Senior Manager of Direct Response

Senior Manager of Direct Response

The Senior Manager of Direct Response will drive and manage the continued growth of the Food Depository’s multi-channel Direct Response fundraising program. This position supports the Director of Annual Giving in developing multi-year Direct Mail and Digital fundraising strategies, annual budgets, workplans and calendars. The Senior Manager of Direct Response is responsible for the day-to-day project management and implementation of all Direct Response cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts, facilitating productive collaboration between multiple Direct Response vendors and the Food Depository’s Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Development Operations and Marketing teams. This position will also support the Director of Annual Giving in researching, planning and implementing new Direct Response initiatives such as telemarketing, face-to-face and text-to-give strategies, to expand and diversify the Food Depository’s Direct Response 100,000+ donor base.

Opportunity type
Fundraising / Development
Job responsibilities

• In collaboration with the Food Depository’s Direct Response vendor(s), Development staff and Marketing team, successfully grow and manage the Food Depository’s high volume, multi-channel Direct Response program to meet and/or exceed overall budget goal of $10.6MM (which supports the overall Annual Giving revenue goal of $34MM).
o Serve as the primary point person for the Direct Response vendor(s), managing all projects related to Direct Response through each stage of execution – research, planning, implementation, review, reporting, and creating future projections – ensuring deadlines, revenue goals and programmatic goals are met.
o Coordinate Direct Response communication and collaboration between the Direct Response vendor(s) and internal teams (particularly with the Development Operations and Marketing teams), with the goal of creating a strong, cross-departmental working group to drive consistent messaging and effective tracking/reporting for all Direct Response campaigns.
o Collaborate with Direct Response vendor(s) and internal teams to create, update and maintain the annual Direct Response calendar.
o Work with Direct Response vendor(s) to plan and implement a minimum of 2 onsite vendor meetings to report campaign outcomes and explore future programmatic opportunities.
o Collaborate with internal team and Direct Response vendor(s) to analyze campaign fundraising results, develop insights and make strategic recommendations to help reach fundraising targets.
o Manage internal Direct Response budget, track all invoices/expenses, provide regular written reports, and conduct vendor RFPs as needed.

• Support Annual Giving team members in growing and managing Leadership Annual Giving direct response program
o Plan and align with the Annual Giving, Major Giving, and Development Operations teams on donor pipeline development and in providing a holistic, strategic donor experience at the Food Depository.
o Coordinate with Direct Response vendor(s) to create, implement, and assess Direct Response cultivation/solicitation/stewardship campaigns to drive moves management process for Leadership Annual Giving donors.
• Serve as strategy thought partner and project management support for Director of Annual Giving, Development Team members and Marketing Team colleagues on projects related to or involving Direct Response
o Collaborate with Gift Officers and/or Corporate/Foundation/Organization team members to identify matching gift opportunities and secure new matching dollars.
o Support Senior Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer and Planned Giving vendor with coordination of annual campaigns.
o Collaborate with Direct Response vendor(s), Corporate/Foundation/Organization team, Marketing team, and Advocacy team to identify new opportunities for acquiring, retaining and upgrading Social Ambassadors.

• Assist Director of Annual Giving and support Annual Giving and Major Gifts Teams with internal goal of engaging, acquiring and retaining more diverse donors
o Coordinate efforts of outside vendor(s) and internal teams with ongoing data analysis of current donor demographics and translate that into more targeted Direct Response campaign outreach.
o Collaborate with the Director of Annual Giving, internal teams and outside vendor(s) to identify non-traditional giving channels – such as collective giving circles – to build strategies for reaching diverse audiences and incorporating community-centric fundraising into our Direct Response program.
o Work with outside vendor(s) and Marketing team to develop strategy and tools to launch first Spanish language campaign and Welcome Series.

Application qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of direct marketing experience required, including at least 3 years experience managing high volume, multi-channel Direct Response campaigns (Direct Mail, Digital, Telemarketing, etc.). Experience within fundraising is definitely a plus, but not necessarily required depending upon level of experience managing Direct Response Marketing.
• Demonstrated experience and best-practices expertise in developing and implementing a cohesive, innovative, aggressive, and integrated Direct Response strategy that has resulted in measurable and significant growth in number of donors and dollars raised.
• Demonstrated success in managing multiple, complex projects simultaneously; including collaborating with colleagues across teams to drive processes from planning and implementation to analysis and follow-up.
• Excellent communication skills; experience writing/editing direct mail and digital appeals and donor communications.
• Previous experience managing external vendors including leading virtual meetings and coordinating internal approval processes.
• Experience creating, monitoring and reporting on project-specific budgets.
• Advanced computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. Experience with Convio, Raiser’s Edge CRM, and Trello a plus.
• Capacity to work remotely as needed.
• Bilingual candidates encouraged to apply – Spanish language fluency is a plus, as the Food Depository is continuing to explore and expand direct response outreach among Spanish-speaking audiences

Skills Needed for Success:
• Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, collaborative working environment. Can successfully manage diverse, simultaneous tasks, meet deadlines, and take responsibility for follow-through.
• Outstanding attention to detail and drive to anticipate and pursue next steps within each stage of a project, ensuring deadlines and quality standards are met.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to communicate effectively and professionally with many levels of staff to build productive relationships.
• Demonstrated ability to work with high degree of autonomy and accountability and also as an integrated part of a high-producing team.
• Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit; someone who is willing to try new ideas and think “outside the box,” and will motivate colleagues to do the same.
• Flexibility and sense of humor a must.
• Commitment to the Food Depository’s mission to provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community.

• Business to professional attire.
• Remote and in-office working environment.
• Occasional evening and weekend hours may be required as needed.
• Interacts with GCFD staff, donors, community members and vendors.


Health, dental and vision insurance coverage
Employer paid life and disability insurance
Employee Assistance Program
403(b) retirement plan
Paid time off
Parental leave
Tuition reimbursement
Wellness reimbursement
Free onsite fitness classes
Healthy, affordable onsite dining

About the organization

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, believes a healthy community starts with food. We are at the center of a network of more than 700 partner organizations and programs – food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile distributions and other partners – working to bring food, dignity and hope to our neighbors across Chicago and Cook County. The Food Depository addresses the root causes of hunger with job training, advocacy and other innovative solutions. We are a proud member of Feeding America – the national network of food banks. By working to help those most in need go from hungry to hopeful, we truly become a Greater Chicago. Learn more at