Now Hiring: Development Associate

Development Associate

Are you looking for a role where you can make a difference?  Are you interested in helping deserving Chicago youth advance their academic achievements, community contributions, and life success?  If so, consider joining the Chicago Debates team.

Through the transformational activity of debate, Chicago Debates empowers Chicago youth to find their voice, succeed in college and career, and become community leaders.  In partnership with Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Debates administers and supports debate programming in nearly 90 middle and high schools across the city.  As the largest urban policy debate league in the country, we will support approximately 1600 CPS students in the 2018-2019 school year. 

Position Overview

Chicago Debates seeks a Part-Time (30 hours a week) Development Associate to provide organizational support to achieve our mission of advancing the educational achievement, community contributions, and life success of Chicago’s youth through the transformative power of academic debate.

As an integral member of the team, the Development Associate will support the cultivation and stewardship of new and existing relationships with foundation donors.  We seek a passionate, eager, highly responsible and detail-oriented team member who can work both independently and collaboratively in a vision driven and growing organization.

The Development Associate will coordinate the research, writing, and reporting process for all grant activity for Chicago Debates.  Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Support cultivation and stewardship of existing and new relationships with Foundation donors by identifying appropriate touchpoints and engagement strategies, drafting correspondence with Foundations and developing meeting prep sheets and follow-up materials.
  • Conduct research to identify new prospects, create prospect profiles, and support the development and management of prospect cultivation strategies.
  • Serve as the lead writer on grant proposals and reports to support ongoing and new programs.
    • Seek, steward, and secure funding from foundation donors by researching and writing grant proposals.
  • Prepare and oversee the distribution of donor materials, including solicitations, follow-up and acknowledgments.
  • Process acknowledgement letters for all donations.
  • Collaborate with finance and program staff to develop and manage budgets and budget narratives for grant proposals and reports.
  • Oversee the maintenance of calendars, timelines, grants information and electronic and hard copy files of correspondence; enter, update and maintain donor and prospective donor information in the Development database and other electronic records.
    • Inform appropriate staff of grant requirements and reporting deadlines.
  • Provide administrative services to team members carrying out various fundraising.
  • Assist in special fundraising events.
  • Perform other job-related duties as requested.

Data Management

  • Manage the donor database.
    • Input donor gifts into fundraising database; add new constituent entries; update database with constituent changes; remove duplicates, etc.
  • Maintain and manage the integrity of all prospect data in the fundraising donor database.
  • Track philanthropic requests, pledges and contributions.
  • Prepare mailing materials like invitations, solicitations and newsletters.
  • Donor Database In-House Expert: Builds queries for data cleansing and audit purposes, performs data imports and exports, finds opportunities for process improvement, and train other team members on the proper usage of the database.
  • Work with the Officer Manager to reconcile donation entries with QuickBooks and Neon entries on monthly basis.
  • Provide foundation and/or donor reports, lists, or information from the database as needed/requested.

Work Schedule

Monday through Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm (accounts for one-hour unpaid lunch).  Must have some flexibility to work a slightly later schedule if needed to support special events, tournament support, etc.  Ability to work remotely one day a week.


$19-$22/hour.  Final compensation to be determined based on experience and skills.  Chicago Debates is a growing organization and seeks to transition this role to a full-time salaried position in 2020.

To Apply

Submit a cover letter, resume, and compensation requirements to

Chicago Debates is an equal opportunity employer.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of at least one-year of grant writing and editing skills. Will consider other extensive research and writing experience of at least 3-5 years in place of specific grant writing and editing skills.
  • Previous experience with a donor management platform(s) required (e.g. Neon, Salesforce, Razor’s Edge, or Donor Perfect, etc.).
  • Must be highly organized with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex ideas into clear, concise, and compelling messages for a variety of audiences.
  • Advanced project management skills to balance multiple large-scale projects and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Ability to communicate with senior level internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member in a very fast-paced work environment.
  • Experience working across departments as well as with staff at a variety of levels to meet objectives and broader organizational needs.
  • Ability to think strategically and analytically that includes the ability to see the big picture while managing details.
  • Able to process, protect and exercise discretion in handling confidential information and materials.
  • Advanced computer skills, specifically with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, and fundraising databases; ability to learn and master other computer technology/software programs as needed.


  • Strong connection to the Chicago Debates mission.
  • Energetic and welcoming demeanor.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and relationship-building skills.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Creative.
  • Highly self-motivated with the ability to take initiative.
Additional Salary Information: $19-$22/hour. Final compensation to be determined based on experience and skills. Chicago Debates is a growing organization and seeks to transition this role to a full-time salaried position in 2020.