TITLE: Business Development Associate
The Chicago Furniture Bank (CFB) is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide dignity, stability and comfort to Chicagoans moving into supportive housing by allowing them to handpick furnishings for their entire home. Since opening in July of 2018, the CFB has furnished 3,500 homes for 9,200 clients, distributing 2,300 tons of furniture. We currently furnish 10 homes per day and have 31 full-time employees (with majority being hired through nonprofit workforce development agencies).
In addition, the organization’s sister service, Honest Junk Company (HJ), is Chicago’s only nonprofit junk removal company that donates all usable goods to various charity partners. Honest Junk charges market rates for residential and commercial removal / liquidation projects, and has grown rapidly since first launching February 2020. Currently, the combined organization (CFB and HJ) operates a $1,700,000 operating budget that is nearly self-funded through cash generated from the organization’s operations. It is the CFB’s three year goal to furnish 5,000 homes per year for those leaving shelters while being internally financially break-even.
The main responsibility of the Business Development Associate will be responsible for growing internally generated revenue from CFB / HJ operations as well as minimizing expenses. This position is also responsible for creating and maintaining partnerships with manufacturers, retailers, liquidators, etc to assure the CFB has enough, high quality, furniture to serve its mission. Finally, this position will handle the majority of accounting, financial forecasting and reconciliation for the organization.
The ideal candidate will be tactful in figuring out ways to find and win business to continue the organization’s growth. Much of their work will be prospecting self-identified opportunities and framing CFB’s value proposition to execute. Long to medium term projects will be identified with the Executive Director, and then it’ll be up to this associate to execute. There will be collaboration with the ED and other team members, but this role will primarily work independently. Being a self-starter who can work in an entrepreneurial organization is necessary to be successful at this position.
Sourcing Business and Relationship Management (35%)
- Networking through events and meetings to build new relationships that promote Honest Junk and CFB corporate relationships.
- Creating deliverables and selling the organization’s services to other businesses and organizations.
- Keeping CRM updated, creating schedules touch points for larger HJ clients and corporate CFB furniture donors.
- Targeting new opportunities for business and expanding existing relationships.
- Figuring out medium and long term goals.
- Determining a plan of action (stepping stones) to achieve these goals.
- Sourcing larger liquidation projects and planning accordingly.
- Ensuring execution of projects through work with Executive Director and Operations Manager
Staffing and Training (15%)
- Making sure staff is adequately trained / prepared to complete projects to industry standard.
- Creating systems within the organization to create efficiencies within the operations.
- Identifying staffing needs in the organization and sourcing potential candidates.
- Following appropriate financial procedures to assure books are clean in QuickBooks.
HJ Daily Operations (15%)
- Deal with day-to-day Honest Junk issues as they arise.
- Quickly troubleshooting problems to keep everything moving smoothly.
- West side Chicago office is accessible. Work at off-site locations is required and those may not necessarily be fully accessible.
- Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.
- This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners.
- Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.
- Smoke- and drug-free environment.
- Chicago Furniture Bank is an equal opportunity employer and believes in fostering a diverse and inclusive staff. To do this, we not only recognize each individual’s diverse identity but also actively create and maintain a culture of inclusion where all CFB employees feel involved, respected, and supported for their diverse identities. Please let us know if there are any accommodations you require.
Education, Experience, and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree (BA) or equivalent experience.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills. Strong interpersonal skills. Excellent research and analytical skills.
- Previous experience working with a CRM, Salesforce preferred.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint required.
- Ability to operate with purpose, urgency, and accuracy in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.
- Detail-oriented, organized, and deadline-driven.
- Capacity to see the “big picture” and manage details simultaneously.
- Ability to take direction well, multi-task and prioritize projects.
- Ability to work in a team and individually.
- Excellent problem solver and ability to “think outside the box.”
- Proven and exemplary customer service focus, with strong internal and external relationship management and cultivation skills.
- Experience working with diverse groups of people including donors, clients, volunteers, partner organizations and community partners.