The Development Coordinator (Coordinator) is responsible for planning and executing all aspects of the Annual Fund and special events for the purpose of raising funds. As a member of the Development Team, the Coordinator creates and implements activities required to achieve annual fundraising goals using tactics including direct mail, e-appeals, event sponsorships, and ticket sales that reflect and promote organizational priorities.

This is an ideal position and an exciting opportunity for someone with at least two years of nonprofit fundraising experience looking to work directly with individual donors, vendors/companies, board members, volunteers and other nonprofit professionals.

A typical day might include writing content for print/electronic appeals, working with our communications team on social media postings for events, thanking donors for their support through printed acknowledgement letters and/or personal phone calls, designing and creating an online donation page, entering information and running reports in Salesforce, talking with individuals or small business interested in raising money on our behalf, or speaking with young professionals interested in learning how to get involved with the Alliance. They may also decide to join our staff committee on organizational culture, DEI task force, or internal party planning committee. A positive, collaborative work style and sense of humor are keys to success in this role!

The Coordinator reports to the Vice President of Development, and works closely with members of the Development Team, the Communications & Engagement Team, and the Leadership Team.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization. Learn more about the Alliance at


The Development Coordinator is a member of the 4-person Development Team which includes staff dedicated to building and maintaining positive internal and external relationships with those who express interest in and passion for protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. The Team is responsible for raising unrestricted dollars, including the Annual Fund, to support strategic program advancements each year. The team also collaborates with program staff to raise restricted funds that sustain and expand programming.

The Coordinator helps identify and solicit potential and current donors, ensuring effective and responsive cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies that foster long-term engagement and broaden support across philanthropic giving opportunities. They work with individual and institutional donors, including some family foundations and businesses. Responsibilities are as follows:


  • Work with Development Team to establish annual fundraising goals for Annual Fund and event revenue growth objectives that advance overall development goals; assess performance toward those goals on a regular basis
  • Deliver short- and long-term fundraising results from a pool of individual and business donors, typically giving less than $5,000, to help meet and exceed revenue targets
  • Coordinate creation of strategies and tactics for improving Annual Fund donor acquisition, upgrades and retention
  • As needed, work with vendors on design, production, and mailing logistics for print appeals
  • Track and report on donor performance and individual appeal performance with an eye toward increased revenue and decreased cost per dollar raised, and continual testing and improvement of appeals
  • Manage donor and prospect names for solicitation and cultivation via a plan that targets specific constituents with appropriate outreach and interaction throughout the year
  • Partner with the Communications & Engagement team to build robust analytics on donor retention, lifetime giving performance and other KPIs


  • Manage the direct mail/online appeal process, which includes writing content and working with the Communications & Engagement Team to design/build components for paper and electronic appeals, acknowledgement for Annual Fund donors, and cultivation of prospects
  • Communicate organization’s credibility and strength on priority charity rating websites


  • Help maintain accurate donor information in fundraising database (Salesforce) and provide assistance as needed with data entry and reporting
  • Set mailing list criteria and create data files for print vendors
  • Coordinate workplace giving programs, including Earthshare
  • Collaborate with other development staff to ensure fundraising objectives are met or exceeded
  • Help create a culture of development responsibility across all relevant Alliance staff
  • Work closely with event committees responsible for all aspects of event planning and execution including recruitment, sponsorship, invitations, vendor management logistics and on-site details
  • Manage a Young Professionals Council responsible for supporting the organization through fundraising, advocacy and volunteering


  • Strong written communications skills.
  • Solid interpersonal skills; can facilitate a team process while working collaboratively with various stakeholders
  • Goal-oriented and able to cultivate support and buy-in from other team members for achieving timely fundraising objectives
  • Ability to manage projects from concept through execution with close attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Driven to measure and evaluate effectiveness and adjust strategies as data and external events warrant
  • Understands standard campaign elements and database(s), tracking, metrics, analysis and optimization and ROI calculations
  • A minimum of two years of fundraising and donor relationship management experience
  • Experience managing mass fundraising appeals
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite; familiarity with Salesforce or other similar donor database system
  • Experience building donation and/or event pages using Classy or similar giving platform
  • Attraction to mission-driven public interest work, often with resource limitations that require resourcefulness in leveraging assistance from and managing pro bono experts and volunteers
  • Bachelor’s degree required

Job Parameters

  • This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy. Salary to be commensurate with experience.
  • Excellent benefits, including health, and vacation are included.
  • Eligibility to enroll in a retirement plan after 1 year of employment.
  • This position is located in Chicago, IL. Travel within the Great Lakes region is necessary.
  • Opportunity for professional development such as conferences, webinars, association membership, etc.
  • The opportunity to learn about additional areas of development/fundraising from other members of the Development Team such as major gifts, board of directors cultivation, etc.
  • Great building amenities including a gym (must pay one-time fee to access), indoor locked bike storage, lots of places to eat and things to do nearby, and unlimited coffee in the office.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references and writing sample to: Include job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled – we are looking to fill immediately. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.

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