Manager, Development and Communications

28 Dec, 2021


Manager, Development and Communications

Chicago Cares Inc
Chicago, IL

Organization Overview

Established in 1991, Chicago Cares mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger, more unified Chicago. In 2017, Chicago Cares launched an exciting new Community Investment Strategy to use impact volunteerism as a catalyst for community change efforts on Chicago’s south, west, and northwest sides where the infusion of resources and capacity could be transformational.

Given the daunting challenges facing Chicago today and a renewed emphasis in the non-profit and corporate sectors on impact, isolated acts of generosity are no longer sufficient as we seek to move the needle on large, intractable social problems like violence and poverty. Impact volunteerism responds to this complexity by connecting volunteer service to the civic engagement, community development, and collective impact work already happening on the ground in communities of greatest need.

Position Overview

The External Affairs and Finance team provides leadership and expertise to guide the organization’s fundraising, stewardship, and public relations, marketing, and communications functions, consistent with Chicago Cares’ mission, strategic priorities, and the needs of our volunteers, donors, and partners. The team leads organizational efforts to ensure a strong, healthy, and innovative development and brand strategy to deepen engagement and increase support for a stronger, more unified Chicago.

Through the External Affairs and Finance team, Chicago Cares:

·        Raises sufficient revenue, including corporate donations, individual donations, and foundation and government grants, to ensure the organization’s strength and stability; and

·        Leads marketing, public relations, communications, and special events to maintain a strong brand presence in the community.

The Manager, Development and Communications will play a key role on the Chicago Cares’ External Affairs team, helping to strategically cultivate and steward stakeholders and donors to deepen engagement and increase support. The Manager, Development and Communications is responsible for cultivation and stewardship of relationships with various donors, with the primary focus on individual donors. Through their work, the Manager, Development and Communications influences and inspires stakeholders and donors to support and engage Chicago Cares’ movement to deepen and expand community-driven service and philanthropy.

The Manager, Development and Communications will assist in executing Chicago Cares’ donor engagement and marketing strategy in order to expand its influence and support among stakeholders and build the power, recognition and reach of Chicago Cares’ brand. To that end, The Manager will focus on personal contact with current and prospective donors, lead the External Affairs’ data management, and steward the organization’s marketing and communications strategy, including email, direct mail, social media, website and content development/management. In addition, the Manager will also be responsible for event support, and other development tasks, as assigned.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

·        Relationship and Donor Management:

o   Donor Strategy: Participate in planning, strategy setting, and reporting on annual projections for donor partnerships.

o   Donor Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship: Manage a portfolio of existing donor relationships, with a focus on individual donors. Strategically communicate Chicago Cares’ impact to prospective and current donors, in order to move them towards greater civic investment. Steward donors through entire continuum of experiences with Chicago Cares.

o   Donor Prospecting: Identify opportunities for donor cultivation. Build network of prospective donors and innovate and implement on campaigns to solicit and steward prospective donors. Attend and represent Chicago Cares at various networking opportunities, as identified.

o   Revenue and Business Development: Participate in efforts to align fundraising and development activities to strategy and best and emerging practices in individual giving, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Anti-Racism, developing the resources and relationships needed to do so. Influence donors and volunteers to align giving and investment to best-in-class community-driven service and philanthropy.

o   Donor Management and Accountability: Ensure donor needs are met through the entire lifecycle of their relationship with Chicago Cares, including producing high-quality appeals and solicitations, ensuring accurate data entry and CRM database management, project managing donor and volunteer engagement campaigns, and reporting on organizational impact and producing acknowledgement letters.

o   Interdepartmental Collaboration: Support and lead interdepartmental teams as they relate to projects pertaining to donor strategy. Co-manage project teams assigned to the execution of donor projects, work closely with program staff to coordinate campaign efforts, and ensure donor needs are met. Ensure the health and relevance of donor engagements and manage standards collaboratively with other managers. Participate in cross-departmental committees and task forces, as requested and appropriate.

o   CRM Data Management: Enter and track information on donors and build and generate reports within the donor CRM database (Salesforce) that support effective strategy, targeted and segmented communications, engagement scoring and grading, and relationship management.

o   Influence and Expertise: Continuously develop expertise on current trends in individual giving, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Anti-Racism staying up-to-date, conducting research, networking with leaders in the field.

·        Communications and Marketing Management:

o   Communications and Marketing Strategy: Participate in developing and implementing the organization’s brand, marketing and communications strategies via available platforms, channels and technologies, ensuring external relations are aligned to mission and strategy and reflect present priorities and future potential.

o   Content, Process and Resource Management: Advance the Chicago Cares’ brand and stakeholder engagement via the available platforms and channels, including the management of the organization’s website, visual identity, and collateral. Develop multi-media (e.g., print, visual, podcasts, etc.) content that strategically communicates Chicago Cares’ impact and strategy to key audiences and prospective and current donors, to move them towards greater civic investment. Manage platforms and channels consistent with the communications and marketing strategy.

o   Cultivation and Stewardship: Lead the organization’s efforts to grade and score, segment and otherwise tailor communication to various audiences and stakeholder groups, managing both the messaging and data analytics needed to successfully tailor marketing and communications tactics. Support the marketing and messaging components of volunteer recruitment efforts and organizational donor campaigns.

o   Positionality and Growth of Engagement: Know Chicago Cares’ constituents and environment and steward, cultivate, and grow the number of donors that volunteer with Chicago Cares and volunteers that invest in Chicago Cares through giving. Develop an awareness of the landscape in our city and sectors that afford deeper engagement, particularly among individuals.

o   Interdepartmental Collaboration: Lead special marketing projects as assigned to meet organizational goals consistent with the mission and strategy of the organization. Co-manage project teams assigned to the execution of marketing projects, ensure the health and relevance of marketing-specific technology integrations and manage adoption of marketing and brand activities collaboratively with other managers to ensure alignment. Participate in cross-departmental committees and task forces, as requested and appropriate.

o   Data Management: Manage and maintain the organization’s data and technology systems as they pertain to marketing and communications. Specifically, build, develop and maintain reporting systems, data systems, dashboards and performance metrics that support key business decisions in consultation with others, as needed.

·        Project and Team Management

o   Departmental Data Management and Support:

§ Data Management: Manage donor data for the External Affairs/Finance team by entering and tracking information on donors and build and generate reports within the donor CRM database. Create invoices and acknowledgement letters for donors.

§ Reporting: Build, develop, and maintain departmental reporting systems (such as the monthly revenue report), dashboards, and performance metrics that support key business decisions in consultation with others, as needed.

§ Financial Reconciliation: Work in partnership with the Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer and the Finance team to maintain accurate revenue records and monthly reconciliation with QuickBooks.

o   Quality Assurance: Ensure the quality of projects and responsibilities in the position’s purview. Conform the organizations’ policies and practices, processes and structures to best and emerging practices and the mission. Assist in the organization’s continuous quality improvement processes.

o   Operational Management: Manage activities in line with the organization’s budget, including regularly reviewing expense reports and providing projections for annual budgeting and reforecasts to departmental leadership. Participate in efforts to set annual revenue projections, conduct regular reforecasts and help raise the revenue goal of the annual budget.

o   Team Management: Provide supervision and management support to consultants, contract employees, interns and volunteers, including recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training, coaching and mentoring, and performance management. When working with consultants, ensure the deliverable meets expectations and hold consultants accountable to meeting expectations and deadlines. Cultivate the team though supervision consistent with Chicago Cares’ supervision philosophy and strategic objectives.

o   Team Resourcing and Troubleshooting: Resource others to advance donor strategy, inclusive of designing evaluation and feedback loops, problem-solving and escalating, and training staff.

·        Organizational Leadership:

o   Advance brand identity by reinforcing strategic messages and company values.

o   Ensure the economic viability of efforts.

o   Participate in, support and steward fundraising activities and events.

o   Contribute to and execute on strategic vision and plans.

o   Represent Chicago Cares at external functions, including local, regional, and national forums on service and volunteerism.

o   Participate in cross-departmental leadership activities. Develop a strong, responsive and collaborative relationship with departmental leadership across the organization to more effectively align operational priorities to the needs of other departments.

o   Provide support for large projects and special events, including event planning and implementation assistance.

Complete other duties as assigned.

Competencies Needed

·        The ability to cultivate relationships and prospects over a long horizon and effectively close.

·        Creativity and flexibility to apply qualitative and quantitative analysis and effectively problem solve.

·        Cultural competence, a commitment to advancing equity and the practice of anti-racism.

·        Strong relationship development and management to ensure, when exposed to tension, relationships with partners, donors, vendors and bureaucrats persist.

·        Cooperation and collaboration to align programs, external affairs and finance, and operations functions.

·        Accountability, transparency and candor, a willingness to say and hear no, to take feedback productively and engage productive conflict.

·        Strategy, influence and negotiation as connector, advisor, pusher, and strategic risk-taker.

·        Power fluency and analysis and competitive analysis and ability to benchmark, plan, and forecast.


·        A 2-year proven track record in donor relations, brand development, marketing, strategic communications, and/or fundraising.

·        Outstanding written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills with ability to write clearly and persuasively.

·        Demonstrated database management experience. Salesforce, preferred.

·        Emerging expertise in messaging and donor engagement, and geographic expertise specific to Chicago and metro region market and social impact considerations.

·        Demonstrated commitment to service, civic engagement, and/or social justice. Desire to support and nurture programs that connect people, communities, and causes.

·        Ease and experience working with individuals and groups from diverse cultural, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. Ability to practice creativity and flexibility.

·        Ability to take initiative, work independently, meet deadlines, and handle multiple projects in a rapidly changing, agile environment – including interruptions and adjustments to priorities.

·        Excellent collaboration skills, including the ability to navigate conflict, hold others accountable productively, delegate effectively and structure group processes.

·        Excellent PC and desktop application skills, including Microsoft Suite, Office 365, SharePoint and Teams.

·        Ability to maintain a flexible schedule that may require work outside of traditional hours, including the ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.

·        Ability to adjust to various physical and environmental conditions as the position may require (computer work, sitting or standing for long periods of time, etc.).

How to Apply

Send cover letter and resume to Please put Manager, Development and Communications in the subject line.

Job posted: 2021-12-28