Chicago, IL

Vice-President of Advancement/Chief Marketing Officer, Erikson Institute
The Organization

About Erikson Institute

We are the premier early childhood development organization committed to ensuring that all children have equitable opportunities to realize their potential.

Erikson Institute’s graduate school uniquely prepares child development, education, and social work leaders to improve the lives of young children and their families. Our impact and influence are further amplified through our innovative academic programs, applied research, direct services in the community, and advocacy and policy and leadership.

Erikson Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other classes protected by federal, state, or local laws. In addition, Erikson Institute provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and applicable state and local laws (including during the application or hiring process).

To learn more, please visit our web site at

Position Overview

The Vice President of Advancement (VPA) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) plays a central role in the leadership of the institution. The VPA/CMO is responsible for the design and execution of special programs and targeted communications to support fundraising and donor engagement efforts. The VPA/CMO is responsible for an integrated program of fundraising focused on the generation of both annual and capital support of Erikson including the annual luncheon held each fall. In particular, the VPA will sustain the significant level of foundation support while identifying opportunities to increase participation and support from individual and corporate donors.

The VPA/CMO will be an experienced and successful major/principal gift fundraiser with hands-on leadership experience in a development program of similar or greater complexity and scope. He or she will resonate with the particular mission and history of the Erikson Institute and demonstrate the ability to translate the work of the faculty and the Institute’s distinctive programs and services to a broad audience. Experience working directly with and managing the activities of aboard of trustees and other principal gift prospects is required. The VPA/CMO will be well positioned to provide strategic advice and counsel to the CEO and board of trustees on all matters related to increasing philanthropic support of Erikson in both the short and long term. Likewise, the VPA/CMO will need to work with the CEO and board to align fundraising priorities and programs to support success of Erikson’s new strategic plan.

The VPA/CMO is also responsible for developing and executing a strategic marketing and communications plan that promotes a consistent, compelling brand and message to prospective and current students, alumni, faculty and staff, funders, and civic and corporate partners. This includes overseeing and executing high-quality marketing and strategic communications, including media relations and public relations. Responsibilities include monitoring and shaping the institute’s public identity by developing and articulating persuasive and consistent messages through a variety of communications strategies executed across all channels including the website.

The VPA/CMO will manage and supervise the work of, provide staff development for, and evaluate the performance of the marketing and communications director and the director of development, and their respective teams.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Ten-plus years of significant leadership experience in higher education or other non-profit advancement with an impressive record of increasing levels of responsibility and fundraising, marketing, and organizational success
  • A proven commitment to diversity, the will to embrace diversity in all aspects and demonstrated success in recruiting, retaining and building a diverse advancement team
  • A personal history of fundraising success at the major and principal gift levels
  • Experience in designing and leading broad-based engagement strategies
  • Experience using data to identify and assess effectiveness of programs and practices; experience harnessing data to develop, shape and support a clear message and narrative that resonates with donors
  • Ability to engender trust and respect from and be a strategic partner with academic leadership. Ability to listen to academic leaders and faculty and translate needs and innovative ideas within the schools and programs into philanthropic opportunities
  • Ability to inspire and motivate staff to new levels of performance and success and create a positive, forward-looking esprit de corps among the staff
  • Ability to represent Erikson externally; to establish sincere, authentic, and enduring relationships; and to inspire and motivate individuals, corporations and foundations to engage with and give to the Erikson Institute
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence required to navigate a complex environment, understand and relate effectively with diverse constituents and interact in a sophisticated way with institute leadership, the board, top prospective donors, donors and community leaders
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate in a clear, consistent and transparent manner to create shared goals and understanding
  • Ability to assess the needs of Erikson and its programs, prioritize those needs and create a clear, specific operational plan with milestones to achieve progress toward operational and fundraising goals
  • Willingness to lead by example and inspire followership. The talent to lead and manage in a way that demonstrates respect for the people in the organization and empowers them to be their best
  • Ability to empower, motivate, and hold accountable a senior team who can implement and oversee the day-to-day operations to achieve goals
  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred
  • Outstanding leadership skills including integrity, intellectual and emotional intelligence; a facility with strategic thinking, discretion, political savvy, decisiveness and courage of convictions; and tolerance for ambiguity and the patience to persevere and achieve goals; a commitment to human diversity in all its forms, humility, and a sense of humor.

How To Apply

Please email, fax or mail a cover letter and resume to:

Chief Human Resources Officer

Erikson Institute

451 North LaSalle Street

Chicago, IL 60654

f. 312.755.0928


NO phone inquiries please.

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