Senior Managing Director, Development and Government Affairs , Chicago, IL

The Teach For America – Chicago-Northwest Indiana Region seeks a Senior Managing Director of Development and Government Affairs to steward a large network of high-level relationships and to design the systems and structures for sustained and meaningful outreach. Reporting to the Executive Director, the SMD, Development and Government Affairs will create and implement the strategic development plan that will ensure Teach For America can continue to serve its students and champions sustainably. As the head of our Development Team, the SMD, Development and Government Affairs will serve on the Chicago-Northwest Indiana Leadership Team and will manage a team of 7 with 4 direct reports.

The Team

Chicago and Northwest Indiana have all the conveniences and excitement of a big city, but with the Midwestern friendliness that leads so many to make it their home. Currently we have 450 corps members and more than 2,600 alumni, including more than 1000 alumni teachers and 90 school leaders, working as catalysts for system-wide change.

As one of the largest Teach For America regions, Chicago-Northwest Indiana boasts four functional teams working collectively to achieve educational equity in Chicago-Northwest Indiana. The team serves as stewards of corps strength, alumni relationships, external (school, community, and donor) partnerships, financial resources, and team culture.
Our Program Continuum Teams focus on matriculating, on-boarding, training and supporting a growing corps to become stronger teachers and leaders, and then engage, develop, and support our growing alumni force to become high impact, lifelong leaders in the fight for change. Lastly, our Continuum Team identifies and creates opportunities for our corps members and alumni through partnership with schools, networks, districts, and education organizations. They also set the context of our work by building a broad network of one-on-one relationships and by forging, strengthening, and participating in coalitions that are aligned around transformational education.
The Development team ensures the financial strength and sustainability of our efforts by building and deepening partnerships with a diverse portfolio of public and private supporters, and ensuring that a strong, diverse local board is driving these efforts.
Our Talent, Culture and Operations team ensures we have best-in-class talent recruitment, staff engagement, operations and fiscal responsibility and talent development practices to foster a thriving team. We place particular emphasis on ensuring a diverse team, and a team that embodies our Diversity core value. As a region, we are striving to realize the aspirations laid out in the organization’s diversity statement and core values - to be a diverse and inclusive organization that is a model of equity and fairness.



  • Create the long range regional development vision and annual strategic and operating plans
  • Set ambitious yet feasible revenue, donor retention and acquisition benchmarks to achieve both immediate (current FY) and long-term (next 3-5 years) development goals
  • Develop and implement strategies and tactical plans to achieve goals for different donor segments
  • Regularly assess team-wide progress to goals while maintaining operational systems, identify what is driving and impeding progress, develop solutions to address gaps, and adjust course as necessary
  • Evaluate and assess the effectiveness of donor stewardship strategies, and leverage best practice and other innovative solutions to improve donor retention and satisfaction
  • Manage and empower a team of 7 staff members, coaching and developing them as leaders in their role and the organization
  • Partner with the Executive Director to support Regional Advisory Board’s fundraising efforts

Cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of individual, corporate, foundation, and public sector donors through meetings, events, and correspondence

  • Manage a portfolio of donors to increase donor renewal and upgrade rates by assessing motivations and barriers and leveraging key influencers to build a strong relationship between the donor and Teach For America
  • Build strong individual relationships with major gift donors across sectors
  • Leverage knowledge of donor base to inform regional event vision and strategy
  • Collaborate with Teach For America’s national Public Affairs team to design marketing and communications efforts aimed to attract, steward and retain regional donors
  • Leverage a keen understanding of the beliefs, motivations and contexts of others as well as the power networks to influence key stakeholders toward meaningful outcomes as an expert client- relationship manager

Build and manage development team members and internal systems to ensure long-term success and sustainability

  • Chart the course toward the realization of annual fundraising goals
  • Develop systems to track progress, streamline communication and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of team execution
  • Coach and develop the team to serve as strong stewards of a large network of high-level relationships as well as culturally competent leaders in the regional office
  • Partner with the ED to define key cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship priorities and partner with the ED in executing those priorities
  • Develop and maintain strong internal development operations (i.e., donor and stewardship tracking, data management, meeting prep and downloads, and gift processing systems)
  • Serve on our regional leadership team. Our Leadership Team, including the Executive Director, is tasked with setting strategic direction, performance management, cross-functional collaboration, and building culture of the largest TFA regional staff across the country (80 total staff members).


  • Prior Experience
  • 7+ years of work experience with a track record of fundraising multi-million dollar campaigns for at least 3-5 years preferred
  • Knowledge of the philanthropic landscape in Chicago-Northwest Indiana preferred
  • Experience with direct team management preferred
  • Work Demands
  • Ability to work some weekends and evenings; ability to travel to in-person meetings


  • Exceptional strategic and critical thinking skills, specifically ability to think big, generate ideas and implement solutions to complex problems
  • Ability to set and evolve team vision and direction
  • Ability to manage team execution toward high quality results
  • Ability to build strong relationships with others in challenging situations
  • Knack for influencing others toward outcomes through sophisticated relationship management
  • Strong communicator who is able to tailor message and approach to toward the perspectives of others
  • Is passionate about our mission, believes deeply in the importance of inspiring/investing external people in our work, and has high expectations for how Teach For America is viewed by external constituents


  • Bachelor's degree required

To be considered for this role, you must submit an online application. In your application, please include a resume and upload responses to the following questions in either a Word document or PDF:
Why are you interested in this position with Teach For America?
What experiences have you had that makes you uniquely qualified for this role?

Benefits and Salary

Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included. Learn more at www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/employee-benefits.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff: www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/life-at-tfa/workforce-diversity-and-inclusiveness.

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This job description reflects Teach For America's assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management's right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.

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