Join Delta

Throughout the year, Delta Institute offers internships for individuals who can help advance Delta’s mission, while gaining hands-on experience and skill development.

There are currently no internship opportunities at Delta Institute.


Chicago, IL

Position: DIRECTOR

Grade: 5

Salary Range: $87,550 - $118,450


A quick description of Delta Institute

Thriving Communities. Thriving Landscapes. With our new strategic plan completed and gearing up to celebrate 20 years, Delta is looking for a person to help take our impact further. Action and impact are core to Delta as we strive to create a Midwest and Great Lakes region with a healthy environment, robust economy, and vibrant communities. Delta creates programs that show how policies, ideas, and resources can be harnessed for a more sustainable and resilient region. We take a systems view on how businesses, communities, and government and are impacted by the environment and economy, and create comprehensive solutions that pull these pieces together. Delta is proud to have a multidisciplinary team, and we strive to attract a diversity of experience, skillsets, and perspectives to enable us to challenge assumptions and create new approaches to long-standing problems.


Core Skillset

A Director manages and provides leadership in Delta’s core functional area and coordinates a team to deliver outcomes in coordination with strategic programmatic areas, multiple administrative or organizational development functions. Directors play key leadership roles representing the organization, strategically developing new initiatives and obtaining funding and other resources for the work within their assigned responsibilities.


Other core skillset attributes are:

  • Lead and strategize specific focus area initiatives and projects
  • Work in a timely and collaboratively manner on multiple deliverables with internal and external stakeholders
  • Identify and lead specific organizational initiatives
  • Developing new strategies that advance Delta and its mission
  • Manage multiple aspects of Delta’s work portfolio
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Advanced knowledge of environmental and economic issues not only in the Midwest and Great Lakes region but also globally



Position Specifics


A Director provides strategic, development, and communications leadership across Delta’s strategic priority areas to advance the brand. They raise the visibility and increase the network of funders and donors. A Director manages, develops and implements every aspect of the external affairs for the organization. In this role, they collaborate with project teams to implement development and communication tasks. They raise funds that support the organization’s mission and implementation of project work that creates impact on Delta’s strategic priority areas. The Director will also need to be comfortable working by themselves, with multiple types of personalities, on tight deadlines, in ambiguous and circuitous circumstances, and have an overall positive outlook on the change that can happen in the world.

As part of a truly multidisciplinary organization, a Director will also interface and support other projects that require unique skills and knowledge; and, have a knack translating complex ideas to a variety of audiences both internally and externally.


What you’ll be doing:

  • Works closely with the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors, Directors, and other staff to lead the development and implementation of an annual resource development plan, provide a vision for integrated long-term annual fundraising objectives, and equip the Chief Executive Officer and other fundraising participants with the tools needed for successful engagement
  • Oversees the creation, implementation, and management of development strategies to meet identified organizational goals and generate sufficient revenue
  • Craft/coordinate Delta’s communications and fundraising strategies, collecting input from organizational leadership and board members and ensuring alignment with Delta’s mission, vision, brand, and strategic priorities
  • Oversee pursuit of funding opportunities, specifically as it relates to private foundations, including researching funding sources, spearheading relationship-building with funders and sponsors, coordinating proposal development process with staff, and editing grant proposals and reports
  • Oversee the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of Delta’s individual donor program
  • Create and implement major gifts, corporate giving and sponsorship program
  • Attend and staff meetings of the Development Committee of the board
  • Provide support to the Board of Directors, including preparation of meeting materials and working with CEO to engage and empower the board around fundraising and network-building efforts
  • Manage/liaise with Delta’s associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders, ensuring alignment with and advancement of Delta priorities and a valuable experience for members
  • Oversee content strategy for Delta’s communications materials and online platforms, managing brand consistency and ensuring that content on Delta’s website and social media platforms and external communications (monthly e-newsletter, publications, annual reports, direct mail appeals, white papers, talking points, presentations, event blurbs) is fresh, relevant, compelling, and on brand
  • Provide Delta staff and board with the tools and guidance needed to represent Delta’s brand in accordance with Delta’s mission and values and to communicate effectively and consistently about Delta
  • Plan and execute regular event programming that grow Delta’s network and provide meaningful opportunities for Delta’s network to engage with staff, board, and our programs
  • Manage media relations for the organization and other efforts to raise Delta’s profile, including writing press releases and talking points, pitching reporters, coordinating press interviews with staff, and developing and submitting conference session proposals
  • Manage and ensure accuracy of fundraising reporting systems and databases
  • Manage annual Development and Communications budget, including approval of expenses related to development and communications activities
  • Supervise interns/staff and liaise with contractors providing supporting services, including communications and graphic design


What you’ll have:

  • College degree preferred, and advanced degree desired or equivalent experience
  • Minimum of 10 years professional fundraising and development experience, cultivating and managing relationships with multiple donor sources as well as events
  • Knowledge and experience with environmental and community development topics is highly desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, articulate, implement and grow a strategic development plan with demonstrated success in individual giving, special events, and corporate and foundation philanthropy as well as government grants
  • Experience working with foundations; some experience with government agencies, corporate sponsors and/or major donors also highly preferred
  • Experience in actively engaging and cultivating donors at all levels
  • Expertise in expanding already extensive network
  • Demonstrated ability to raise major gifts
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely with Board of Directors and associate Board of Directors to expand giving capacity
  • Technical skills: Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite of programs and internet-based research; experience with Salsa (donor management platform) and Salesforce (contact management database) a plus
  • Persuasive and organized thinker that loves the thrill of the hunt and closing the deal, with capacity to design and communicate processes to guide organizational development and communications operations
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines
  • Ability to be flexible, positive, take initiative, and demonstrate good judgment
  • Active team player, including providing timely feedback on others’ work, and identifying linkages between projects and programs
  • An interest in the environmental sustainability, community development and non-profit sector
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple tasks and deadlines, and manage work in sometimes ambiguous situations


Core competencies are the values and defined behaviors that we believe are central to the ability of every employee to do the work of the Delta Institute.  These core competencies are a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviors that are the mark of a good Delta employee.   Core competencies are a distinguishing characteristic of Delta employees for our clients, customers and stakeholders.  They are a visible demonstration of our shared values and are evident in how we work together.  Individuals can be at different levels of ability on a specific core competency which is why we measure ability each year and provide feedback and development suggestions.


All Delta employees have these core competencies:

  • Adaptive
  • Cooperative
  • Equitable
  • Passionate
  • Pragmatic
  • Transparent
  • Tenacious



  • Continually required to sit
  • Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Continually required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Continually required to talk or hear
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move up to 10 pounds


Delta offers its employees a competitive salary with a robust benefits package that includes generous paid time off, 401k, and medical, dental & vision insurance. Delta is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Please email application packet that includes the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • your version of a brief elevator pitch for the Delta Institute

All as one PDF to:

Subject line: Director, Development and Communications Position

Application Submission Due Date: 4/13/18

No phone calls, please



The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job.  It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or physical requirements.  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.