January 25, 2018

An Interview with Director of Development, Stien van der Ploeg

826CHI is currently seeking applicants for the position of Director of Development. Learn more about it below from Stien van der Ploeg who leaves some words of advice for her successor as she moves on from this role.


How long have you been the Director of Development?
I’ve been responsible for making sure we have the money we need to do our work for two plus years. But I have been involved with 826CHI as a volunteer, donor, and team member for more than 8 years. Now, for the next two years, I’m moving to Europe where I’m from and where my husband was offered a promotion. But my support of 826CHI will not end when I leave.

Can you recall an achievement you're proud to have made with 826CHI?
A challenge in resource development is that you rarely see an immediate or direct impact of your work. But during my time I’ve been able to strengthen our long-term fundraising capacity and sustainability. I hope these systems will enable the organization to expand and deepen its base of support long after I’m gone.

What is something you're going to miss about 826CHI?
In a time when fears for the future seem more real and inequality rises, it is rewarding to be able to strengthen communities, contribute to more equitable access to arts education, and amplify the voices of young people who are often left out of the conversation. And I get to do that with creative, collaborative, and hardworking team members in an imaginative and playful environment. It’s hard to think of a better way to make a living. So there’s a lot to miss.

Do you have any advice for candidates applying for this position? What disposition and expectations should this person bring to their work?
If you believe the stories of young Chicagoans deserve to be heard and can advocate for them, if you know that giving is an opportunity for engaging with others and its own reward, if you can design and evaluate fundraising strategies but also hustle and execute, and if you can manage and grow a young team—I hope you apply for my job.


Read the full position description and how to apply here >>