Manager of Institutional Giving
Chicago, IL Development & External Engagement
Job Type

Position: Manager of Institutional Giving

Reports to: Managing Director of Development


About Chicago Scholars 

At Chicago Scholars we strive to prepare our Scholars for the world and the world for our Scholars. Our dual focus on Scholars and the world are both essential to our strategy. The first part of our work supports college acceptance, matriculation, persistence, and career access for our Scholars. The second part allows Scholars to go beyond surviving to thriving, from achieving to excelling, from attending and working to belonging and exceeding. The first part of our work allows entry, the second truly opens up opportunity and redistributes power. To achieve these goals we center diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and racial justice so that we can launch and lift our Scholars and enable them to lead and leverage their power wherever they are on their journeys. 

Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access, College Success, and Career and Leadership Development, we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders. 

78% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years. Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city. 

READI Commitment  

At Chicago Scholars we strive to prepare our Scholars for the world and the world for our Scholars. Our dual focus on Scholars and the world are essential to our strategy. To achieve these goals, we center racial justice, equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion (READI) in all that we do.  

Chicago Scholars’ commitment to READI encompasses all of our stakeholders—from our staff to our board, from our volunteers to our partnering organizations, and most importantly our Scholars. This holistic approach is necessary for the sustained, long-term, positive impact that we seek for our Scholars, our neighborhoods, our city, and our world. 

To learn more about Chicago Scholars commitment to READI, please visit 

At Chicago Scholars, we believe that education is social justice. That's why we're empowering Chicago's best and brightest first-generation college students and students from low-income communities with the mentors, resources, and opportunities to go to our nation's best colleges and universities, graduate on time, and become Chicago's next generation of leaders. Since 1996, we've impacted the lives of more than 5,000 young leaders in Chicago. 

Our Values 

These are a set of guiding principles that apply to all stakeholders within the Chicago Scholars ecosystem. We select and retain stakeholders based on these stated expectations for how we achieve our mission and vision. Each are supported with core competencies and narrative for the sake of clarity. 

We Dream Big. We speak up, innovate, push the boundaries and keep the creativity flowing. We don’t accept the status quo because the stakes are too high. We have an incredible belief that growth and change is possible. While we dream big, we are laser focused on our intended goals and outcomes for our Scholars, our city and the world. 

We Show Up. We show up every day; not just physically, but with a positive attitude and willingness to work, connect, challenge, engage, solve problems and have fun. We don’t wait for someone to tell us what to do. We take action and get the job done. If we don’t know how, we figure it out through our knowledge, exploration or our network. 

We Embrace Our Differences. We represent a multicultural nation and our collective backgrounds, experiences, styles, values, perspectives and beliefs are an asset to the world. We recognize that together we achieve better outcomes more quickly. Justice and equity starts with us using our collective voice. 

We Model the Way. We exhibit the behavior that we want to see in others and in the world. Titles are granted, but our behavior is what earns us respect. In order to model the way, we must be clear about our guiding principles, celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our challenges and failures. 

We Care For Each Other Along the Way. We adapt to the needs of the person in front of us. We pause, reflect and listen. We do our best work when we are in good relationship together. We care personally and challenge directly. 

We Keep Our Word. When we commit, we are all in. Whether for events, a Scholar, a peer or ourselves. Our words are as powerful as our actions and are the building block of trust, respect, self-worth and integrity. 

Position Summary

 The Manager of Institutional Giving is a key member of the development and engagement team who serves as the grants manager and primary grant writer. They will lead engagement with foundations and government entities and manage the grant funding cycle. The optimal candidate will excel in areas of relationship development, research and analysis, interpersonal communication, and have excellent writing skills.  

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage all institutional giving efforts, including development and submission of LOIs, applications, proposals and other requests
  • Work with internal stakeholders to collect up-to-date and compelling data, program descriptions and stories to match funder requirements
  • Compile and submit all required reports in a timely manner, working collaboratively with donors to satisfy requests for information and proactively share insights
  • Manage and cultivate foundation relationships through direct engagement and site visits
  • Manage prospect research efforts to follow up on leads and identify new prospects
  • Work collaboratively with the Development & External Engagement Team, including the Chief Development and Operating Officer, President and CEO to assign and vet prospects for cultivation
  • Track and maintain active prospect pipeline revenue projections and targets
  • Ensure proper collection and recording of donations within development database and financial records 
  • Manage comprehensive grants and reporting calendar, inclusive of donation cycles for multi-year donors; ensure on-time reminders and pledge invoicing
  • Maintain and manage funder records in the development database to ensure the accuracy of all donor data and information
  • Update the grant boilerplate annually with new language, stories and data
  • Maintain organized and thorough grant files

Additional Responsibilities:

This role will occasionally work on nights and weekends for Scholar and development events and programming and may have the opportunity to manage an intern. This role is also required to attend and support mandatory all staff events.



  • Education: College degree required


  • Minimum of 2 years of grants management experience required
  • Government grants experience strongly preferred
  • Salesforce or other donor database experience preferred

Core Competencies:

  • Research and Analysis: Demonstrated ability to interpret data for decision making and program/process evaluation; ability to make recommendations for continuous improvement using data driven approach.
  • Project Management: Ability to manage projects, organize and compile complex tasks, and prioritize multiple assignments to meet deadlines and objectives.
  • Verbal and Written Skills: Exceptional verbal, written and interpersonal skills and ability to engage a broad spectrum of audiences and consistently demonstrate respect, concern, and responsiveness.
  • Interpersonal Skills and Relationship Management: Demonstrated ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse audiences (educational level, socio-economic circumstance).
  • Adaptability: Ability to remain flexible and adapt to changing needs and priorities.
  • Technology: Advanced proficiency with technology and standard office applications and ability to learn and master other computer technology/software programs as needed.
  • Confidentiality: Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion

Starting Salary Range: $51,375 - $60,000 per year. Actual salary may vary in accordance with Chicago Scholars’ Best Offer Policy. 

Best Offer First Policy: The data nationally show for every $1 paid to white men, women earn 83 cents, black men earn 88 cents, and black women earn 80 cents.  Women and black and brown people are also less likely to negotiate than their white male peers. Chicago Scholars has decided to offer our best offer first rather than wait for a potential negotiation. This allows us to set salaries based on market data and internal equity and ensure fair and equal pay for every role. 

If you have questions regarding either of the above policies, or any of Chicago Scholars employment policies, please reach out to the Human Resources team at with the subject line: Policy Question.

Work Environment 

Chicago Scholars has a hybrid workforce which may include permanent or temporarily remote positions. The Manager of Institutional Giving is required to work in the Chicago Scholars office one day per week on Thursdays and is required to come to the office on Tuesdays when all-staff meetings are occurring. The Manager of Institutional Giving may work from home or another location on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week.  Each role staff may have additional specific required in-person responsibilities and engagements, including but not limited to in-person events, some all-staff meetings, all-staff retreats and Learning Weeks. A schedule of required events and appropriate exceptions will be posted annually for staff reference. 

Normal operating hours are Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm with occasional weekend and after-hours events to accommodate Scholar and stakeholders’ schedules. Staff may receive flexible work arrangements that adjust those work hours. In general, we will expect all staff to be available, working, and responsive from 10am – 4pm. For more information on Chicago Scholars Hybrid Work Policy, please reach out to the Human Resources team at 

To Apply

Please click 'Apply' to submit your application which should include a resume and cover. 

In your cover letter, please address the following question:  What interests you most about grant writing for nonprofit organizations?

Applicants must reside in the Chicago metropolitan area.