Manager, Foundation & Donor Relations

Organization Overview

The mission of Sunshine Gospel Ministries (SGM) is to seek the renewal of the city through ministries of discipleship, mercy and justice. Our vision is to empower youth and families to thrive and lead prosperous, healthy lives through connectedness, opportunity, and economic sustainability. Our culture is open, warm, inviting and family oriented. We are a ministry that seeks individuals who have a passion for the Gospel, and our youth and families in the Woodlawn community.

Position Summary

Manager, Foundation & Donor Relations will be responsible for overseeing our donor relations, including leading the writing and editing of donor solicitations and materials, impact updates, grant proposals, reports, and other donor materials.


Manager, Foundation & Donor Relations will work closely with both our programmatic and communications teams to effectively convey vision and impact to donors. The ideal candidate will have experience with foundations, fundraising, communications, grant writing with a proven ability to articulate persuasive, consumable language for targeted audiences.


This person will collaborate with the Director of Development and External Relations on the strategy and implementation of a fundraising and foundation relationship program. They will oversee and implement the prospecting, cultivation, solicitation, and growth strategy of a diverse portfolio of corporate, foundation and governmental funding partners. And will also develop new existing funding partnerships that ensure alignment between our mission and social responsibility priorities and goals.

Essential Duties and Responsibilites

Grant Management and Fundraising:

●      Collaborate with Director of Development and External Relations on the creation and execution of strategies to acquire and grow corporate, governmental and foundation relationships and funding through best-in-class prospecting, stewardship and cultivation.

●      Manage diverse portfolio of funders and regularly connect via phone, video conference and in-person meetings and events.

●      Write funder proposals and oversee stewardship and reporting for portfolio of funders.

●      Collaborate with the Director of Development and External Relations in supporting Board of Directors and Executive Director on donor stewardship to maximize the results of their meetings with potential and current partners.

●      Create presentations, proposals, decks and reports for funder solicitation and stewardship.

●      Build, grow, and successfully leverage a database of patrons and donors to fuel the financial health of SGM

●      Contribute to reaching annual fundraising goal in the range of $2M to $4M annually.

●      Design and implement long-range strategies that seek to intensify grant engagement and yield increasing levels of support.

●      Establish productive working relationships with Program Directors; advise them on the feasibility of corporations and foundations as sources of support for priority programs, and of funding opportunities.

●      Identify and qualify corporate, foundation and governmental prospects; perform continual research (online and via visits and calls) for new grant opportunities in order to write proposals that match interests.

Donor Relations:

●      Responsible for individual, corporate, governmental and foundation communication, stewardship, and retention.

●      Provide ongoing stewardship to funders – updating them on programs of interest and facilitating sponsorship/recognition opportunities when needed.

●      Lead planning and strategy for donor visits, events and other targeted contact with donors and prospects.

Engagement Activities:

●      Organizing and executing of development related SGM events for community outreach and donor relations.

●      Connecting interested current donors and prospective donors with volunteer opportunities throughout SGM programs.

●      Collaborate with other departments to create strategies for developing donor relations/stewardship standards across the organization for the purpose of creating an energetic and enthusiastic culture of philanthropy.

Records Management:

●      Maintain an accurate and up to date donor database, purging old accounts and keeping a record of all communications.

●      Maintain accurate records of donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities through organizations CRM.

●      Implement necessary data into database to create reports based off the data to ensure stewardship goals are met.

●      Manage annual reporting of restricted funds and annual gifts, acknowledgements from senior leadership, and dedications, among other responsibilities.

●      Address donor questions and concerns related to fund administration and beneficiaries, gift acknowledgments, and report requirements.



●      Collaborate with Director of Development and External Relations on the setting and managing of the annual fundraising and donor engagement budgets.

●      Maintain clear internal communications with staff and volunteers. 

●      Participate in SGM leadership meetings as needed.

●      Represent SGM in various community forums and settings.

Performs other related duties and responsibilities as required or assigned.

Related Duties

  • Must work weekdays, evenings and weekends, including holidays with a flexible work schedule.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends and travel about 25%. 
  • Ability to work remotely.

Education Skills and Experience


  • Bachelor’s degree from four-year college/university or 7 years related experience.
  • At least 5 years of experience in donor relations, communications, grant management or some other related field
  • Knowledge and understanding of cultural and socioeconomic dynamics present in the Woodlawn neighborhood and greater City of Chicago.
  • Exceptional writing and communication skills, mastery of proposal elements – ability to transform internal ideas, metrics and strategies into easy-to-understand and compelling language for donor audiences and grants.
  • Ability to work with and speak effectively to and with diverse audiences.
  • Highly effective collaboration and influencing skills across a variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience of successfully writing grants of $25,000 or more and a solid understanding of major foundation giving patterns and landscape within Chicagoland. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and cooperatively with other staff and volunteers.
  • Firm belief in engaging and empowering youth, families, and guests of our community to thrive and lead fruitful, healthy lives through faith, connectedness, and opportunity.
  • Proficiency in working with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite and CRM Systems
  • Strong analytical, organizational, prioritization and project/time management skills.
  • Ability to successfully exercise discretion and independent judgement to reach goals.


  • Nonprofit Industry Management experience: 5+ years.
  • A solid understanding of major foundation giving patterns and landscape regionally and/or nationally.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions

Physical demands:  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is often required to walk and/or sit; use hands to fingers or feel objects, tools or controls, reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk or hear. The employee must be able to bend, stoop, pull, push, lift, as well as have overhead extension of arms. Must be able to use ladders when required. Must be able to stand for long periods of time; be able to lift, carry or move at least 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. Able to work in multiple temperature environments from -20F degrees to +80F degrees. Physically able to do snow removal with snow blowers and/or shovels as well as handle exterior maintenance when needed.

Work environment: While performing the duties of this job, the employee will work in a public building and/or outdoors and thus will be exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.