and experience:

  • Commitment to and passion for the mission of Catholic Extension; ability to communicate and generate excitement about mission, history, vision, programs, and fundamental strengths. A commitment to and understanding of the mission and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • A highly creative, tenacious, and resilient orientation. Must thrive on developing new methods of engagement and connectivity in the current and post-COVID world.
  • Flexible, yet driven, self-motivated and self-directed, with a demonstrated ability to work independently with little supervision or as a member of a team. Excellent organizational and project management skills, with exceptional attention to detail, as well as a process and results orientation; the ability to manage multiple priorities, embracing a philosophy of teamwork and hands-on implementation. A self-starter with a sense of urgency, a clear set of priorities, a strong work ethic, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances in a highly collaborative environment. Appreciation for customer service and outstanding follow through.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree and fundraising certification is preferred.
  • A minimum of eight years of post-college work experience and at least five years of frontline major gifts fundraising experience, with proficiency in five-figure and above gifts (or equivalent combinations) from both defined and undefined constituencies, including cultivation through closing and stewardship.
  • Must have demonstrated ability to think strategically about moving individuals across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in significant solicitations appropriate to the donor as well as organizational priorities.
  • Significant knowledge of the players, strategies, and trends in giving within the Chicago philanthropic community; significant, demonstrated fundraising success within Catholic philanthropy and strong existing connections therein. The ability to penetrate these social networks seamlessly and with aplomb is a must.
  • Must have the ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. A working knowledge of modern data management practices and techniques, including database information systems, data modeling, and analysis is preferred.
  • Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, and an appreciation for their role in building an effective fundraising network.
  • Ability to travel as necessary (up to 25 percent of the time), consistent with public health guidelines.

Catholic Extension has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed via email to

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