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Positon: Grant Writer & Philanthropy Associate

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Organization: Circle
Location: Chicago
About Circle Urban Ministries:Circle Urban Ministries is a community development non-profit organization working to transform lives and transform communities. A leader in holistic, trauma-driven intervention, Circle embraces community-wide collaboration, and provides 5 core areas that guide our intervention:
  • Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Community Development
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Racial Reconciliation
With a growing team 15+ staff and 50+ partner members, Circle Urban Ministries has rebuilt / renovated more than 500 units across the Austin community and shared best practices with many more organizations.  
Position Summary

Circle’s Grants and Philanthropy Associate is a business development and fundraising position reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer while working closely with the Director of Programs and other team members to achieve annual and long-term fundraising goals. Grants from national and local foundations make it possible for Circle to give more families a predictable path to health and wellness, and for Circle to build upstream solutions to problems within the under-resourced Austin neighborhood. The Grants and Philanthropy Associate is responsible for identifying new local and national grant opportunities, writing proposals, and writing impact reports to achieve aggressive revenue growth goals.

Circle is seeking a self-driven, resilient and resourceful professional who is a compelling and effective writer. Previous grant writing experience is required. This candidate must be experienced in proficient and quick professional correspondence. Experience working with progressive organizations is preferred.  In addition to grant research, writing and reporting, the Grants and Development Associate, along with all members of the team, participate in special projects and growth opportunities throughout the year.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field and 5-10 years of experience in professional grant writing and correspondence
  • Proven ability to research new opportunities, foundation alignment, and identify prospects that align with Circle’s strategic vision
  • Excellent written, oral communication, and interpersonal skills; ability to listen and assess the interests of various audiences and communicate ideas in person or in writing in a clear and articulate manner to compel individuals to action
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, demonstrate an understanding of ethics related to philanthropic activities, and to use discretion in interactions with donors, prospects, volunteers, and others
  • Previous experience with fundraising or project management software programs like Donorview, Salesforce, Raiser’s Edge, Foundation Center and/or etc.
  • Self-starter and team player with energy, resourcefulness, and a flexible mindset
  • Flexibility to occasionally work in the evenings and/or on weekends in order to support or attend meetings and events, and meet deadlines
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, email, social media, databases, etc.
  • Able to satisfactorily pass a Criminal History Check to include sex offender registry, State Police, and FBI.
  • Writing grants is the primary responsibility for the individual in this role. This individual will work strategically with the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Programs to achieve success through new grant opportunities.
  • Perform comprehensive research of grant opportunities through traditional and non- traditional (creative and curious) methods.
  • Manage grant-related administrative processes including (but not limited to) communicating new grants to appropriate Circle team members, uploading all information to the organization database, ensuring approved language is properly stored for organization-wide use, flagging report due dates.
  • Cultivate foundation relationships through timely impact reports and regular touchpoints.
  • Manage his/her grant portfolio.
  • Support goals of the Philanthropy Department and Circle leadership through miscellaneous projects such as fill-on communications work and partnerships, as needed.
Performance Expectations

Able to juggle multiple, competing priorities.

  • Able to adjust to manage urgent needs, forthcoming deadlines and quick turnarounds.
  • Exceptionally self-motivated and curious.
  • High level of personal accountability.
  • Align work performance with Circle’s core values.
  • Top-notch written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Detail-oriented with strong troubleshooting, analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Working knowledge of all facets of social media management.
  • Superior work ethic and high energy level.
  • Desire and ability to work, grow and learn in a startup environment.
  • Plan and meet deadlines.
  • Maintain a flexible work schedule to meet the demands of executive management.
  • Demonstrate initiative and work as a team player.
  • Convey a professional and positive image and attitude regarding the organization and the not-for-profit sector.
  • Demonstrate commitment to continued professional growth and development

Circle is building a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the populations we work with and the community where we work. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.   Circle is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs,  and  activities.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender, creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, disabled veteran status, or status as a member of any other protected group or activity. It is the policy of Circle not to discriminate against any individual, person, or group on the basis of disability and the intent of Circle to address any complaints that may arise pursuant to Section 504

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