Who We Are:
One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. For many of them, that means uncontrollable seizures, stigma and discrimination in their communities, and sharply increased risks of health complications and death. They need much more than efforts to manage their seizures – they need a cure.
For more than 20 years, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) has been on an unrelenting search for that cure. Founded in 1998 by Susan Axelrod and a small group of fellow parents, CURE was born out of their shared frustration over the current state of epilepsy treatment. While the focus at that time centered on treating seizures and symptoms, that approach offered little relief for the 30% of epilepsy patients who don’t respond to treatment. Axelrod and her fellow founders knew it was time to change the conversation from treating to curing epilepsy – and they dared to believe a cure was possible.
As the nonprofit leader in epilepsy research and the only organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy, we’ve worked to shift the focus from merely managing symptoms to understanding the causes of this complex condition. With 3.4 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide living with epilepsy, CURE is committed to furthering patient-focused research that can ultimately deliver the answers they need.
The Director of Development reports to the Chief Executive Officer and will manage a development operation consisting of one Major Gifts Officer, two management level positions (Annual Fund and Community Outreach/Research Engagement) and a Development Coordinator. The Director of Development will develop and lead the strategy as well as oversee the execution of CURE’s signature fundraising events to ensure revenue goals are achieved. The Director of Development will work closely with Chief Scientific Officer and Director of Marketing and Communications to drive the organization’s fundraising and communications strategy as it relates to tying its research initiatives into revenue generation. The organization’s total revenue last year was 8 million. One of the primary responsibilities of this position is to grow this revenue and team over time.
A successful candidate will have a strong track record of success in creating thoughtful annual campaign strategies focused on expanding the organization’s base of institution and individual philanthropic support. S/he will be charged with building strong relationships with volunteer leaders, philanthropic partners and colleagues. Along with the Major Gifts Officer, this position will act as one of the organization’s primary gift officers for top donors and prospects and will work closely with the CEO, founder and key board volunteers to enhance donor stewardship across the organization.
As part of this role, the Director of Development will work closely with the Director of Marketing and Communications and the CEO to identify the organization’s top philanthropic and marketing priorities each fiscal year. Together with the Director of Marketing and Communications, the Director of Development will be responsible for crafting all internal and external communications efforts and the development of the key messaging strategy to support philanthropic growth.
Candidates must have a minimum of 10 - 15 years of experience with a proven track record of major gift solicitations and excellent leadership skills. S/he must also have an entrepreneurial spirit and be comfortable navigating complex, fast-paced working environments. The selected candidate will be a highly motivated, numbers-driven individual with strong project management skills, creativity and keen attention to detail. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree or CFRE is preferred.
This full-time position is based in Chicago with an immediate start date.
Annual Campaign Plan (including Major Gifts) – 50%
Communications and Awareness – 10%
Development Operations – 20%
Event Oversight – 15%
Planning and Reporting – 5%