Director of Donor Relations

Director of Donor Relations
Chicago, IL or virtual office

Founded in 2002, the Illinois Policy Institute has rapidly expanded to become the leading voice working to advance personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois. We have a proven track record of using a marketing-centric approach to advance policy solutions that unleash Illinois’ talent and entrepreneurial ability.

Every day we work to transform liberty principles into marketable policies that become law. We believe that policies based on the principles of freedom and free enterprise are better for people, especially the poor and the disadvantages. We ask our donors and our constituents to measure us by this standard: Are we changing laws and are people’s lives better because of it?

Our vision is to return Illinois to is place as a beacon of prosperity that shines across the Midwest and the nation. This is a worthy goal that requires exceptional effort and exceptional people to make it real.

We are seeking a director of donor relations who can embrace this vision as a personal passion and be motivated by it, bringing their best to work every day.

We are looking for an exceptional communicator and writer to join our team as the director of donor relations. This person will be responsible for overseeing our donor communications, including leading the writing and editing of donor solicitations, impact updates, grant proposals, reports and other donor materials.

This director of donor relations will work closely with both our programmatic and fundraising teams to effectively convey vision and impact to donors. The ideal candidate will have experience with foundations, fundraising, communications, nonprofit writing or some other related field, with a proven ability to transform complex ideas into persuasive, consumable language for donor audiences. The candidate must be curious, entrepreneurial and self-accountable.

This full-time position will be based in either our Chicago office, or in a virtual office with a willingness to travel to Chicago 4 to 6 times per year.

• At least five years of work experience with foundations, fundraising, communications, nonprofit writing or some other related field
• Exceptional writing and communication skills
• Experience of successfully writing grants of $100,000 or more and a solid understanding of major foundation giving patterns.
• Ability to transform internal ideas, metrics and strategies into easy-to-understand and compelling language for donor audiences
• Ability to manage priorities and follow through
• Pursues constructive feedback resulting in personal growth and impact
• Firm belief in free markets, and individual liberty and responsibility as key solutions to our communities’ and nation’s toughest problems
• Ability to travel, approximately 4 to 6 times each year

Interested candidates should submit the following application materials, in 1 PDF file, to Cinda Pensabene (

• Résumé
• Cover letter detailing your interest in this position and your salary requirements
• 2 writing samples, preferably related to donor communications

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls, please.