Position Title: Individual Giving Manager

Office Location:  This position will initially work remotely and engage with staff and stakeholders through virtual platforms, as Mikva Challenge is working remotely during the COVID pandemic. As business returns to in-person, the position will be located onsite at Mikva Challenge’s downtown Chicago office. This position is not eligible for relocation.

Reports to: Director of Development

Schedule: Full-time

About the Organization

Mikva Challenge is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop youth to be informed, empowered, and active citizens and community leaders who will promote a just and equitable society. Mikva Challenge is a national organization with chapters in Chicago and Washington, DC. We engage youth in action civics, an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and expertise. We are a dynamic youth empowerment agency that provides adolescents with unique civic learning opportunities and “hands-on” experiences in political campaigns, public policy advocacy, government internships, and youth activism programs. Our approaches include direct youth work, teacher support, and liaising with civic leaders and institutions. A strong belief in the potential of youth and a commitment to youth power and voice are key.

About the Position

Mikva Challenge is seeking a candidate who has a passion for fundraising that is excited to work for a youth-centered organization to equip the next generation of civic leaders. The Mikva Challenge Development team is small but dynamic. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated fundraising success in non-profit fundraising, with an emphasis on building out an individual giving program, complimented by experience curating donor events that build community. They should be highly organized and motivated to bring the transformative stories of our young adults to life to donors and external audiences. A solid knowledge of individual giving best practices, with a focus on cultivation, solicitation and stewarding new and retaining current donors, is a major asset. Strong writing, excellent research skills, and oral and written communication skills are required, along with high energy and a willingness to be flexible and creative. Ability to engage with diverse stakeholders with a range of perspectives, as well as manage and cultivate stakeholders, is a must. Enthusiasm, energy, flexibility, and the ability to work independently as well as on a team are also important qualities for the right candidate.

Core Responsibilities

  • Individual Giving Program: Lead and implement strategic fundraising activities aimed at growing long-term individual giving, with a specific focus on low- and mid-level donors giving less than $1,000 annually. Plan annual goals and strategies for individual giving with a focus on engaging and retaining donors. Develop and implement individual donor stewardship & communications activities; this includes the planning and executing of direct mail and online appeal programs; developing narratives, appeal letters and solicitation materials; developing and implementing new social media-based fundraising strategies; conducting analysis of campaigns; developing reports; maintaining donor data and leveraging the donor database to increase revenue; and adjusting strategy as needed.
  • Donor Identification, Cultivation & Stewarding: Support the cultivation of prospective low- and mid-level donors and stewardship of current stakeholders through the building of donor partnerships. Monitor and track donor engagement to ensure positive and purposeful donor relations. Routinely engage board members, organization executives and current donors in peer-prospect identification, visits, and closings. Personalize donor correspondence including phone calls and invitations. Work with the Director of Leadership Giving to build a strong and consistent pipeline of donors excited to increase their impact and giving. Conduct and/or delegate prospect research, and build out a portfolio to identify new prospective donor opportunities and build an inclusive community of supporters.
  • Volunteer and Donor Engagement: Provide guidance and leadership to create timely and meaningful volunteer engagement opportunities. Leverage youth-focused events to cultivate current and prospective donors.
  • Board Development: Support the Director of Development and the Chief Executive Officer in preparing for quarterly Advisory Board Meetings, manage communications with Board Committees, staff various Board committees and projects and assist with Board recruitment and development. Work collaboratively with and in support of Mikva staff leadership, Board and volunteers to their efforts to cultivate and solicit donors, personalizing donor correspondence including phone calls and invitations. Recommend and assist with donor briefings and programming.
  • Plan and Lead Special Events: Co-create innovative ways to expand net proceeds from events, focusing on creating community for Mikva Challenge through its major events, including an annual Spring Benefit and Summer Fundraiser in IL. Contribute to the event strategy and the production of the event, including all event planning and implementation. Oversee the strategy, concept, planning, calendar, goals, budgets, timelines and internal and external resources. Lead communication and collaboration with the host committee, which includes civic, business and philanthropic leaders in Chicago. As part of a team, identify and solicit event sponsors, advise the development of marketing materials and ensure successful production of events through coordination with contractors and vendors. Assist in coordinating or creating smaller events (house party, alumni reception, etc.) to build community engagement. Plan organizational strategies for converting event attendees and volunteers to donors.
  • Administration and Other: Work collaboratively and strategically with the CEO, chapter Executive Directors, and other organizational colleagues. Partner with the development team to integrate consistent messaging and outreach to donor segments via the web, social media and e-newsletters. Support gift-tracking and donor acknowledgement, ensuring accurate record-keeping of contributions according to best practice. Serve as a backup gift processor.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Administration, Business Administration, a closely related field or an equivalent combination of experience and education.


  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively productive fundraising experience.
  • Fundraising event management experience. Proven track record to lead, organize and implement successful fundraising events. 
  • Experience managing managers and vendor contracts.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and influence through others to achieve results.


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills that are effective with a diverse range of audiences including board members, internal staff, volunteers, donors, executives, and potential funding partners.
  • Interest in all aspects of youth development and a dedication to promoting the organization’s fundraising priorities through developing excellent relationships with the executive team, Board members, and volunteers. 
  • Adhere to the highest ethical standards; demonstrate empathetic disposition, and perseverance; reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to the needs of donors.
  • Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who works well independently and collaboratively
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to initiate and build relationships with prospective donors. 
  • Strategic thinker, highly organized, demonstrated hands-on experience with proven ability to multitask, demonstrate poise and professionalism under pressure and consistently meet deadlines.
  • Willingness to travel as necessary to engage and solicit prospects, as well as attend weekend and evening donor functions.
  • Strong computer skills with both Mac and PC environments and proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Salsa or a similar CRM database.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $46,000 – $64,000 annually commensurate with experience. We also offer a competitive benefits package.

How to Apply

Please email a resume and cover letter to careers@mikvachallenge.org with “Mikva IL Individual Giving Manager” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls. Review of applications will begin immediately.

Equity Statement

Mikva Challenge is an equal opportunity employer and we highly value diversity in our workplace. Mikva Challenge provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.

Applicants from historically underrepresented and/or marginalized communities, including people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.