Director of Major Gifts and Individual Giving


Director of Major Gifts and Individual Giving


Full-time Exempt

Reports to:

Vice President, Research & Development


Commensurate with experience

Hire Date:

LCLC will close the posting as soon as we find an exceptional candidate

Who We Are 

Lawndale Christian Legal Center (LCLC) specializes in providing a unique form of holistic community- based criminal defense representation grounded in restorative justice principles to minors and emerging adults (24 and under) from North Lawndale. This highly relational and innovative model is performed by an interdisciplinary team of attorneys, case managers, outreach workers, and strategic community partners that provide developmentally appropriate supports for minors and emerging adults. The team identifies and meets the various needs of our youth at every phase of the criminal justice system: from diversion, arrest, through trial, and the completion of any period of probation, supervision, or parole, and beyond. By serving justice-involved minors and emerging adults holistically in their community, LCLC is leading the transformation of the traditional criminal justice system and establishing new best practices in community-based holistic interventions grounded in restorative justice that are more effective, cost less, and result in greater public safety for all. We believe our holistic, community-led (approximately 70% of our staff and Board of Directors are from North Lawndale) restorative justice model will transform the criminal justice system and end mass incarceration. More information on LCLC can be found at

Our North Lawndale Community

North Lawndale is a vibrant and resilient community and we are proud to be a part of it. Our office is located just next door to the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Apartments and Exhibit Center, built on the site where Dr. King lived for six months during his Chicago Freedom Campaign in 1966. North Lawndale is tightly-knit, and we are gratified by our affiliation with the Lawndale Community Church, an organization that has done so much to bring necessary health and legal services to the community. Unfortunately, following decades of disinvestment, “white flight”, redlining, and other harbingers of systemic poverty and violence, North Lawndale still suffers from high levels of poverty, economic hardship, violence, and over- policing. 

In North Lawndale, approximately 850 officers are assigned to the two police districts that patrol 35,000 residents. In addition, a significant percentage of specialized units (which are historically aggressive and abusive) have been ordered to rove in our community. More than 1,500 youth are arrested in North Lawndale yearly, the second highest rate in Chicago. Indiscriminate stops and searches of North Lawndale residents are a daily occurrence; 66% of adults surveyed perceived no legitimate reason for their most recent police stop. A startling 59% of adults in North Lawndale have been arrested, 30% convicted, and 27% jailed. 

Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds that our youths encounter within North Lawndale, namely the violence, poverty, and police brutality, they demonstrate hope, resolve, and a drive to make their neighborhood a better place. We are continually inspired by our clients’ resilience and positivity in the face of external challenges. It is both an honor and a privilege to help them walk them away from the criminal justice system and equip them to take control of their future.

Job Description

LCLC is seeking an experienced, goal-oriented fundraising professional to serve as its first-ever Director of Major Gifts and Individual Giving. We are looking for a talented individual who can grow our philanthropic capabilities with specific responsibility for implementing the strategy, infrastructure, and relationship management practices involved in cultivating and growing a vigorous individual donor base and leading a capital campaign. The Director will identify, cultivate, engage, and solicit individuals and foundations capable of supporting LCLC and advancing our mission. 


  • Develops and implements the strategy for a comprehensive individual donor giving and engagement program, including examining the opportunities within LCLC’s current and prospective donor bases.
  • Ensures a multifaceted stewardship program, including events and customized communication, that will deepen ties with donors.
  • Develops strategies to grow the size and value of the prospect pool organization-wide through maintenance and analysis of information including producing reports, pyramids, and gift tables.
  • Builds a robust pipeline of current and new prospects; manages pipeline activity, including the assignment and tracking of new prospects, as well as provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of pipeline activity and movement to drive strategic planning across Development, including modeling and donor journey analytics.
  • Conducts donor visits and implements strategies to cultivate and steward donors, renew and increase giving of assigned prospects, build new pipelines of major gifts and planned gifts, and assists LCLC with reaching financial goals.
  • Identifies strategies for enhancing relationships with philanthropic, community, and political leaders, and effectively executing them.
  • In conjunction with the Development team, has a primary role in putting on LCLC events, including our Annual Benefit.
  • Works on marketing efforts and materials, including social media platforms, to shape and communicate LCLC’s message.
  • Prepares proposals, reports, and collateral supporting materials when needed.
  • Ensures that all administrative development tasks including gift acknowledgment, reporting, and updates to the development database are completed promptly.
  • Provides support and strategic advice to LCLC leadership and Board in their engagement with donors.
  • Incorporates a comprehensive gift strategy throughout all gift proposals and solicitations.
  • Demonstrates ability to adapt and customize prospect strategy management, tracking, and reporting for various prospect segments (annual, intermediate, major gift
    prospects, planned, principal, and foundation prospects).
  • Identifies opportunities where existing CRM-based reporting tools can meet ongoing business needs for fundraisers, managers, and leaders within all areas of development.
  • Works with LCLC Board of Directors to maximize giving potential of individual members and develop targeted strategies to engage their relationships with other potential new donors to LCLC.
  • Lead capital campaign including: 
    • In consultation with the LCLC’s leadership team, establish campaign fundraising goals, metrics and priorities.
    • Develop and manage a portfolio of individual, corporate, foundation donors through identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
    • Oversee prospective donor research.
    • Provide overall campaign management including overseeing the development of prospect lists, staff and volunteer call assignments and the recording of pertinent prospect/donor information and cultivation/solicitation activity in donor files and eTapestry.
    • Manage campaign prospect information/data management in eTapestry in conjunction with Database Manager.
    • Manage the prospect review process with LCLC staff and campaign volunteers.
    • Produce written campaign materials including proposals, grant applications briefing notes and donor and volunteer correspondence.
    • Work in conjunction with Finance and Development teams to track and fulfill campaign stewardship commitments.
    • Monitor performance of the campaign according to defined goals and metrics.
    • Conduct regular campaign prospect management meetings with Development and leadership staff to ensure assigned campaign activities are progressing appropriately.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or related experience.
  • 5+ years relevant experience in development and fundraising activities with a not-for-profit organization(s), including demonstrated success in capital and annual campaign development, soliciting and securing major gifts from both private and public sources, institutional planning, and experience working with Board(s) of
  • Directors required. Demonstrated experience with expanding donor participation in giving efforts and expertise working with highest-level giving constituents.
  • Ability to work successfully in teams and under own initiative, to handle multiple assignments simultaneously, and to meet deadlines.
  • Strong customer service orientation and follow-through.
  • Ability to work with highly sensitive, confidential information.
  • Experience in implementing all aspects of both intimate and large-scale events, including in-person and on-line.
  • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and development databases. Blackbaud CRM experience is a plus.
  • Comfortable working on a small and nimble team and able to quickly and adeptly alternate between strategic thinking and detail-oriented implementation.
  • Persuasive communicator, confident in crafting audience-centered presentations and materials, and possesses excellent written and verbal skills.
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle, and proof of insurance required.
  • Individuals from, or with connections to, North Lawndale or adjacent neighborhoods will be given special consideration. Willingness to live in North Lawndale preferred.
  • Minorities encouraged to apply.

Working Conditions

Hybrid of onsite and remote office setting conditions may apply. Travel and evening and weekend work may be required.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, and a list of three references to: Dawn Ruzich at Include position title in email subject. The position, which is available immediately, will remain open until filled. No phone calls please.

Lawndale Christian Legal Center is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and organizational needs. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative of those we serve. 

North Lawndale residents and minorities encouraged to apply.