About Independence Mission Schools (IMS)

Independence Mission Schools (IMS) is an independent network of 14 Catholic schools that are providing a transformative Catholic education to children of all faiths across the city of Philadelphia.

Job Description

Development Manager – Leadership Annual Giving

The Manager of Leadership Annual Giving is a key member of the IMS Development team, helping to maintain consistent annual giving and build a pipeline for a major gift program as part of a long-term strategic plan to create fiscal sustainability for the network. The Manager reports to the Director of Annual Giving and is one of two roles of its kind on the team.

The Manager will work as part of the Annual Giving team to implement a robust annual giving program for the IMS network, a crucial part in the continued effort to raise $15M annually. This position will play an integral role within a newly structured Development team by creating and maintaining relationships with donors and prospects, providing them with giving opportunities that fulfill their interests and passions, securing four to five-figure annual gifts, and assuring donors are retained and upgraded in both engagement and giving. The Annual Giving team also shares responsibility for the management of individual school Councils (currently at 9 of 14 schools) to engage community stakeholders and alumni in philanthropy. The ideal candidate has the ability to create strong interpersonal relationships, a keen eye for detail, is independent, assertive and persistent, with a proven ability to obtain, retain and upgrade annual donations. This position has the ability to be remote at the discretion of the supervisor, however the individual must reside locally in order to best perform the duties of the role.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Prospect, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward Leadership ($1k and up) level gifts to reach annual fundraising goals. This position will have direct responsibility for a portfolio of current and prospective leadership donors, creating and executing strategy for retention and growth.
  • Devise individual goals for each prospect in the portfolio based on the donor’s history of giving and the organization’s knowledge of the prospect’s potential and interests.
  • Create donor strategies for prospects and plans for donor groups and individual donors that will be executed with fidelity and documented in a timely manner using the CRM system (Donor Perfect) in order to engage, retain and upgrade donors and provide high-quality, meaningful donor experiences.
  • Maintain a steady schedule of meaningful interactions with donors and prospects, including face-to-face visits each month, to build relationships and personally cultivate and solicit gifts.
  • Deliver timely and effective follow-up to prospects and donors. Develop and implement retention strategies to upgrade donors, as well as to recognize disinterested or lapsed donors and devise strategies to redirect their interests.
  • Work with the Director of Annual Giving, in consultation with the Major Gifts Officer, to ensure alignment in strategy to move $1,000+ donors through the pipeline, and eventually to Major Gift levels ($25k+) as well as into potential planned gift donors.
  • Work collaboratively with other members of the Annual Giving team to devise and execute a strategy to increase annual funding for general operating needs and participate in overall efforts of this team to reach annual goals.
  • Participate in the execution of events and programs in support of development activities as well as effectively utilize events and other activities to build relationships and move solicitations forward.
  • Quickly develop a strong and thorough understanding of the various mechanisms in which donors can support IMS, particularly the PA Educational Tax Credit and Scholarship Tax Credit programs.
  • As part of the Annual Giving team, assist as needed in the management of School Advisory Councils, which may include serving as a development liaison- attending Council meetings, securing appropriate project information (ie. details, timelines, budgets, academic data), create impactful proposals and solicitations, as well as to report updates at Council meetings.
  • Work with the Director of Annual Giving, Chief Development Officer, Chief Executive Officer, IMS Board members and Local Advisory Council members as needed to collaborate on prospects, leverage relationships, and partner where necessary for cultivation and solicitation activities.
  • Collaborate with Development colleagues to ensure alignment with the communications plan, annual campaigns, events and overall Development strategy.


  • An individual of Catholic faith (preferred but not required) who is possessed of a growth mindset, mission-driven, high standard of personal integrity and work ethic, and committed to serving children of all faiths and backgrounds
  • The ability to build, develop and maintain strong relationships with internal and external constituents including school leaders, teachers, board members, donors, and other community stakeholders
  • A proven track record of relationship building as part of gift cultivation and successful solicitation for annual gifts
  • Experience managing a portfolio of donors and stewarding them through a moves management process resulting in overall increased giving and retained donors
  • At least 3-5 years of professional work experience in a range of any of the following: major gifts solicitation, donor stewardship, fundraising, direct appeals, high net-worth individual sales, working with board and committee members in a not-for-profit setting
  • An orientation towards outcomes and the flexibility and willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve them – which includes patience, creativity and perseverance
  • Self-directed with the ability to prioritize among competing responsibilities and use good judgment in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Ability to collaborate with a team, supporting others as needed to meet overall goals of the department and organization
  • Superb written and oral communications skills, both one-on-one and with groups.
  • Excellent time management, project management, and organizational skills
  • Experience in organizations focused on education in urban areas, catholic education or social services preferred but not required
  • High level of proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and a CRM software such as DonorPerfect or Raiser’s Edge.
  • Ability to conduct local travel and work some nights and weekends as needed

EOE: IMS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and celebrates staff diversity. We strive to be and build a diverse team that is representative of our students and the communities in which we serve. If you identify as an individual of color, we highly encourage you to apply!

Primary Location Central Office
Salary Range $70,000.00 – $75,000.00 / Per Year
Shift Type Full-Time
Job Contact Information
Name Michelle Brown
Title Chief Development Officer
Email mbrown@imsphila.org

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Education Level

4- Year Degree