Grantmaking Interns (RMF)

About the Communities Program

The Communities Program supports programs and policies that assist Chicago area individuals and families challenged by economic disparities, with a focus on the south and west sides of the city. Support of these efforts are funded through the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and its endowment, as well as through partnerships with sports teams and philanthropic organizations. To maximize grant impact, the Communities Program focuses its resources on programs and policies for children, youth, families and adults in the areas of:

  • Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Jobs and Economic Opportunity

Opportunity: Grantmaking Interns

The Communities Program is looking for two recent college graduates or current graduate students with an understanding of and interest in the sector – specifically philanthropy at the intersection with racial/ethnic equity through community-led, data-informed and systems change strategies addressing the disparities faced across families and communities. Over the course of the internship, Grantmaking Interns will be exposed to a variety of projects associated with the Communities Program’s processes, operations, and strategies within a community networks, place-based and systems-change framework.

Grantmaking Interns will evaluate grant proposal requests; attend site visits at organizations seeking support and make full-team presentations; complete grant write-ups and related research; and build relationships with community-based, cross-sector practitioners and business partners. The ideal candidates are detailed-oriented, creative, and open-minded with excellent communications and evaluation skills. Interns report to the Senior Program Officer, and Program Officer, respectively. This is a full-time, six-month internship beginning in June 2019.

Compensation: $14/hr.


Grant Evaluation and Write-Ups

  • Prepare written evaluations on assigned grant recommendations
  • Train on grants database (Blackbaud GIFTS), grant evaluation templates and related domains
  • Attend grantmaking skills training, as needed, to master grant evaluation process

Site Visits and Staff Presentations

  • Accompany team members on site visits at organizations to review current grant applications and monitor progress/learnings on previously funded programs or initiatives
  • Collaborate with team members to prepare and present relevant data, strengths and challenges, and funding recommendations
  • Support due diligence follow-ups, as needed, to complete data gathering


  • Assist with program-related data gathering in place-based or other target community areas (i.e. assets, disparities, investments, opportunities)
  • Prepare background research briefs on organizations and initiatives of interest for potential funding consideration
  • Assist with research projects that inform grantmaking strategies (i.e. next phases of the Entrepreneurship Initiative or the Suburban Grants Strategy, etc.), including public policy initiatives that connect to our three issue areas
  • Lead or assist staff on work with a Community Networks logic model
  • Design communications and marketing materials for the Communities Program, often in collaboration with the Communications Department (i.e. assist with collateral materials for the website or on place-based, networks and systems change strategies)
  • Keep informed about issues and trends within funding categories, establish contact with local and national organizations working in those areas, and participate in and create relationships with appropriate networks

Building Relationships

  • Assist staff with one of two placed-based initiatives in the Englewood and/or Little Village (South Lawndale) communities, including accompanying staff to related place-based meetings
  • Attend weekly Communities Program staff meetings and other all-staff meetings
  • Meet key leaders, related sector practitioners, and business partner representatives aligned with assigned tasks and projects
  • Attend events and other activities that contribute to the overall effectiveness of the Foundation (i.e. United Way Neighborhood Networks meetings)


  • Recent college graduate or currently enrolled in an accredited graduate degree program in nonprofit management, public policy, journalism, communications, social work (including education, community health, workforce/economic development) or other related fields with a strong interest in community engagement, collective impact and philanthropy
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing and presentation skills and an effective communicator with diverse constituencies in a variety of settings
  • Outstanding project management skills and attention to detail
  • Task-oriented, inquisitive, and thoughtful
  • Adaptability and flexibility in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment with the ability to work independently
  • Excellent computer skills and comfort with MS Office Suite, database experience preferred
  • Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with commitment to deliver results measured against the Foundation’s mission
  • All offers are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and drug screening

To Apply

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter online here.

Cantigny Park and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, individuals with disabilities, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital and housing status.

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