Philanthropic Engagement Associate (Gift Officer and Volunteer Coordinator)
WFH Flexible Chicago, IL Advancement
Job Type

The Philanthropic Engagement Associate will focus on more deeply engaging and activating board members and key volunteers to advance the philanthropic goals of the institution. The Associate will also hold primarily responsibility for personal stewardship of planned giving donors and growing the planned giving base. The Associate assists the Vice President for Advancement with the work of the recently established volunteer taskforces which each focus on an area of importance for Fundraising: Board Giving, Communication Ambassadors, Relationships within the Denomination, and Major Gift/Prospect Identification. This position will work closely with other members of the Philanthropic Engagement Team and Advancement Operations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Manages key volunteer taskforces to advance fundraising for the seminary:

  • Organizes regular meetings and coaches volunteers through assigned activities and opportunities. 
  • Prospects for new donors or increased giving opportunities for current donors through taskforces.
  • Assists lead volunteers in securing donor visits within their assigned peer networks.
  • Manages and records the activities of volunteers with their prospects through philanthropic cycle.
  • Utilizes events and other initiatives to engage portfolio with specific areas of interest at LSTC.
  • Prospects for new donors or opportunities for increased giving from current donors.
  • Secures visits for leadership volunteers with their peer networks.

Stewards and manages planned giving (Pillar Society) and mid-tier gift portfolio:

  • Collaborates with leadership, faculty, finance, advancement, and program staff to present resource development needs for donors and prospects, maintaining responsiveness to donor’s interests (even if elsewhere) and attention to fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Provides individual stewardship of planned giving donors, maintaining and deepening philanthropic relationships and understanding and documenting their intentions.
  • Partners with Advancement colleagues to develop tracking structures for planned gift intentions. 
  • Develops Pillar Society marketing plan and initiates planned giving conversations.
  • Leverages available ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and denominational resources and partner with key individuals to secure and promote planned gift opportunities.
  • Keeps leadership apprised of all significant interactions, inputting contact reports into the donor database (Raiser’s Edge), sharing a continually updated itinerary, fulfilling all monthly outreach and reporting requirements, and consulting with leadership when needed to understand priorities and develop strategies that will benefit both donor and LSTC.
  • Ensures excellent customer service is provided to donors through accessibility to staff and leadership (as granted), timely responsiveness, quality in all interactions and personalized communications.
  • Works diligently to meet agreed upon monthly and annual activity and income production goals and aligns visits and communications with desired outcome for each touchpoint.
  • Establishes, manages, and fulfills a portfolio communications plan, including individual fundraising goals and personalized strategies, to effectively steward, educate, cultivate, and solicit gifts from donors each year with an emphasis on mid-tier donors. 
  • Meets regularly with the Vice President for Advancement to discuss and refine portfolio plans and donor strategies, track progress, and receive coaching. 
  • Partners with other Advancement and Communications staff for donor communication initiatives. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned by supervisor. 

Interested applicants should have a passion for theological education, justice, and LSTC’s mission. A bachelor’s degree is required and some prior experience in fundraising would be preferred. The ideal candidate will have a record of accomplishment, a strong working knowledge of strategy development, and moves management systems in the qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship processes.

It is important for candidates to have highly effective interpersonal, conversational, and presentational skills demonstrating emotional intelligence and situational awareness in tandem with excellent writing, case development, and listening skills. It is equally important for candidates to demonstrate a desire and commitment to engage in issues of equity and inclusion and to display a curiosity and appreciation for groups and individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and cultures.

To be successful in this role, one must be skilled in problem-solving, strategic thinking, and taking initiative with consistent and good follow-through. One must also have a great comfort level with direct donor and volunteer interaction, including discussions of personal and family finances, faith, and asking for financial commitments. 

Preference will be given to candidates who can work independently while managing multiple projects and competing priorities with professionalism. Candidates showing the capacity to develop and nurture internal and external relationships will excel on LSTC’s advancement team. 

Applicants must have the ability to travel at least 25% of the time and effectively work remotely, from the road, and in a hybrid environment. Preference will be given to candidates with Raiser’s Edge and/or NXT experience.

LSTC is committed to diversity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression. Women and/or persons from historically underrepresented cultural groups are encouraged to apply. LSTC is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. 

Application Process

Please utilize the online application portal to submit your resume and a letter of interest that includes a) your reasons for applying, b) your work experience as a fundraising professional, and c) a description of how you connect to LSTC’s mission. Please submit all application materials through the employment application portal.