Environment Illinois - Wildlife Over Waste Campaign - Development Associate

Every day, Americans throw away tons of foam cups, containers, and other single-use plastics that ultimately end up in our rivers and lakes. Fish and birds are the ones who suffer, ingesting the plastic and ultimately starving to death. We need to stop the use of single-use plastics for the sake of our wildlife.

Thousands of Environment Illinois members and a strong network of supporters feel passionately about saving our wildlife from plastic pollution, and our team of organizers, advocates and researchers is ready to make their voices heard. To win this and other campaigns, we need to add a great storyteller to our development staff to give our work an even greater impact.

The ideal candidate is passionate about protecting nature, believes in the power of building a community of supporters, and is a proven fundraiser who sees fundraising as a powerful way to advance change.

Mission and Background

Environment Illinois protects the places we love, advances the environmental values we share, and wins real results for our environment. We have a long track record of working to protect our waterways across the county. With the help of our national network, we helped pass plastic bag bans in Oregon and California.

Environment Illinois is a citizen-based environmental advocacy project of Environment America, which is part of the The Public Interest Network. Each of the 16+ groups in the Public Interest Network has its own mission, but the 400-plus staff in our network share a vision of a better country, a set of core values about our work, and a coordinated strategic approach to getting things done.


As a Development Associate you’ll be part of the in-state advocacy team as well as part of our national team of dedicated development professionals team that deepens the financial and political support of Environment Illinois’ members.

Representative Responsibilities Include


  • Implement a monthly strategy of writing, calling and holding one-on-one meetings with current members and prospective donors to share stories of our campaign to put Wildlife Over Waste and invite them to deepen their financial support. You’ll typically visit with approximately 35 members each month.
  • Meet specific weekly and monthly fundraising benchmarks, which are related to annual organizational fundraising goals so we can sustain and expand our campaigns, like our Wildlife Over Waste campaign.
  • Follow up on outstanding pledges.
  • Identify house party hosts, and in some cases, plan and implement events.

Donor Stewardship

  • Keep in touch with donors throughout the year, creating and sending at least six personalized updates.
  • Engage donors in program and organizational work, such as events or campaign actions.
  • Develop and implement customized cultivation strategies for top donors.

Membership Development

  • Work with our advocates to craft compelling stories that motivate members.
  • Relay the feedback of members you meet with back to the advocacy staff.


  • Implement daily, weekly and monthly systems for tracking income and expenses.
  • Implement required legal disclosures.
  • Maintain excellent notes on all contacts with and information about members and donors.


Environment Illinois has a great training program. Development Associates participate in an intensive, paid training for the first week of the job, which is immediately followed by the first 1-month fundraising cycle. All associates take part in state, regional and national trainings and meetings throughout the year. There are opportunities for travel and advancement.


The ideal candidate will be:

We are looking for change-makers. Qualified candidates will be smart and motivated college graduates who are passionate about making an impact they believe in, love fundraising and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Candidates must demonstrate a track record of being able to effectively work independently and exercise excellent judgement. Previous fundraising experience required.

Pay & Benefits

Target annual compensation for this position is commensurate with the relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees that a candidate has. Compensation package will include opportunity to earn fundraising bonuses. Environment Illinois offers a competitive benefits package.


Chicago, Illinois. Travel to Madison, WI is required.

Things To Know When You Apply

Environment Illinois is part of The Public Interest Network, a group of organizations that share a vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to making positive change. Click here for things you should know about our network when you apply.

Environment Illinois is an equal opportunity employer.


The first step for applying for a job with Environment America is to fill out this form. From there, we’ll connect you to our online application and send you updates on our hiring process.