Development Associate

Website FreeSpiritChi Free Spirit Media

Media education organization

Free Spirit Media

Job Title: Development Associate

Reports To: Development & Communications Manager

Department: Development & Communications (Development & Communications Manager, Engagement & Digital Communications Coordinator, and Communications Associate)

The Development Associate serves as the primary grantwriter and development record keeper for the organization. The successful candidate will be an innovative strategic thinker with excellent written and verbal communication skills who has the ability to multi-task and adhere to internal and external deadlines. This position requires a team player and self-starter, who can maintain focus, perspective, calm, and attention to detail in a fast-paced, creative, and youth-driven environment.


Institutional Giving Responsibilities:

  • Developing and writing high quality letters of inquiry, proposals, and reports to foundation and corporate partners and prospects
  • Participating in grant-related site visits and helping to steward relationships with program officers
  • Soliciting and stewarding small business and corporate sponsorship
  • Conducting background research on proposal topics, industry news and prospective grantmakers
  • Supporting organizational evaluation efforts by helping to update assessment tools and analyze data and outcomes


Individual Giving Responsibilities:

  • Researching prospective donors and preparing donor profiles
  • Maintaining database of supporters with current contact information, biographies, giving histories, and meeting notes
  • Contributing to donor communications and mailings, such as annual appeal
  • Helping plan and execute fundraising and stewardship events including, but not limited to Founders Circle cultivation receptions and annual FOCUS fundraising event


Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Monitoring the organization’s development email account in addition to staff email account
  • Producing and sending donor acknowledgments and other routine correspondence
  • Managing grants calendar, updating grants template, and tracking results in transparent system accessible by program staff members

Organizational Responsibilities:

  • Implementing three-year Advancement strategic plan with department team
  • Contributing to regular department and all-staff meetings
  • Representing FSM at events as assigned
  • Supporting the organizational communications and external relations efforts as assigned
  • Additional tasks as assigned


Qualifications & Experience:

  • Excellent writing and communication skills with strong research skills, grant writing experience preferred
  • Excellent analytical, organizational, and project management skills
  • Ability to use effective, engaging, and persuasive speech and writing in instruction, presentations, meetings, and site visits
  • Desire to learn and grow professionally
  • Experience working in work settings with diverse groups of people; cultural awareness training preferred
  • Minimum 1 year experience working at a nonprofit organization with a focus on youth development, education, or community development preferred


Work Requirements:

  • This is a full-time position based in North Lawndale, Chicago. Hours may exceed 40 hours a week. Occasional evening and weekend hours required.


Compensation & Benefits:

  • Salary: Competitive and commensurate with education and experience; Range $32,000 – $36,000 Benefits: Competitive package including healthcare, dental, and vision; IRA match after 1 year
  • Paid Time Off: 18 Paid Time Off days accrued during first year in addition to 16 paid holidays
  • Professional development: Funds available to support staff in achieving career objectives


To Apply:

  • Please e-mail resume, cover letter, writing sample and salary request to with subject line: Development Associate Candidate: {Your Name}.


Free Spirit Media is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and equitable environment in which all staff can excel regardless of race, ethnicity, age, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. People of color, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


About Free Spirit Media:

Free Spirit Media provides youth and young adults on Chicago’s South and West sides with a comprehensive foundation in media literacy and hands-on media production experience. Free Spirit Media runs in-school arts education, after school and summer digital media programs, and advanced career pathways programs. Learn more about what we do at

To apply for this job email your details to