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


Grade: 3

Salary Range: $53,045 – $68,959


A brief description of Delta Institute

Thriving Communities. Thriving Landscapes. 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 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.


Functional Hive – Development

Delta’s Development and Communications platform is undergoing a new direction focused on growing unrestricted revenue from individual, foundation, and corporate sources through the creation of a robust individual giving strategy, grant platform expansion, and event planning. Delta’s innate culture of innovation and growth provides a blue-sky opportunity to pursue fresh avenues of support, and the excitement that our “sky’s the limit” approach offers staff collaborators. Join us, and help us reach the sky.



Core Skillset

A specialist performs program, administrative or organizational development-related tasks.  Specialists are directed in their work on a day-to-day basis but manage large work projects with some guidance from directors.  Serves as liaison with clients and stakeholders and is responsible for ensuring timely communication, consistent work flow and high quality deliverables. Specialists represent the organization at public events and raise funds to support the organization.

Other core skillset attributes are:

  • 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
  • Have strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Have advanced knowledge of environmental and economic issues in the Midwest


Position Specifics

A Specialist will bring robust experience to Delta while working within the Development team to support programmatic initiatives. In this role, the Specialist will bring solid fundraising, external relations, technical, operational and financial skills.  They will also need to be comfortable working by themselves, as a small team, and as a collective—while maintaining an overall positive outlook on the change that can happen in the world.

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


What you’ll be doing:

Grant Writing and Management

  • Author grant materials including letters of inquiry, proposals, appendices, reports, and attachments related to unrestricted and restricted funding from foundation, corporate, and governmental funders
  • Maintain annual grant calendaring mechanisms, ensuring that all deadlines are catalogued, shared internally with staff collaborators, and adhered to for successful grant solicitation and stewardship, including:
    • Establish, monitor and manage timelines for:
      • Grant requirements and deliverables
      • Contract deliverables
      • Receivable schedule and cash receipts
  • Sizably contribute to meeting and exceeding the organization’s grant-focused need-to-raise goals for both unrestricted and restricted funding
  • Serve as funding and administrative liaison to funders
  • Work with external partners (as needed) to gather all needed materials including letters of support, MOUs, resumes, and other relevant grant documentation
  • Maintain detailed records for audit inspection
  • Collaborate on internal grant policy and process creation and subsequent implementation
  • Act as an internal collaborator and provide fundraising support, guidance, and feedback to colleagues


Event Management

  • Assist the Director of Development and Communications with all event management logistics including, but not limited to:
    • Invitation creation and outreach
    • Event timeline and strategy creation
    • Event materials and related collateral creation
    • Vendor management
    • Sponsorship solicitation, both cash and in-kind
    • Day-of event staff management
    • Monitor progress toward event revenue goals
  • Evaluate return-on-investment of events, and strategize on improving positive returns


Board Relations

  • Assist the Director of Development and Communications with all Board Relations logistics, including:
    • Governing Board meeting preparation, management, and follow-up
    • Governing Board committee meeting preparation, management, and follow-up, specifically the Development Committee and Governance & Nominating Committee
    • Delta Emerging Leader, the associate board of Delta Institute, functions and meetings, as well as their events
  • Monitor Board action items
  • Create Board-requested materials for Board-led outreach


Individual Giving

  • Assist the Director of Development and Communications with Individual Giving logistics, including:
    • Annual Appeal planning, drafting, and related outreach
    • Giving Tuesday planning and related outreach
  • Respond to requests as identified by the Director of Development and Communications on emerging individual giving initiatives, including:
    • Major Gift platform creation
    • Planned Giving platform creation
    • Giving Circle creation, including related benefits, acknowledgement, and necessary infrastructure
  • Work collaboratively toward a shared need-to-raise individual giving goal


Data Management

  • Maintain, proof, and correct all donor records to move to the highest level of accuracy and comprehensiveness
  • Emulate the philosophy of “if it is not recorded, it did not happen”
  • Become a subject-matter expert in Salesforce, and ensure that records are maintained to the highest degree of fidelity and accuracy
  • Evaluate and identify best available systems for individual donor management
  • Identify, suggest, and collaboratively implement data management best practices to create fundraising infrastructure necessary for success
  • Provide reporting and analysis of donor database, and revenue tracking for fundraising campaigns


What you’ll have:     

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent experience
  • At least 4-7 years of professional experience in nonprofit fundraising, with skill in grant writing, grant management, event logistics, and fundraising operations; individual giving experience is a plus
  • Relevant event strategy and event planning experience
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, and ability to synthesize complex information
  • Thrive in a fast-paced environment, be flexible, and take initiative
  • Relate well to staff, boards, volunteers, partners, funders, donors, and media
  • Knowledge of environmental and economic development
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs required
  • Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop and Salesforce or equivalent contact management database preferred
  • 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 all Delta employees.   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 (one PDF) that includes the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • writing sample of a grant request cover letter or similar document that contains an ask


All as one PDF to:

Subject line: Specialist, Development

Application submission due date: 1/25/19

No phone calls, please.