Development Officer, Chicago - AARP Foundation
AARP - United States

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Business Unit Description


We’re millions of members strong–with more joining us every day– the largest and “most powerful grassroots organization” around, according to Fortune magazine. In fact, our commitment and collective strength enables us to serve and support a broad and diverse membership as well as embrace our own workplace diversity. Here’s your chance to take action in Washington, DC and throughout the US!

AARP Foundation's many groundbreaking and innovative services help us achieve our vision and fulfill our mission - a country free of poverty, where no older person feels vulnerable. Services include job training and placement to enable 50+ workers to rejoin the workforce, money management programs that enable them to remain independent, connections to benefit programs that help to alleviate hunger and creative solutions to housing challenges.

Summary Statement

The Development Officer (DO) will implement strategies to secure financial support from donors and funders to meet defined charitable goals within Chicago and the surrounding region. S/he will be responsible for creating and developing a pipeline of donors and potential donors to support organizational needs. This includes conceptualizing, initating, promoting and implementing specific fundraising activities to increase charitable support to AARP (e.g., Experience Corps) or AARP Foundation priorities. Funds will come from individiuals (major gifts), businesses and foundations as determined by the pipeline of potential supporters. The DO will be expected to generate $1-2 million annually within two years of initial assignment.

The DO position will report to the Director of Campaign & Field Development, and s/he will oversee and implement strategies to secure major gift individual support from members and donors. A major gift to the AARP Foundation is defined as $10,000 and above. The DO will be responsible for supporting the development and implementation of an annual budget and development plans, including management of all major gift activities and initiatives to generate charitable support. The DO supervises no staff.


1. Identify and qualify prospects, cultivating relationships, soliciting and closing gifts or grants, and stewarding those relationships. Manage between 100-125 current and prospective major donor relationships; work with donors/members to solicit and cultivate gifts.

2. Identify charitable and advocacy programmatic needs appropriate for support; work with program staff to develop concept papers and proposals, including measurable objectives and budgets.Manage and support giving campaigns (AARP and other supporters).

3. Manage and implement vehicles for frequent interaction (cultivation and stewardship) with donors and prospects through personal visits and other direct and indirect communication such as phone, email and other coorrespondence.

4. Network effectively, internally and externally, to identify new revenue opportunities. Work with program staff and coordinate inter-organizational approaches; use research provided by staff; update and maintain databases.

5. Support senior management through the development and crafting of concepts and proposals to potential donors and in negotiating funding.

6. Inspire and encourage philanthropic action by working with volunteer groups (e.g., AARP Boards, Andrus Society) through support by increasing charitable or advocacy gifts.

7. Ensures compliance with all applicable laws and follows ethical standards for charitable giving, as defined by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP). Leads AARP/AARP Foundation development programs with integrity.

9. Demonstrate 'One AARP' attributes and behaviors in all interactions.


Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or a related discipline. 4-8 years of experience in institutional or major giving, workplace giving programs, or gift planning (years may vary within the 4-8 depending on expertise required): or an equivalent combination of related training and relevant experience. Basic knowledge of planned giving instruments, corporate marketing or corporate philanthropy. Experience illustrating the ability to inspire a variety of people including staff, colleagues, volunteers and prospects. Experience with computer and fundraising software programs. Willingness to travel; some positions may include heavy travel schedule. Some positions may be dual employees.

Benefits Offered

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer that values workplace diversity.

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