Community Desk Chicago ("the Desk") leverages private
market expertise and trusted investor relationships to unlock capital
for transformative real estate development. Currently based at the
Chicago Community Trust ("the Trust"), the Desk was launched
in 2019 as the result of a six-month study led by the Boston
Consulting Group (BCG). The JP Morgan Chase Foundation (JPMCF)
commissioned the study to better understand how to drive more
impactful investments in communities of color.
The Desk works with catalytic real estate projects in historically
underserved Black and Latinx communities to help close funding gaps
based on four key beliefs including 1) strong talent and commercial
development opportunities exist in communities, but face challenges
accessing the necessary capital and resources, 2) communities deserve
holistic development, including commercial projects that create wealth
building opportunities and improve quality of life, 3) projects in
communities of color should have equitable access to capital without
fear of racial bias and 4) our role is to collaborate, not duplicate -
partnering with the existing ecosystem to add capacity and fill gaps.
In addition to providing direct project support to community
developers, nonprofits and entrepreneurs, the Desk works closing with
philanthropy including the Trust and other critical stakeholders in
the community development ecosystem to design and launch initiatives
that increase capital flow, wealth building and real development
capacity in communities. More information about the Desk can be found
Under the direction of the Desk’s Director, the Senior Real Estate
Advisor will actively manage the capital connection for
community-based real estate development projects. Specifically, the
advisor will assess project financial feasibility, recommend funding
strategies and manage the direct connection to project funders
including philanthropy, lenders and investors.
- Meet with community-focused nonprofits, developers and
entrepreneurs to understand their development capital needs and
outline potential funding strategies.
- Leveraging relevant industry and project-based data, pressure test
project assumptions related to revenue, expenses, net operating
income and development costs.
- Evaluate project feasibility based on key financial metrics
including but not limited to debt coverage ratios, debt to equity
ratios, cap rates and other relevant markers.
- Model potential capital stacks and develop recommendations for
target investor types and mix, based on expected social impact and
financial returns of project
- As necessary, support projects with the creation of operating pro
formas, development budgets and related feasibility documentation.
- Monitor a portfolio of projects through their development
lifecycle to assist with capital resources.
- Recommend new tools and resources to standardize the review of projects.
- Research investment models and trends to recommend creative
funding strategies for projects.
- Support the development of an investor pool to shop investment
opportunities and to help attract new capital for projects.
- Coordinate with capital market experts to assist with deal
structuring and terms.
- Recommend pitch materials for projects to highlight feasibility,
community impact and funding requirements.
- Assist projects with completing grant applications, loan
applications and other related funding documentation to secure capital.
- Leverage the resources and network of the Trust, JPMCF, BCG and
other partners to support holistic neighborhood development.
- Codify lessons learned for knowledge sharing in the community
- Other responsibilities as identified to support the launch of new
programs and initiatives.
- Master’s degree in finance, business administration, urban
planning, real estate or community development is preferred.
Bachelor’s degree in a related field of study is required.
- 7-10 years of related work experience.
- Demonstrated understanding and commitment to The Desk’s mission.
- Understanding of real estate development, community development,
innovative financing and complex deal flows.
- Direct experience or working knowledge of small business financing
including SBA lending
- Ability to work collaboratively and build relationships with a
variety of partners across Chicago, including The Trust, JPMCF, BCG,
community residents, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations,
developers, traditional investors, impact investors, financial
institutions, and legal advisers.
- Ability to self-start and approach the role with an
- Strong quantitative skill set to apply to project feasibility and
- Experience with business strategy to inform investment case and
pitch material preparation.
- Experience in project management, with the ability to assess and
resolve implementation issues and to establish best practices.
- Effective listening skills and business acumen to engage with
projects and key stakeholders.
- Strong interpersonal skills, written communication, and comfort
with cross-cultural communication.
- Ability and desire to work in culturally diverse environments.
- Direct experience underwriting, evaluating or coordinating capital
requests including experience with LIHTCs, NMTCS, OZ funding, TIF
and other development incentives.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The Trust is committed to creating a diverse work environment and
is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Trust does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex,
gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability,
parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under
applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to
apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please
e-mail us at email@example.com if you require a reasonable
accommodation to complete this application.
History of The Chicago Community Trust
The Chicago Community Trust was founded in 1915 by Norman and Albert
Harris, father and son duo of the Harris Trust and Savings Bank (now
BMO Harris Bank). The Trust was the fourth community foundation ever
created. There are now 750 community foundations in Canada and the U.S.
As our region’s community foundation, the Trust unites generous
donors, committed nonprofits and caring residents to effect lasting
change that moves our entire region forward. Our approach centers on
tackling the region’s immediate needs and addressing the root causes
of deep-seated issues to realize a more prosperous future for all who
call metropolitan Chicago home.
For more than 100 years, donors have entrusted their philanthropic
resources and visions to our stewardship. Guided by our deep knowledge
of the community, we fund, lead, convene and collaborate to address
the greatest and most critical needs facing the Chicago region. From
the $22 million raised to help with unemployment relief in the Great
Depression to spearheading an effort to help people keep their homes
during the foreclosure crisis of the Great Recession to $35 million
raised for the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, which
supported nonprofits serving our most vulnerable neighbors, Chicagoans
have put their trust in us.
In 2019, we announced we would focus our discretionary spending over
the next decade on working to close Chicago’s growing racial and
ethnic wealth gap. The Trust envisions a Chicago region that’s
stronger and more prosperous because everyone—regardless of race,
ethnicity, or zip code—has equitable access to the opportunities and
resources they need to succeed and live a fulfilling life.
With assets of more than $3.7 billion, the Trust, in partnership with
its donors, distributes more than $600 million in grants each year.
The Trust Team seeks to match the passion and commitment of donors,
grant recipients, residents, and community leaders that continue to
work tirelessly to make the Chicago region one where all have the
opportunity to realize their dreams.