Assistant Director, Donor Relations

TITLE: Assistant Director, Donor Relations


Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports to a community of more than 55,000 traditional athletes, Young Athletes, Unified partners, coaches, volunteers, and more. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year-round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development. As a part of the Special Olympics Illinois team, you’ll join an energetic and hard-working group of individuals committed to transforming the lives of those we serve.


Position Overview

Special Olympics Illinois is actively recruiting for the role of Assistant Director, Donor Relations. An integral part of the Development team, this position creates, implements, manages, and assesses a comprehensive donor relations plan to assist the organization in reaching its strategic fundraising goals. This individual ensures effective and timely acknowledgement, recognition, and stewardship of donors. The role requires excellent collaborative skills, requiring work with fundraising staff and a variety of partners across the organization. 


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Donor Relations & Stewardship Administration  50%

  1. Work with Senior Director to identify information needs; participate in discussions related to fundraising planning with annual giving, major giving, funding campaigns, volunteer services and auxiliaries
  2. Help develop, implement and launch a formal donor recognition program to advance donor engagement, cultivation, and stewardship of gifts at all levels
  3. Prepare and develop communications to donors that demonstrate gratitude and share the impact of their investment, including written reports, videos, and acknowledgement letters
  4. Exhibit excellent customer service as the first point of contact for donor inquiries
  5. Track donor engagement closely and manage up to senior staff to ensure best-in-class donor stewardship
  6. Collaborate with Senior Director to create and direct retention strategies for lapsed donors and new first-time donors
  7. Provide administrative support and oversight of key stewardship duties, such as the Annual Giving Society
  8. Integrate into a relationship-based culture by attending Special Olympics Illinois activities and events, and cultivating a small volume of donors who require limited engagement

Database Administration    30%

  1. Identify key prospects, manage prospect research, and prioritize them for pipeline building
  2. Develop policies and procedures to ensure the accuracy and quality of constituent information
  3. Alongside the Director of Technology, provide internal support to all database users, including training and troubleshooting
  4. In conjunction with IT, establish strategies and plans for the maintenance, use and development of new technologies and systems that will directly benefit the users and programs of the Development Department
  5. Analyze data standards and procedures for the department’s donor management software, including Salesforce, Classy, and other event giving management software
  6. Ensure that information discovered through research is properly maintained and documented in the donor database

Gift Administration & Reporting    20%

  1. Direct the production of all gift receipts and donor acknowledgments, ensuring they are sent in a timely manner
  2. Use donor database to manage donor accounts, confirm gifts, and support other database maintenance to ensure donor needs are met and data integrity is maintained
  3. Administers matching gift processing, serving as primary point of contact for matching gift accounts
  4. Serve as the liaison to the Finance Department as related to constituent and gift data entry and integrity
  5. Ensure proper classification and use of campaigns and coding with CRM database to track, analyze, and report on performance based off evaluation metrics

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree from accredited college/university 
  • 3+ years experience managing systems and support for development programs
  • Experience working with relational databases
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer fluency in MS Office; knowledgeable about the role technology plays in fundraising 
  • A constant learner who is interested in being a proactive, positive member of the team


Work Schedule & Requirements

  • Located at the Special Olympics Illinois State Headquarters in Normal, IL
  • Reports to Senior Director, Development
  • Monday through Friday with frequent/occasional evenings and weekends as position demands
  • Independent in-state travel frequently/occasionally required, including some overnight and weekend travel as an essential function of position
  • Physical mobility required: must be able to climb stairs, assist in setup and breakdown at events, stand or sit for long periods of time, and load and unload vehicles
  • Medium work required, which involves lifting no more than 50 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds; requires a good deal of walking, standing, and/or sitting with some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls; includes sedentary work
  • Close visual acuity required to perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; visual inspection involving small defects, small parts, and/or operation of machines; operating motor vehicles
  • First Aid/CPR Training and Certification required or willing to obtain within the first six months; must be able and willing to effectively administer First Aid/CPR on-site during events
  • Valid driver’s license and proof of insurance is required
  • Offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of a background check


Special Olympics Illinois is committed to building a diverse, creative, engaged, collaborative, and hard-working team that is dedicated to our athletes, our communities, and each other. Our employees are our most valuable asset, and we aim to create a positive atmosphere where employees feel valued and fulfilled. We truly want people to love working here, and we strive to create a culture that allows for growth, opportunity, and fun.

Special Olympics Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction, and all other protected classes under federal or state laws.