Jobs Board

Managing Director, Client Development (Midwest Region) (Arabella Advisors)

Company Name

Arabella Advisors

Company City


Company State


Job Location

Chicago, IL

Company Information

Arabella Advisors is an award-winning consulting firm that helps make social-change efforts more effective, efficient, and equitable. We are a B Corporation, a member of the Inc. 5000, and a certified Great Place to Work.

We help our clients understand their philanthropic goals, then find the right path to help them achieve the greatest change possible. Through strategic advice, program support, and nonprofit management services, we help changemakers go further, faster. Our world-class team of experts has the breadth and depth of experience to navigate even the most complex challenges and is inspired by a shared commitment to expanding equity, strengthening communities, protecting the planet, and defending democracy. We offer creative, customized solutions to our clients as they pursue bold visions of a brighter future. Specifically, Arabella supports clients in two primary ways: we provide “last-mile” implementation support to several nonprofit 501(c)3 and (c)4 organizations that are fiscal sponsors to a broad array of initiatives. Arabella also provides strategic consulting to donors and nonprofit organizations. Helping our clients achieve the impacts they seek runs through both types of work.

Our Core Competencies

  • The ability to manage multiple and highly complex client and prospect relationships to add value to the firm and client, and position Arabella as a go-to resource for addressing philanthropy challenges.
  • The ability to sell and negotiate deals for all service lines, including innovative opportunities, and achieve significant revenue goals.
  • The ability to regularly speak at sector-relevant events that add value to the firm’s brand, participate in sector leadership roles, author content in sector-relevant periodicals and news sites, and be seen externally as an expert in select issues areas or client types.
  • Based on market trends, the ability to identify what innovations within the organization the firm will most successfully sell.

About Arabella’s Client Development Team

Arabella’s client development experts help us reach the organizations and individuals who need our services, cultivate and maintain relationships with hundreds of donors and thousands of nonprofit organizations across our field, track business metrics, and tell the many stories of our work in ways that enhance program impact and help to make philanthropy more effective.

Arabella’s Impact & Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Arabella is a business with a mission: Help changemakers turn inspiring ideas into life-changing impact. In 2020, fulfilling that mission became more important than ever

Advancing DEI within our firm and in our work with partners is critical to our mission. To be effective partners to philanthropists, nonprofits, and communities impacted by philanthropic dollars, we need to have a highly diverse staff, a workplace where individuals are encouraged to retain their uniqueness and can feel a sense of belonging, and a nuanced understanding of the racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other disparities that undergird the issues we engage in and the interactions we have with one another. For us, equity means that our staff members, our clients, and the people they serve can experience the same level of success, no matter their starting place. We expect all our employees to share this commitment, and always seek ways to improve how well we live these values. Click here to learn more about DEI at Arabella and read our official DEI statement.

Job Description

Arabella Advisors is seeking a ​proven leader with ​diverse and deep networks across the full spectrum of philanthropy. The person we seek is a bridge-builder who ideally brings experience from multiple sectors, who is fully comfortable engaging with changemakers as a representative of a purpose-based business serving the social sector. We are looking for someone who has worked previously in philanthropy at an institutional foundation or for a family/individual donor as a program officer or donor advisor, and who possesses a proven track record in business development.

The ideal candidate sees the impact that can be achieved when philanthropists of all types have access to the fullest spectrum of philanthropic tools available—a collection of tools that they can find here at Arabella that encompasses strategic advisory services, specialized donor advisor funds that harmonize a range of philanthropic vehicles, and the broadest array of fiscal sponsorship platforms within the social sector. We are seeking a leader who isn’t afraid to be bold, who understands how to effectively create impact together with a team of smart and committed colleagues, has the ability to find a way through challenges, and is passionate about doing good. Someone who is eager to activate their network and roll up their sleeves to design and implement strategies to do so at scale.

As Managing Director, you will work across both the fiscal sponsorship and advisory service offerings and be expected to achieve annual revenue targets. You will be a major contributor to business development, managing client engagements, and representing the organization externally.


Midwest Region Client Development (60-75%)

  • Design and implement business development tactics and strategies to engage prospective new clients and deepen current client relationships throughout the region
  • Generate a sustainable multi-year book of business with changemakers of all types (institutional foundations, corporate foundations, and families/individuals) across the midwestern region, working toward identified team and individual revenue targets
  • In close coordination with the Advisory Team, design and manage proposal processes that address our clients’ impact objectives across a wide range of issue areas and advisory service offerings (strategic design and implementation, governance, learning and evaluation, grantmaking accordion capacity, nonprofit capacity building)
  • In close coordination with the Fiscal Sponsorship Team, source, structure, and launch fiscally sponsored projects and donor initiatives across a wide range of issue areas including the environment, reproductive rights, gun violence, civic engagement, and others
  • Represent Arabella as a thought leader through writing, speaking and conference attendance
  • Provide leadership and guidance for the growth of the firm’s presence in the Midwest region

Client Services and Relationship Management (25-40%)

  • Be a trusted advisor to clients, donors, and philanthropic partners, helping make change in a more effective, efficient and equitable way
  • Serve as a senior strategist to project teams for client relationships and their project engagements, ensuring client standards are met on engagements
  • Serve as a coach and mentor to client service teams by modeling inclusion and cultivating diverse perspectives
  • Facilitate client meetings and produce expert content for clients
  • Negotiate contracts, finding expansion opportunities and troubleshooting engagements as necessary

Total Rewards (Compensation and Benefits)

This is a full-time position. We offer a competitive and holistic total rewards package that includes salary, bonus, and benefits. Our base salaries are based on a blend of similar sized organizations from different sectors, including nonprofits, foundations, and professional service firms. They are also based on local market rates and differentiated by geography.

All full-time staff are eligible for our generous benefits package on their first day of employment:

  • Health insurance- On average Arabella pays 86% of the medical premium, 80% of the dental premium, and 100% of the vision premium
  • Paid time off- 21 days’ vacation, 10 personal days, 11 company holidays (7 federal and 4 more from a list of inclusive cultural and religious holidays and your birthday), 20 hours’ volunteer leave, 8 weeks’ parental leave
  • 401(k) retirement plan- We offer a 4% employer match on a dollar-per-dollar basis, and there is no waiting or vesting period; all funds contributed by you and Arabella are yours to keep on day 1
  • Reimbursements for your personal cell phone plan and fitness
  • Pre-tax withholding for transportation and parking
  • Bonus incentive opportunities
  • Access to professional development opportunities

We are committed to having a passion-driven, inclusive, transparent, collaborative, healthy, and fun culture. We invite you to visit our careers page to learn more.

Job Qualifications

Candidate Profile

The Managing Director will be an experienced leader with expertise at the nexus of philanthropy, issue advocacy, and strategic implementation. The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

An Expert Business Developer: The Managing Director will enjoy business development and will be skilled at cultivation and stewardship. They will have a proven track record of building a book of business, or cultivating relationships, across client segments. The Managing Director will be able to maintain existing client relationships and identify new opportunities, using their colleagues within Arabella and their connections within the philanthropic sector. They will be able to continuously and creatively seek opportunities, manage rejection, and maintain the goal of securing and growing further business. The Managing Director will be comfortable navigating in a high-touch service environment.

A Strong Relationship Builder and Communicator: The Managing Director will bring a proven record of engagement to the role and be a natural ambassador for Arabella Advisors. They will be innovative, ambitious, and experienced in establishing strong working relationships to further a client’s philanthropic goals. The Managing Director will have a sophisticated personal presence and outstanding communication abilities, both verbal and written. They will substantively contribute to the development of written content, articles, analytic reports and other thought leadership avenues. The Managing Director will exemplify leadership and will inspire trust and confidence across a diverse range of stakeholders. They will enthusiastically convey the importance of an organization’s work to existing and potential clients.

A Collaborator and Central Partner: The Managing Director will be experienced in collaborating within a team and among important partners. They will have a proven track record of working with institutions, individuals, families, or other complex entities to help them achieve greater philanthropic impact. The Managing Director will have a consultative and participatory style, working in close partnership and leading clients to actualize goals. The Managing Director will have strong people skills, will be an incredible listener, creative problem solver who understands constraints involved with legal compliance, and have deep empathy. They will know how to empower team members to do their best work and to lead by their actions. To do this work well, you must be curious, perceptive, and demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence.

A Passion for the Mission: The Managing Director will have a demonstrated passion and commitment to working with individuals, families, and institutions to achieve the changes they seek through their philanthropy. They will enjoy working in a nimble environment, while navigating the complexity of consulting with a wide variety of clients. The Managing Director will embrace the Arabella Advisors culture and will roll up their sleeves along with their colleagues to deliver the highest levels of quality client service. As an organization with a deep commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Arabella expects each senior leader to have demonstrated experience deploying an equity lens in their work and a perspective on how this role can advance racial justice as this a core competency in the work we do on behalf of our clients.

To Be Successful in This Role, You’ll Need:

  • 8 to 10 years of experience in business development, social change, or philanthropic organizations.
  • Experience with large institutional foundation in the Midwest region strongly preferred
  • Strong research and analysis skills across issues, including the ability to get up to speed quickly on many different issues and domains, work through complexity, and deliver informed support and recommendations
  • Proven ability to work with diverse audiences and stakeholders, facilitate meetings, convenings, and strategic processes that bring groups to decisions
  • Familiarity or experience with fiscal sponsorship
  • Ability to manage and lead multiple complex projects
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Working with Us

This position is open to candidates who wish to be based in our Midwest office in Chicago, IL; it is also open to permanently remote workers based in the upper Midwest region (MN, WI, IL, IN, MI).

We reopened our offices in Summer of 2022 and work with a hybrid workplace strategy to ensure continued flexibility for our staff, while deepening our strong culture rooted in collaboration and in-person interactions between colleagues. We expect that after their initial onboarding, all Arabellans will have the choice of two hybrid schedules. Our hybrid schedule options include Flex, with 1-2 days per week in the office, or Office-based, with 3+ days per week in the office (or more if preferred) and the remaining days working at home/remotely. We will make reasonable accommodations under the guidelines of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

To center the safety and well-being of its employees, Arabella Advisors requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date. This position may require candidates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law.

How to Apply

Submit a resume and a one-page cover letter online. The cover letter should address why you’re excited to work at Arabella and why you’re qualified for this specific job.

Arabella Advisors is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to racial equity. If we can make the application process easier through accommodation in the recruitment process, please let us know.

We encourage you to read (or listen to) our DEI statement prior to applying. We make a particular effort to recruit people of color and members of marginalized groups to apply for open positions. Once you have applied, we welcome your feedback on how you have experienced our values around DEI in the recruitment process.

While Arabella is open to individuals from various locations applying to join our team, please note that we generally are unable to pay for relocation expenses, and, except in rare circumstances considered on a case-by-case basis, all applicants must already be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of application to be considered for this position.

We will review applications as they are received and look forward to hearing from you.

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