In 1980, everyone who knew seven-year-old Chris Greicius also knew he wanted to be a policeman when he grew up. Concerned that Chris’ diagnosis with leukemia might prevent that dream from coming true, officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety decided to create that dream for him. They pulled together people from all over the Phoenix community to grant Chris’ wish to be an Arizona State Trooper.

Any child between the ages of 2½ and 18 who has a critical illness may be eligible for a Wish, with a local Make-A-Wish® chapter serving every US community. Each year, approximately 27,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with a condition that potentially qualifies them for a Wish.

Make-A-Wish® now operates in nearly 50 countries and has granted more than 334,000 Wishes worldwide since 1980. In the United States and its territories, Make-A-Wish® America fulfills its mission through 62 separately incorporated chapters. Make-A-Wish® America was one of the nation’s first recipients of the Council of Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Seal, signifying adherence to charitable accountability, and was honored in “America’s Greatest Brands.”

Make-A-Wish® Connecticut (MAWCT) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and is governed by a local volunteer Board of Directors. Founded in 1986, MAWCT has granted the wishes of more than 3,000 children with critical medical conditions in the local community and believes that a wish experience impacts a child’s life and his/her family forever. This one belief guides Make-A-Wish in everything they do.

MAWCT has a strong infrastructure, an impressive Board of Directors and is positioned for success.   From the Evening of Wishes Gala, to Walk for Wishes, MAWCT has varied streams of revenue and is now ready to strengthen its annual fund with this newly created position.

The current budget for MAWCT is $5 million with a goal of granting 250 wishes. Under the well tenured fiscal management of CEO Pam Keough, the Chapter receives 4 Stars from Charity Navigator. MAWCT has an engaged and committed Board of Directors with 22 members, representing an average give/get of $30,000.

The President and CEO is seeking a Director of Individual Giving who will be responsible for growing annual revenue generated from individual donors and implementing systems for donor outreach. He/she will manage and oversee all individual giving programs for the Chapter, including donor clubs, appeals, donor engagement, recognition and stewardship, development

and management of leadership giving programs for individual gifts primarily under $10,000 with special attention to donors who have capacity to grow into Major Gift donors. Stewardship is a vital component of the Chapter’s success and is a high priority.

The new Director of Individual Giving will be naturally persuasive and accountable. He/she will lead based on core ethics of collaboration and the drive for excellence, to ensure that the best services are being delivered to the children MAWCT serves.

The Successful Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned development professional with a strong knowledge of donor databases (preferably Raiser’s Edge) including queries and reports. The person chosen will have the ability to develop and manage an effective annual giving program. A collaborative style will result in a strong departmental and Chapter structure, ensuring success for all. He/she will display a strong understanding of the urgency to build a culture of philanthropy and to enhance and improve the Development systems and structures resulting in significant increases in our overall individual giving program. The successful candidate will be somebody who enjoys a strong team environment.


Specific Duties and Responsibilities            

The Director of Individual Giving reports to the Chief Development Officer. He/she is able to execute a successful individual giving strategy focused on connecting the interests and passions of donors with organizational funding opportunities. He/she will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward current and prospective individual donors.

The Director of Individual Giving will:

Collaborate with the CDO and Director of Major Gifts to build and implement an effective and successful individual giving program.

  • Be accountable for the Chapter’s annual individual, planned giving and foundation goals.
  • Manage all aspects of donor stewardship for the chapter.
  • Develop a pipeline for Major Gifts.
  • Review trending data to ensure the most effective strategies are being employed.
  • Ensure the effective use of Raiser’s Edge including timely and effective reporting to the management team to increase their abilities to respond to donors. Capable of teaching basic Raiser’s Edge to employees/volunteers.
  • Utilize CDO and CEO in stewardship efforts as appropriate.
  • Support event fundraising goals by identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of event committee members and individual supporters and creation of pre and post-event stewardship plans.
  • Direct donor recognition and engagement events (CEO breakfasts, Wine & Wishes).
  • Utilize, as appropriate, programs from Make-A-Wish America such as the Wish Society.
  • Work with marketing team to produce mailings and materials to include facilitating data pulls, messaging, printing and mailing of appeals.
  • Manage Chapter’s donor clubs including the planning of donor receptions, recognition programs and office donor wall.
  • Track national direct mail and online giving results and work to increase giving and engage at the Chapter level.
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization.
  • Represent the Chapter at events and in the community.
  • Adhere to all MAW America performance standards and MAWCT internal controls, policies and procedures.
  • Maintain transparent reporting, information and donor records that are commensurate with a first class development department.
  • Create and implement strategies and initiatives to enhance the public profile and visibility of the organization; leverage the exceptional MAW brand and local reputation.
  • Demonstrate commitment to personal growth and development of self and development team.
  • Manage the Donor Care Coordinator and any future staff additions to the Individual Giving team.
  • Execute other duties as assigned.


Professional Experience and Qualifications           

As with all members of MAWCT staff, the Director of Individual Giving must believe in the mission and vision of Make-A-Wish as well as the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Standards. He/she must model integrity, work to inspire colleagues and contacts and strive to build a solid base of loyal donors.

In addition, the Director of Individual Giving should have:

  • Passion for the mission of Make-A-Wish.
  • Experience and a high level of comfort dealing with a diverse group of individuals.
  • Prior success in fundraising program management.
  • Experience in team-based, cross-functional work environments with effective and respectful
  • communication as a top priority.
  • Possess high levels of trustworthiness, flexibility and humor necessary to address the practicalities of a growing nonprofit, along with the creativity and persistence required to elicit new thinking and change.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision, to manage multiple priorities, and work in a deadline driven environment.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends as needed.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and Raiser’s Edge.  


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.


Direct all correspondence emails and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc.

Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to Make-A-Wish Connecticut will be redirected

to Sterling Search, Inc. 

Make-A-Wish Connecticut is an Equal Opportunity Employer


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