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Director, Prospect Development

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

This is a Full-time position in Chicago, IL posted June 9, 2021.

The Rev.

Elizabeth A.

Eaton was elected as the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

Born in Cleveland on April 2, 1955, Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School…

There is a place for you among our nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Virgin Islands…

Martin Luther was eight years old when Christopher Columbus set sail from Europe and landed in the Western Hemisphere.

Luther was a young monk and priest when Michaelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel in Rome…

Full communion is when two denominations develop a relationship based on a common confessing of the Christian faith and a mutual recognition of Baptism and sharing of the Lord’s Supper…

The new, 24-page ELCA Good Gifts catalog offers many different ways to honor friends and loved ones with gifts that will make a difference in the world…

Assignment completes candidacy for all people, including those ordained in another Lutheran church or Christian tradition, moving them toward first call and admittance to the appropriate roster in the ELCA…

In an endeavor to deepen dialogue, Bishop Eaton met with religious leaders in London, Geneva and Rome.

ELCA in the NewsELCA members frequently make U.S.

secular and religious news headlines.

Take a look at this list of some current coverage about the ELCA…

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states, Caribbean and U.S.

Virgin Islands.

With a vision to live in a world experiencing the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation, the ELCA strives to be a welcoming, thriving and connected church that introduces people to Jesus so they can discover community, justice and love.

The Lutheran Center (national office) is located in Chicago, Illinois.

A staff of 400, under the leadership of the Presiding Bishop, serve as administrators, advisors, conveners, partners, and resource people for the ELCA and its ministries.

Staff lead the work of national, domestic, and global ministries and programs including Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA World Hunger, Service & Justice, Christian Community and Leadership, and Innovation.

We are also home to five of our separately incorporated ministries: The Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA, Women of the ELCA, Lutheran Men in Mission, the ELCA Foundation and the ELCA Federal Credit Union.

Job Context

Responsible for overseeing a comprehensive prospect management and engagement program focused on the implementation and maximization of tools and methods to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with existing donors, prospective donors and leadership volunteers for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

This position will supervise one direct report.

Job Purpose

The Director of Prospect Development will be responsible for directing prospect identification, management, strategy and donor engagement in support of the fundraising priorities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Key responsibilities include building donor relationships in partnership with the major and planned giving teams and overseeing portfolio management policies and procedures.


Oversee a comprehensive moves management program partnering with key fundraising staff to develop prospect identification, cultivation and ask strategies.


Develop and manage effective pipeline reports, including a monthly forecast dashboard and high-level activity tracker.


Determine prioritization of prospects, prospect assignment process, development of donor portfolios and prospect management policies and procedures.


Evaluate and prepare prospect information to provide direction on philanthropic engagement strategies including the development of individualized donor plans with prospect managers and plan managers.


Work collaboratively with the advancement services team to build and implement research, segmenting and donor analytic strategies for the production and distribution of prospect information needed.


Serve as leader of the Prospect Development team, representing at team meetings, and supervising the Prospect Research Analyst.


Support strategic development and execution of leadership tables in consultation with organizational leaders.


Serve as a subject matter expert on major donor prospect development best practices and tools, including attending relevant conferences and trainings, and holding membership in appropriate organizations.


Perform other duties as needed.

Physical Requirements

– Up to 10% travel required to represent the ELCA churchwide ministries, by car and/or plane.

Physical Effort
– While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone.

This position requires sitting for long periods of time.

Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Experience and Skills:


Bachelor’s degree in Business, Leadership, Non-profit Management or related area highly preferred.

Master’s degree or certification a plus.

5-7 years of experience with nonprofit development strategies in a large organization or higher education with successful history in designing and executing successful prospect engagement strategies.

Knowledge of constituent relationship management software and appreciation for its potential in donor strategy.

Ability to maintain confidentiality; highly organized and efficient.

Ability to communicate with and be an effective support to a large major and planned gift prospect management team, as a group and as individuals.

Supportive of the mission and vision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The ELCA offers a competitive benefits package for eligible employees, including employer paid health premiums for employees, health and dependent care FSA’s, a health savings account (HSA) with an employer contribution, life insurance, and a substantial employer contribution to 403b retirement plan (no match required).

We also offer a generous paid time-off policy including 11 paid holidays.

All benefits commence on your start date.

Notice: Rostered ministers and lay leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who apply for a position in the churchwide organization must have completed Rostered Minister Profile papers on file.

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This is Christ’s church.
There is a place for you here.

We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all.

Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.

ELCA Churchwide Ministries
8765 W Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631

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