Communications Manager - A Better Chicago


A Better Chicago is a venture philanthropy fund devoted to dramatically improving educational opportunities for low-income students. The organization invests in a select portfolio of high performing nonprofits that are putting low-income students on a path toward high school and college success.

Current Challenge and A Better Chicago's Solution:

Despite decades of reform efforts, only 14% of Chicago Public School freshmen are graduating from college by the age of 25.

In response, A Better Chicago is harnessing best practices from the private sector to find, fund and scale a portfolio of high-performing nonprofit organizations that puts low-income students on a path to high school and college success. Through a combination of funding and management support, A Better Chicago is providing Chicago's most effective nonprofits with the financial and intellectual capital to thrive.

Key Elements of A Better Chicago's Model Include:

Rigorous due diligence: A Better Chicago carefully screens organizations and only funds those that have strong leadership, a compelling program model and a demonstrated commitment to outcomes measurement

Add value: It takes more than just money. A Better Chicago provides assistance in areas like strategic planning, executive search and leadership development— all of which are critical to building strong organizations and achieving meaningful outcomes

Results: A Better Chicago's team works tirelessly so that every dollar raised has the maximum possible impact. The organization openly shares its performance because it believes in accountability. It's part of how A Better Chicago is transforming philanthropy

100% impact: A Better Chicago's board of directors and leadership council cover all of the organization's operating expenses, so 100% of donations are invested in high-performing organizations

Since Launching in 2010, A Better Chicago has:

  • Raised $20 million to invest in Chicago's most effective education nonprofits: Built a founding board, leadership council and staff
  • Reviewed 450+ organizations and built a portfolio of 11 high-performing organizations
  • Developed partnerships with leading professional services firms to help its grantees tackle their most pressing strategic and operational challenges

Looking Forward:

In 2015, A Better Chicago launched a bold plan to transform educational opportunities for low-income students. By 2025 it will:

  • Grow its portfolio to approximately 25 grantees
  • Invest significant financial and intellectual capital in our grantees to help them increase their service capacity by a combined 80,000 students
  • Achieve a 60% college graduation rate for its portfolio, compared to Chicago Public Schools' current rate of 14%

For more information, please visit:


A Better Chicago seeks an exceptional Communications Manager to lead the planning and execution of the organization’s communications strategy. The person who fills this role will demonstrate passion for our mission to improve educational opportunities for low-income youth and aspires to leverage her/his skills towards this purpose. The Communications Manager will be an outstanding storyteller with excellent written and oral communications skills who creates engaging narratives that provoke thought and inspire action. She/he will be a strategic thinker who understands how the marketing strategy fits into the overall goals of the organization and will build thoughtful communications plans to realize the strategy. Finally, the Communications Manager will be a skillful collaborator who works exceptionally well with internal and external stakeholders and partners.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

o Strategy and planning

  • Collaborate with marketing team and other colleagues to develop a marketing strategy that will enable A Better Chicago to achieve its business objectives
  • Develop an integrated strategic communications plan to support A Better Chicago’s marketing strategy, which should include: Analysis of A Better Chicago’s current communications efforts and assets; Communications objectives, metrics and targets; Strategies to engage each stakeholder segment; Editorial calendar; Resources required to successfully execute plan
  • Ensure that A Better Chicago’s staff and key stakeholders (e.g. board, vendors) understand the communications plan
  • Collaborate with marketing team to develop annual marketing budget

o Execution

  • Develop and manage editorial calendar; ensure internal and external stakeholders are kept apprised of changes
  • Develop compelling content aligned with marketing strategy and the A Better Chicago brand: Identify compelling story ideas and conduct research through data analysis, input from colleagues and interviews with staff, board members, donors, grantees, experts and partners; Draft and edit content that is customized for each target segment and communications channel, such as e-mail, blogs, video, social media, press release, etc.
  • Strategically disseminate A Better Chicago content to target audiences via owned, earned and paid media, events and press coverage
  • Manage the development, improvement and maintenance of all digital and print communications assets
  • Manage relationship with design, PR and advertising agencies
  • Support Head of Marketing in managing the marketing budget
  • Assist with preparation of talking points, speeches, presentations and other supporting material as needed
  • Represent and assist A Better Chicago at events, conferences and other meetings as necessary

REPORTS TO: Managing Director + Head of Marketing


A Better Chicago is considering candidates with the following qualifications:

  • Passion for A Better Chicago’s mission and core values
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or a related field; advanced degree a plus
  • 5+ years of experience in communications, journalism or marketing
  • Outstanding writer and storyteller with the ability to adapt tone and style to best engage and influence various audiences
  • Strong understanding of how to strategically and creatively package and disseminate content to achieve communications objectives
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; the ability to quickly build trust with key internal and external stakeholders
  • Superior attention to detail, including outstanding copy editing and proofreading skills to maintain and strengthen the A Better Chicago brand
  • Strong ability to prioritize, adapt as necessary, and track and manage workflow, with consistent demonstrated ability to meet goals and deadlines 
  • Has enormous respect for A Better Chicago’s donors, partners and grantees
  • Basic graphic design skills preferred
  • Knowledge of nonprofit or education sector a plus

COMPENSATION: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. A Better Chicago offers an excellent benefits package.




REFERRAL AWARD: A referral award of $1,500 will be given to the individual who refers the candidate who fills this role. 

A Better Chicago is an equal opportunity employer.


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