Position Title: Institutional Giving Manager (Full time)
Location: Mikva Challenge, IL (Chicago, IL Office)
Reports to: Director of Development

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 has chapters in California, Washington, DC and Chicago. 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. Enthusiasm, energy, flexibility, and the ability to work independently as well as on a team are also important qualities for the right candidate. 

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 a small but dynamic. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated fundraising success in non-profit fundraising, including writing successful proposals and securing gifts from institutional donors. 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 Chicago foundations and government grants 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.

This is a level 2 position in Mikva’s org chart, with a salary band of $42k-$54k. Salary amount will be based on work experience.


Specific Responsibilities Include: 

Portfolio Management

  • Oversee a portfolio of over 40 foundation and government grants/contracts, approximately totaling $2 million. Steward a portfolio of current and prospective donors with a goal of increasing funding.
  • Serve as the organization’s primary writer of compelling LOIs, proposals, renewals, and end of cycle reports. Prepare high-quality items and other communications materials for donors.
  • Lead the development and execution of targeted stewardship strategies for existing donors.
  • Conduct detailed prospect research on foundation, corporate, and government grantmakers. Work with the Director of Development to identify potential targets and develop cultivation strategies.
  • Collaborate and leverage relationships of the President, CEO, Board Members and senior leaders ensuring they are effectively supported to achieve fundraising goals.
  • Attend meetings and coordinate site visits with prospective and current institutional funders.
  • Support the participation and inclusion of program and operations departments in the grant development, budget development, and reporting processes.

Cultivation & Stewardship

  • Maintain a database of institutional funders that includes deadlines, funding interests, and key relationships, and build digital tools and data on shared platforms. Develop institutional history, giving level, touch points, etc. to manage relationships and develop more strategic cultivation and stewardship of existing donors. 
  • Develop bi-weekly up-dates and briefs to support the IL chapter on funder cultivation and stewardship by providing context, info, and follow-up.

Agency Representation

  • Stay up-to-date on issues and news relevant to our work including developments in education, civic engagement, and youth development sectors. This includes following research and news as well as attending presentations and convenings of other agencies in the field of action civics.
  • Serve as an outside-facing resource for Mikva in the donor community. Represent Mikva Challenge programs and mission to inspire donors.
  • Serve as an internal resource for the Development Department. Maintain extensive and ongoing internal communication with colleagues including, program staff, finance operations, and at times the executive team.
  • In partnership with the Development Department and Finance team, prepare and ensure accuracy of fundraising reports that monitor monthly progress towards goals. Attend monthly financial reconciliation meetings. Support budget development processes. 
  • Support other members of the Development Team on efforts related to individual giving, special events, and communications as needed.
  • Integrity and ability to manage confidential and sensitive information.

General Mikva Responsibilities

  • Attend all major Mikva programmatic, fundraising, and volunteer engagement events per year.
  • Attend weekly staff meetings, bi-weekly Development team meetings, and an annual staff retreat.

 Required Qualifications: 

  • A minimum of two to four years’ experience in nonprofit fundraising or related field in sales 
  • Bachelor’s degree 
  • Extensive and proven writing experience, with successful grant writing experience preferred

Required Competencies: 

Must be able to demonstrate the following competencies – 

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • A high degree of personal organization and accountability
  • Demonstrating and inspiring cooperation, collaboration, reliability, and professionalism
  • Working effectively in changing situations and with diverse groups and issues
  • Inspiring individual and organizational excellence
  • Establishing and maintaining professional contacts to build, enhance, and connect networks to Mikva Challenge

Application Instructions: 

This is a full-time position and it includes a competitive salary and generous benefits package.  Candidates should be prepared to offer three professional references and a writing sample upon request.  Candidates will be required to complete a background check in order to work in Chicago Public Schools, prior to hire. Review of applications will begin immediately.  Email your resume and cover letter to: jobs@mikvachallenge.org.

No phone calls will be accepted!

Equity Statement: 

At Mikva Challenge, we celebrate difference and are committed to providing equitable opportunities, addressing the effects of power and privilege.  Mikva Challenge is proud to be an equal employment opportunity workplace.  We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other factor covered by federal, state, or local statutes.  We want to create an empowering space to change lives!