Volunteer Coordinator

Position Overview

Chicago Debates seeks a mission driven, engaging, and service-oriented candidate with a demonstrated passion for volunteerism to join our team. This role will assist us in achieving our mission to reduce the educational opportunity gap through the transformative power of academic debate while growing our volunteer network. This position will work collaboratively with other programming team members and  report directly to the Volunteer and Outreach Manager (VOM). 

Core Responsibilities

  • Provide support to the VOM in organizing  tournament volunteers (Tab Director, Judge Captain, Table Operators, Judges, etc.).
  • Input and manage volunteer data in NeonCRM and VolunteerLocal.
  • Coordinate volunteer communications and logistics leading up to a tournament including:
    • Submit and monitor background checks for all volunteers 
    • Track training attendance and follow-up on any outstanding volunteer requirements 
    • Monitor volunteer numbers to ensure we’re meeting the tournament needs 
    • Check in and follow-up with new volunteers to ensure they are prepared 
  • Provide onsite tournament support to volunteers including managing shifts, answering questions, and helping the Tournament Director with any other needed tasks. 
  • Organize and submit tournament stipends to ensure volunteers are compensated in a timely manner. 
  • Create deliverables such as flyers and pamphlets that can be used for recruitment and various outreach events. Experience with graphic design desired but not required. 
  • Assist in the development of the Chicago Debates alumni network including managing all communication with alumni. Potential for duties to expand with the growth of this group. 
  • Assist the programming team with execution of specialty events such as debates, fundraisers, conferences, etc. 
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 1 -2 years of related experience.
  • Previous debate experience a plus, but not required 
  • Personal connections with Chicago community a plus
  • Passion for urban education and can translate that passion to external parties 
  • Demonstrated out of the box thinker that brings contributes new ideas or sources for volunteers and community partners 
  • Strong speaking skills and can communicate with professional audiences
  • Must have the ability to prioritize multiple assignments; work independently; communicate about challenges; plan; and most importantly, follow through. 
  • Experience using technology and tabulation software like Tabroom preferred. 
  • Advanced computer skills in Google Suite (Gmail, Google calendar, Google forms and Google Drive) and Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and their Google Docs equivalents)

Other Requirements

  • Legal clearance to work with minors 
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record 
  • Strong ethics, maturity, and appropriate boundaries for adult interactions with minors, including compliance with all Chicago Public Schools HR and reporting requirements.
  • Must be available to work nights and weekends for much of the school year. 
  • Willingness to travel and work beyond regular office hours during our tournament season from October – June, when long and late weekends are frequently the norm (average 2 weekends a month). 
  • Physical demands include working at the computer but also carrying supplies (boxes up to 50 pounds, paper, printers, computer, t-shirts, food, etc.) for tournaments and teams from your car to a variety of school and event locations.


    • Strong connection to the Chicago Debates mission. 
    • Empathy, humility, flexibility and willingness to serve and lead teachers, students, volunteers, and contract staff in an often-challenging and fast-changing urban education setting. 
    • Positive, solution-oriented approach in a team working toward common goals. 
    • Strong cultural competency in serving a diverse population of teachers and learners with a variety of needs and challenges and communication styles. 
    • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. 
    • A self-starter, creative, and forward thinker.
    • Team player, enjoys collaborating with others. 
    • Self aware, teachable, and eager to learn. 
    • Strong work and financial ethics. 
    • Must have the utmost integrity and an ability to process, protect and exercise discretion in handling confidential information and materials.
    •  Professional and ethical commitment to student protection and student privacy. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

    • Chicago Debates works in partnership with Chicago Public Schools.  Much of that work requires in-person activities inside school buildings and in direct contact with students.  All Chicago Debates employees are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted (as applicable) against COVID-19.  If you are not able to receive the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons, you may request approval for an accommodation supported by proper documentation.

Work Schedule

Hybrid Work Schedule: Mondays and Fridays are virtual. Tuesday through Thursday are in-person from 9am-5pm.  This position includes frequent weekend work during the tournament season from October – June, including late evenings and early mornings. These dates are identified in advance in our calendar, with an expectation to work on average two weekends a month. Comp time is offered for a full day of weekend work, with some stipulations.


Salary ($43,000 – $46,000) to be determined based on experience and skills. Full-time employees are eligible for health, dental, and vision insurance, Retirement, PTO, Professional Development Allowance, Sick Days, and Holidays. As a member of the Program Team, you would also be eligible for compensatory time and travel reimbursement for work-related meetings. Chicago Debates is seeking a commitment of at least two years.

To Apply

Submit a cover letter with salary requirements and a resume to Anthony Bolden, Director of Programs at operations@chicagodebates.org. Cover letters without salary requirements will not be considered.

Hiring Process

The position will begin as soon as July 2022, pending candidate’s availability. Qualified candidates must be available for two to three rounds of interviews.

Chicago Debates is an equal opportunity employer.