Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 10/31/2023

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Chicago, IL

The Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) department at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Lab) is recruiting talented and energetic advancement professionals at an exciting moment in the Schools’ history. Alumni and Parents are proud to be affiliated with the 127-year school and eager to support its world-class programs through philanthropic investment.

The Director of Annual Giving (DAG) will lead the solicitation of Lab alumni, parents, alumni parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and others as part of The Fund for Lab. In addition, the DAG will serve on the schools’ major gift team to ensure continuity of prospect management within the Alumni Relations & Development program. Approximately 2,200 students are enrolled at Lab. Seventy percent of families receive financial aid or tuition remission. More than 9,300 alumni, who live primarily in the United States, are tracked in the database.

The DAG will report to the Director of Development in Lab’s ARD department and participate in planning and departmental meetings, accept assignments, and perform other ARD duties as assigned.

A successful candidate for this role will have demonstrated success in direct mail, telephone, and social media fundraising. Experience with volunteer management for peer-to-peer solicitation is helpful. The ideal candidate will be entrepreneurial, curious, enthusiastic, and will help build a broad understanding of Lab’s philanthropic value to donors and prospective donors.


  • Leads a comprehensive annual giving program with fundraising goals and participation objectives. 
  • Leads Lab’s efforts in the University of Chicago Giving Day program. 
  • Leads young alumni and reunion giving programs that direct dollars into the Fund for Lab.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Parent/Family Relations to ensure parent annual giving and participation goals are met. Works with parent volunteers.
  • Partners with Lab Communications and fellow ARD colleagues to develop effective marketing strategies and implements efficient project management. 
  • Identifies opportunities to leverage technology and emerging strategies to meet annual giving goals.
  • Provides an elevated level of partnership to the Director of Development and Associate Director of Schools for Alumni Relations & Development. 
  • Manages and/or supervises the annual giving program budget in Lab ARD.
  • Provides expertise to the development of plans to solicit prospective donors and meet campaign goals. This includes speaking to new prospects persuasively about the case for annual giving support.
  • Collaborates with all divisions and schools, and relays information regarding capacity and inclination to give to the appropriate channels in the University through knowledge of the University process.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree.


  • A minimum of 3 years in philanthropic leadership in independent schools, higher education, or other not-for-profit organizations. Candidates with business marketing or sales backgrounds will be considered.
  • Experience with fundraising databases and reporting tools such as Blackbaud products or Salesforce.

Preferred Competencies

  • Meeting and exceeding Lab Schools annual giving goals.
  • Efficient with time and money spent.
  • Proficiency with databases and network-based environments.
  • Proven desire for continuing education to acquire the latest in industry best practices.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven ability to analyze processes and plan improvement initiatives.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Work on own initiative, develop rapport, and work well with others.
  • Handle multiple tasks simultaneously and accurately under deadlines.

Working Conditions

  • Standard office environment.
  • Travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for Lab Schools business. 
  • Work evenings and weekends on occasion. 

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