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, Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment

  • Job Tracking ID: 512298-798392
  • Job Location: Chicago, IL
  • Level of Education: Any
  • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
  • Date Updated: November 18, 2021
  • Starting Date: ASAP
  • Application Deadline: Until filled

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Job Description:

The Chicago Community Trust is hiring a Program Manager for its Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy. Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment is one of the Trust’s strategies designed explicitly for achieving a 10-year goal to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap. The focus areas of the Program Manager position are real estate development, development finance and neighborhood investment public policy.

In 2020, the Trust launched the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy. Working at the organizational and institutional levels, the strategy builds the capacity of majority Black and Latinx communities to attract, retain and own local investments. The strategy is organized around three themes - Build the Foundation, Take Collective Action, Change Systems - and includes eight "interventions" representing discrete components of the neighborhood investment ecosystem. Together, these interventions create an enabling environment for investment - particularly, private investment. The strategy places strong emphasis on improving the physical conditions of communities through built environment solutions.

The Program Manager will use the tools, resources, and relationships of The Chicago Community Trust, and specifically the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment team, to make it easier for majority Black and Latinx communities to develop their districts, corridors, and blocks in a manner that algins with place-based plans and builds community wealth. Important aspects of the job are internal and external collaboration, thought leadership, field building, community partnerships, and grantmaking. The Program Manager will be a part of a highly collaborative team led by the Trust’s Senior Director in Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment.

Position Responsibilities

  • Develop, lead and manage projects and initiatives that align with real estate development, development finance and neighborhood investment policy objectives of the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy.
  • Cultivate internal and external relationships to advance the strategy, including working with and through the Trust’s other strategy teams and programmatic affiliates (i.e., Community Desk Chicago, Elevated Chicago, 3C Chicago).
  • Lead and manage catalytic and strategic grantmaking for built environment solutions.
  • Cultivate funding opportunities with Trust donors and other philanthropic sources to support built environment solutions.
  • Work with Trust Policy team to develop and implement a policy agenda for neighborhood investment strategy.
  • Identify, lead and manage research opportunities for built environment solutions.
  • Refine, track and report on outcomes and measures for real estate, development finance and policy interventions.
  • Hire and manage vendors, including consultants and interns.
  • Manage and track strategy budget.
  • Conduct other duties as assigned by the Senior Director.

Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience and background in real estate development, business finance, economics, urban planning with a specialization in development finance, or related field. Master's degree preferred but welcome all candidates regardless of education background.
  • Minimum of 5 years of related work experience; 7 years is preferred.
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to the Trust’s goal of closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap; Understanding of racial equity practices and frameworks is required.
  • Understanding of the real estate development ecosystem, including project financing and deal flow; Knowledge about the role of private capital is required.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and build relationships across the Trust’s internal strategies and externally across organizations, geographies, and sectors.
  • Ability to build relationships and speak proficiently about the real estate development ecosystem with developers, financial institutions, aligned philanthropies, traditional investors, and impact investors; Strong quantitative skill set is important.
  • Ability to manage complex problems and generate enthusiasm for proposed solutions; Coordination skills are paramount to success in this role.
  • 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 support the priorities of many stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and comfort with cross-cultural communication; Excellent written and oral communication skills are required.
  • Knowledge of the Chicago region, including its people, cultures, communities, and economy.
  • Propensity for self-starting and approaching the role in the spirit of creativity and growth.

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 if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are fundamental to achieving our impact

The Chicago Community Trust’s vision is a Chicago region where equity, opportunity, and prosperity abound. We acknowledge the specific role discrimination and systemic barriers based on race, ethnicity, and other varied identities and differences have played in limiting opportunities for too many. A commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is at the core of who we are, the decisions we make, and the actions we take in our work to strengthen the communities we serve and advance our strategic focus to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap. Click here to learn more about our strategic plan.

History of 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 Canada and the US.

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.

The Trust is also changing the way we operate from a traditional grantmaker to a transformative changemaker. As such, all aspects of the organization are moving towards advancing change through a range of approaches, including supporting programs, conducting and analyzing research, driving collaboration, engaging funders, advancing policy, and moving markets and investments towards social change. This work is grounded in principles of equity and informed by individuals disproportionately impacted by systemic racism.