The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to improving our region through strategic grant making, civic engagement and inspiring philanthropy. We are here to serve the nonprofit organizations, the generous donors and the thoughtful residents who strive to make a difference, helping their bold vision create lasting community change. We work with a number of partnerships and initiatives to accomplish this work.

We are privileged to serve our community and invite those who connect with our mission, vision, and values to explore employment opportunities with the Trust. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at

The Chicago Community Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Program Manager, Advancing Equity in Household Wealth

  • Job Tracking ID: 512298-717925
  • Job Location: Chicago, IL
  • Level of Education: Masters Degree
  • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
  • Date Updated: January 08, 2020
  • Starting Date: ASAP
  • Application Deadline: February 29, 2020

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Job Description:

Job Summary:

The Trust has committed to the strategic goal of closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in Chicagoland. By focusing on this goal, we hope to have an impact on economic inequity as well as the major problems it creates such as violence, lack of access to education and poor health. In order to accomplish this goal and maintain our commitment to a thriving, equitable, and connected region, the Trust has set four other supporting goals as priorities:

  • to build collective power and tighter bonds within and across communities;
  • to help increase community driven investment;
  • to address critical needs; and,
  • to connect philanthropy to impact.

The Trust is also changing the way we operate, from grantmaker to changemaker. As such, all aspects of the organization are moving towards advancing change through a range of approaches, including supporting programs, conducting research, driving collaboration, engaging funders, advancing policy, and moving markets and investments towards social change.

The Program Manager will focus on the Trust’s Closing the Racial Wealth Gap strategy, contributing to and informing strategy development and organizational knowledge building, and actively guiding and implementing initiatives, relationships and partnerships to execute on this strategic goal. The Manager ensures internal collaboration and close communication across other Trust strategic goal teams and across critical Trust departments.This position leads thought generation, engages and connects community actors, designs and drives grantmaking strategies, and supports cross-functional collaboration with Philanthropic Advisors, Learning and Impact, and Strategic Communications teams. This position works collaboratively with other Program Managers and provides essential support to the Sr. Director.

The Program Manager will primarily manage the Trust’s Income initiatives that encompass strategic education, workforce, economic security, and income policy partnerships that are working to translate income and education to wealth the barriers people of color face within these systems.

The Chicago Community Trust is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals and offering reasonable accommodation to job applicants with disabilities. 

Job Duties:

  • Builds a plan to identify community, civic, and policy organizations and actors to influence change; connects these actors to resources to better align with the Trust’s strategic priorities
  • Designs and drives the grant making strategy, identifies grant opportunities and facilitates the grant making process
  • Works closely with fellow program managers and other Impact teams to develop relationships with community leaders that enable community decision making
  • Engages key stakeholders including community leaders, civic leaders, corporations and donors, and convening leads to generate ideas and develop strategies and plans of action
  • Provides thought leadership by both creating and presenting strong and clear written and verbal content internally and engaging external partners to develop content, make decisions, and set direction
  • Organizes and facilitates meetings, and events towards advancing initiatives and strategies
  • Collects, synthesizes, presents, and leads research efforts towards contributing knowledge to the field and sharpening the Trust’s strategies and initiatives
  • Designs and implements learning and impact evaluations in order to contribute to both the organization and the grantees’ development
  • Supports engagement and education of donors and stakeholders
  • Supports cross functional collaboration within the Trust, maintaining close communication with the Philanthropic Advisors, the Learning & Impact, Strategic Communications, and Policy & Advocacy Teams
  • Other duties as assigned by Senior Director

Experience and Skills:

Position Competencies:

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following key competencies:

  • Strategic Thinking - Understands, synthesizes and articulates the "big picture", i.e., the underlying assumptions, including industry context, trends, and business drivers; goes beyond transactions details and provides broader context for recommendations, based on analysis that accounts for more than one perspective or approach or outcome.
  • Community Leadership - Enlists others in driving change in the community by understanding, soliciting, and anticipating concerns and co-designing solutions; influencing decision-makers; able to engage and persuade others.
  • Grant Applicant and Recipient Relations - Design and administer all aspects of the grant cycle including initial grant opportunity scoping with other key departments and leadership, letters of interest and requests for proposals, goals and outcomes development, applicant review and site visits, final grant decisions, grant and outcomes tracking and reporting, and grant close out. Provide excellent and respectful customer service with a consistent recognition of the imbedded power dynamics in the foundation and grant recipient relationship and a commitment to re-balancing those dynamics towards a joint learning and trusted relationship.
  • Thought Leadership Development - Familiar with recent thought leadership in workforce and career pathways, economic security policy, and/or post-secondary educational attainment, and the connections and relationships between the three. Experienced in the development of thought leadership for various social issues. Able to collaborate internally and externally to develop thought leadership. Shares thought leadership as a subject matter expert.
  • Communications - Strong, thoughtful, and confident written and verbal communicator that is able to persuade through storytelling, data, and effective framing.
  • Influence and Facilitation - Able to convene diverse groups, run meetings effectively, solicit input thoughtfully, and facilitate effective meetings and engagement. Projects a credible and confident professional and accessible image; acts as a liaison between various stakeholders to facilitate consensus building.
  • Decision Making - Must engage in the process of selecting a logical choice from the available options, weighing positives and negatives, consider alternatives, then be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation.
  • Policy - Experience with shaping and advancing public policy through research, advocacy, participation in coalitions, or government experience.
  • Project Management - Able to apply processes towards achieving specific objectives and deliverables, including tracking systems, personal time and priority management, and team collaboration.

Position Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field of study is preferred. Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study is required
  • Minimum of 5 years of related work experience, 7 years preferred
  • Understanding of racial equity practices and framework
  • Familiarity with recent thought leadership in workforce and career pathways, economic security policy, and/or post-secondary educational attainment and with the network of local and national actors, agencies and organizations working to advance these fields, with a particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities
  • Understands impact and evaluation
  • Thinks systemically and in a programmatic manner
  • Ability to work in partnership with residents and local leaders on social issues
  • Experience working with racially and ethnically diverse communities on social issues
  • Experience in supporting development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to effect change
  • Experience in project development and management
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to listen well, convey thoughts clearly, speak in public, and work effectively as a member of a team
  • Excellent skill sets in facilitation, relationship building, and collaborative planning
  • Technical skills in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Access)

More about The Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to advancing metropolitan Chicago and improving the lives of the people who call it home. The Trust serves as a philanthropic partner, connecting the generosity of donors with community needs. Today, following the creation of a new strategic plan in 2018, the Trust stands committed to addressing Chicago’s legacy of systemic inequity and closing the racial wealth gap. With assets of approximately $3 billion, the Trust in partnership with its donors distributes more than $400 million in grants each year. Our unwavering mission is to mobilize resources, people, organizations and ideas in support of this vision for a truly equitable, connected and thriving community.

The Trust was founded in 1915 by Norman and Albert Harris, father and son duo of the Harris (now BMO Harris) bank family. The Chicago Community Trust was the fourth community foundation ever created. There are now 750 community foundations across the US and Canada.

Since 1915, the Trust has been part of nearly every major civic milestone of the Chicago region. From the creation of Millennium Park and Chicago’s Harris Theater to Leadership Greater Chicago and Chicago Urban League, the Trust has worked to support the people and organizations that have made Chicago a world-class city.

The Trust Team seeks to match the passion and commitment of donors, grantees, residents and community leader that continue to work tirelessly to make this City one where all have the opportunity to realize their dreams.