Development Manager

Position and Organization Description

Accelerate Institute is seeking a talented Development Manager who is passionate about educational equity in public schools. This role will assume responsibilities related to cultivating existing donor relationships, identifying and building new donor prospects, management of the donor tracking database, and special events for both Accelerate Institute and Alain Locke Charter School.

The Development Manager will report to the Vice President of Partnerships and CEO and work closely with both to plan, manage, and implement Accelerate Institute’s and Alain Locke’s development strategy. This position will ensure the effective delivery of Accelerate Institute’s vision, mission, and brand through its fundraising programs. The Development Manager will coordinate with various teams and stakeholders connected to Accelerate Institute and Alain Locke Charter School. The successful candidate will have demonstrated skills in the full spectrum of development activities including grant development, special events, and individual donor cultivation and stewardship. The person selected for this position must be self-motivated, creative, results-oriented, entrepreneurial, and highly energetic with exceptional interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills.

In the first six months, the Development Manager will help us close out our FY21 fundraising goal of approximately $3M while learning all about Accelerate Institute’s innovative programs designed to support our leaders in building effective schoolwide systems and their own individual leadership skills with the end goal of creating high-performing and equitable schools that put students first. 

About Accelerate Institute

Founded in 1991, Accelerate Institute’s mission is to enable every child, regardless of their zip code, to reach their full potential. We partner to create high-performing schools by dramatically accelerating student achievement. Through the Growth Accelerator, Principal Fellowship, and Leadership Academy programs, we draw on the leadership model used to achieve success at our nationally recognized school, Alain Locke Charter School.

Accelerate Institute has trained more than 150 school leaders who are currently working in more than 20 cities across the United States. Our work is grounded in Accelerate Institute’s core values:

  • Students First: We make decisions in which student achievement and well-being are prioritized while honoring individual student experiences.

  • Absolute Excellence: We bring our best work, are productive, are present, and get accelerated results.

  • Synergy: Our interactions and cooperation produce a combined effect greater than the sum of the separate effects.

  • Equity and Inclusion: We value all dimensions of diversity and seek to model the fairness and justice that we want to see in the world.

  • Gratitude: The work is hard. In that we find joy and are thankful to each other and show appreciation for all stakeholders.

Accelerate Institute is located in Chicago, Illinois.

Position Responsibilities

Top priorities for the Development Manager are:

  • Implement Fundraising Strategy: Actively work with Vice President of Partnerships and CEO to develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for both Accelerate Institute and Alain Locke Charter School with the goal of expanding existing funding.

  • Donor Cultivation and Communication: Execute the day-to-day management of existing and new grants and individual donors, including proposals, reports, and regular funder communication.

  • Data Management and Revenue Oversight: Management of donor-related functions within the Salesforce platform; collaborate with Finance and Operations to maintain financial strategy; provide any updates on funding.

Required Qualifications and Skills

The candidate must have:

  • Minimum of 3-5 years of comprehensive development experience in similar roles in the nonprofit sector.

  • A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; educational equity; and the mission of Accelerate Institute.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead the execution of a development strategy that met or exceeded its objectives for an organization of comparable size. • Managed institutional relationships including the full lifecycle of foundation grants.

  • Experience supporting organizational leaders to successfully engage and solicit high wealth individuals.

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills for multiple target audience.

  • Proven ability to work unsupervised and solve problems independently, effectively, and creatively.

  • Ability to lead multiple long- and short-term projects simultaneously, meeting all related deadlines with the ability to plan, prioritize, coordinate, and manage own work.

  • Advanced knowledge of MS Office and experience working with donor tracking databases (Salesforce preferred).


Salary Range - $60,000 - $75,000

Accelerate Institute offers a full benefits package which includes: health and dental insurance; 15 days of vacation; 9 paid holidays with paid days off between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays; a paid floating holiday; paid sick and personal leave; paid parental leave; retirement plan options; long-term disability coverage; and basic life and personal accident insurance.

To Apply

The application can be found here:

Please be prepared to submit the following:

  • Resume that clearly articulates your qualifications to the required skill sets defined above.

  • Cover letter describing your skills, interest, and passion in creating equal access to education for all children.

For more information on Accelerate Institute, visit

Our Commitment to Diversity

Accelerate Institute’s vision is that one day, all children will thrive in schools that graduate them prepared for the rigors of college/career and a life filled with meaningful work, active citizenship, and personal fulfillment. We recognize that our vision cannot be fulfilled without actively challenging racism and white supremacy; our vision cannot be fulfilled without actively defending the lives of BIPOC. Accelerate Institute is committed to being an anti-racist organization. As such, in 2019, we partnered with SF-CESS to launch internal DEI programming which includes monthly iGroup meetings with all staff.

Accelerate Institute embraces creating and nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive space for all team members. Having a diverse organization aligns with our commitment to an equal opportunity workplace. We celebrate equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or other legally protected status. We are also ready to accommodate physically challenged or special needs individuals who require any special assistance. Accelerate Institute is proud of our history of diversity and is a strong supporter of the communities where we work.