Join Our Team

At the Trust, we believe it is our privilege to work on behalf of the Chicago region and the people who call it home. Our guiding light is service to our community, our donors, and our nonprofit partners – and we aim to be better and do better with every step we take.

Program Manager, Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment

  • Job Tracking ID: 512298-817166
  • Job Location: Chicago, IL
  • Level of Education: Any
  • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
  • Date Updated: April 28, 2022
  • 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, a body of work that is critical to the Trust achieving its 10-year goal to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region. The focus areas of the position are physical planning, placemaking, and organizational development at the neighborhood level. A prominent feature of this role is working closely with community-based organizations to build their capacity for greater impact.

In 2020, the Trust began implementation of its Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy. Working at the organizational and institutional levels, the strategy supports majority Black and Latinx communities in their efforts to attract, retain and own local investments. The strategy is organized around three themes: Build the Foundation, Take Collective Action, Change Systems. Embedded within these themes are eight discrete neighborhood investment priorities: flexible funding for community organizations, leadership development, backbone supports for collaborations, place-based planning, asset-based development, finance innovation, private capital pathways, and policy solutions. Together, the themes and priorities create the enabling environment for neighborhood investment.

The Program Manager will use the tools, resources, and relationships of The Chicago Community Trust, and specifically the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment team, to advance the strategy. The job entails internal and external partnerships, thought leadership, innovation, field building, community knowledge, and grantmaking. The Program Manager will join a creative and highly collaborative team led by the Trust’s Senior Director in Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment.

Position Responsibilities

  • Develop, lead, and manage the physical planning, placemaking, and organizational development priorities of the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy.
  • Advance work that is complementary to the real estate development, development finance and policy priorities of the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy led by a different Program Manager on the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment team.
  • Work with community-based organizations, individually and in cohorts, on capacity-building needs and neighborhood investment solutions.
  • Integrate Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment objectives with objectives from the Trust’s other strategy teams (e.g., Growing Household Wealth) and programmatic affiliates (e.g., Elevated Chicago, Community Desk Chicago).
  • Cultivate internal and external relationships to advance the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy.
  • Lead and manage catalytic and strategic grantmaking.
  • Cultivate funding opportunities with Trust donors and other philanthropic sources.
  • Identify, lead, and manage research opportunities.
  • Refine, track and report on outcomes and measures for physical planning, placemaking, and organizational development priorities.
  • 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:

Position Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience and background in urban planning and community development. Knowledge of the built environment is a must. Experience with real estate development and development finance a plus. Master's degree preferred but we welcome all candidates regardless of education background.
  • Understanding of the role community-based organizations play in catalyzing neighborhood investment. Experience with organizational development and change management a plus.
  • Understanding of the community development ecosystem in Chicago and the region, including how different types of community-based organizations plan, prioritize, and implement solutions and measure progress.
  • 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.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and build relationships across the Trust’s internal strategies and externally across organizations, geographies, and sectors. Working collaboratively with community-based interests is required.
  • 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.
  • Minimum of 5 years of related work experience; 7 years is preferred.

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.

The 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.

Our Culture

Equity is core to who we are, the decisions we make, and the actions we take. We strive every day to foster an environment that ensures the inclusion of diverse perspectives and ideas. As the Chicago region’s community foundation, we believe that it’s important that we reflect and serve the breadth and diversity of our community as we work to achieve our mission of a thriving, equitable, and connected Chicago region.

Working at the Trust

Our Well-Being

Compensation Philosophy: The Chicago Community Trust is committed to providing a fair, consistent, and competitive staff compensation program that will attract, develop, and retain high-performing employees at all levels. The Trust’s program is designed to encourage and reward employees for leveraging their skills, abilities, and performance toward the attainment of individual, team, and organizational goals. 

Benefits: The Trust offers a competitive benefits package: including medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability, retirement planning, and employer paid Life and AD&D. The Trust also offers sick, vacation, personal days and paid holidays, as well as several types of paid and unpaid leaves (including paid parental leave) for our team members. 

Our Investment in Ourselves

Professional Development: Our success is a result of our people. We believe in fostering a culture of continuous learning to help colleagues be successful in their current role and future opportunities.

Wellness Program: We believe in a healthy life/work balance and offer a hybrid work model of 3 days in-office/2 days remote, a fitness center located on our floor, and 24-hour access to employee assistance (EAP) counselors for you and any member of your family. 

Commitment to DEI

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.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Our Strategic Plan

The Trust brings together generous donors, committed organizations, and caring residents to effect lasting change that makes our region better for all. We’ve made a 10-year commitment to closing Chicago’s racial and ethnic wealth gap.

Our Work