Gift Officer/Development Assistant (Female, Age 26) in Chicago, IL

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 26 who works as a Gift Officer/Development Assistant in Chicago, IL. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleGift Officer/Development Assistant
Salary$34,500
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week
Company Size(not answered)
LocationChicago, IL
Years Experience1.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Manages gift entry process for 200,000+ Raiser’s Edge constituent database.

Manages acknowledgment/stewardship process, including running all thank-you letters to donors, personalizing letters, and high-touch direction.

Manages lockbox program; main point of contact between Development team and bank/lockbox facility on policies and procedures. Troubleshoots lockbox problems.

Manages matching gift program.

Directs data management of all special events, from infrastructure to coding to data entry.

Contributes to monthly reconciliation with finance department, year-end reconciliation, and audit preparation.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
12 days vacation, sick leave accrued by attendance, 403b, Blue Cross HMO, Delta Dental HMO, transportation pass taken out pre-tax, educational reimbursement of $2000/yr

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
undercompensated… but that’s normal for a nonprofit

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes – a nonprofit fundraising department is a collaborative effort, combining a department of ten. During the holidays we’re mostly doing our own things but regularly we meet, collaborate, and work together. I like the mix of both, myself.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Right now my boss is wearing a lot of hats and only interacts with her middle managers… it’s a hazard of the nonprofit sector.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 3
Benefits: 6
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 8
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 7
Level of Responsibility: 2
The Actual Work: 1

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I was poached from my previous job, HR at my current job noticed my posting on a Raiser’s Edge bulletin board and asked me to apply.

What was the application process?
Submitted resume and cover letter electronically

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
One phone interview, one in-person interview with HR and department head, one in-person interview with HR and department head plus COO and middle manager.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
n/a

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Not at all – I was thrown in and had no middle manager. No one told me the middle manager quit until I arrived for my first day and everything was different.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
There was on-the-job training in theory, but the middle manager quit between my interview date and my start date so I trained myself from a binder.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
I had a Batchelor’s in Bioethics – any liberal arts degree can prepare you to be a good development officer, though.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
n/a – I did not have any internships.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Check out sites specific to nonprofit job postings – npo.net in Chicago, idealist.org, techsoup.com. Join a networking group or a meetup group, and meet people. If you’re a pro at a kind of software or system (Raiser’s Edge, Convio, etc) join a message board and get active. Get your name out there.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Raiser’s Edge experience – you can’t get by without it nowadays. General computer knowledge – if you can’t run a Windows machine, it’s too late for you. You need to be comfortable talking to donors on the phone, don’t be afraid to ask people for support. Shyness is not good in this field.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Realistically, this isn’t a position for someone without a college degree.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Immerse yourself in the nonprofit sector’s many blogs on the internet, and learn the sector backwards and forwards. Get a mentor if you can.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes – I’m getting my foot in the door at a large, well-regarded nonprofit, in preparation to get a better job with more responsibility in the future. People turn their heads when I tell them where I work.

What are your current career goals?
I would like to be the Director of Development at a medium-sized nonprofit, to bring a place back from the brink by redesigning a development plan.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
The nonprofit sector is where I want to stay, but this job is a stepping stone to something greater; I’m in a graduate program which will hopefully lead to a job in the long-term.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Development Assistant1 yr 2 mos.24000Database management, donor relations and recognition, solicitation of in-kind donations, civic and religious grant writing, special events planning
Prior Job 2Supervisor4 mos.9.00/hrSupervised photography sales kiosk and staff of 2-3, large sum cash-handling and basic bookkeeping, customer service and dispute resolution

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3University of IllinoisBioethics, BA
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
4.2 so farSpertus CollegeNonprofit Management, MS

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