TITLE: Communications and Marketing 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.
Leading all communication and marketing efforts for the CFB, the ideal candidate is versatile and outgoing. Actively strategizing ways to engage the broader public with the CFB’s work requires problem solving and creativity.
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 largely independent work. Being a self-starter who can work in an entrepreneurial organization is necessary to be successful at this position.
Communications and Social Media (20%)
- Plan and execute communications and social media designed to engage donors, prospective donors, and volunteers. Components may include monthly e-newsletter, blog posts, and a social media plan.
- Write content and design simple e-newsletters, one-page handouts and PPT decks
- Analyze data from social media, web traffic, and Google Ad Words. Report monthly and recommend strategy refinements.
- Regularly photograph every step of CFB operations to maintain a fresh supply of stories and images. Obtain photo and story releases from all participants and maintain accurate records.
- Gather and prepare appropriate materials for external speaking engagements.
Partner Communications (20%)
- Develop relationships with Communications teams at CFB’s 350 organizational partners, institutional supporters, furniture donors etc. Cultivate stories of mutual benefit for newsletters and media. Supply photos and captions, and agree to post and repost each other’s social media. Facilitate a culture of cooperation and support.
- Research prospects and write grant proposals for foundation and corporate gifts, event sponsorships, and major gifts.
- Prepare and submit proposals, budgets, attachments, and reports before deadlines. Maintain a calendar with grant opportunities, deadlines, and report due dates.
- Solicit in-kind donations for special events, goods, and services.
- Support institutional in-kind furniture donations through donor cultivation and photo ops, social media, PR, coordination with partner communications teams, and donor events.
- Support Major Gift fundraising and special projects with grant writing, research, and editing.
- Manage contractors for special projects.
Public Relations (15%)
- Write press releases to announce major milestones, new partnerships, major awards, etc.
- Identify story angles, draft media pitches, and invite select media to document CFB families and stories. Obtain and manage all releases. Develop and maintain media lists for digital, print, radio and TV.
- Write and submit articles and Op/Eds on behalf of co-founders.
- Track media coverage and amplify through all communication channels.
Database Management, Donor Tracking and Volunteer Management (20%)
- Managing the donor, volunteer and donor prospect database in Salesforce, and generate reports. Tracking all requests and contributions, providing timely donor acknowledgement letters and communication. Ensure accurate record-keeping of all contributions and pledges. Manage all mailing and contact lists ensuring their accuracy. Identify opportunities for analysis, produce reports, write and revise CRM procedures. Responsible for upholding best practices in database management, updating all records and training staff and volunteers on said practices, as needed.
- Organize and execute group volunteer events.
- Actively engage with volunteers in order to use their expertise, strengths and willingness to help to benefit the organization.
- Attend and actively participate in required educational programs and departmental and staff meetings.
- Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
- 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 fundraising software or CRM and experience managing email campaigns is preferred.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint required. Some HTML and graphic design and photo editing software strongly preferred.
- 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.