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Grant Writing and Communication Coordinator

College Possible
$52,500.00 / yr
paid time off, 401(k), retirement plan
United States, Illinois, Chicago
December 01, 2023

Grant Writing and Communication Coordinator

College Possible Chicago - (hybrid)

About College Possible: As one of the largest and most successful college access and success programs in the country, since 2000 College Possible has helped more than 80,000 students from under-represented communities get into and through college through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Its pioneering model matches students with a near-peer coach and an evidence-based curriculum designed to help students overcome the most common barriers to getting into college and completing their degree - all at no cost to students or their families. Nationwide, College Possible students are three times more likely to earn a bachelor's degree within six years than their peers from similar backgrounds.

College Possible is a proud AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps is a federal agency that brings people together to tackle the country's most pressing challenges through national service. Our AmeriCorps members commit to a year of service as a College Possible coach in communities throughout the country. Many coaches represent the identities of the students they serve, and each brings a commitment to social justice and closing the college equity divide.

Our near-peer coaching model has earned national recognition: the inaugural Evergreen National Education Award recognized our leadership in increasing access to and success in college for students from low-income backgrounds. It also earns top-of-field results: a Harvard study found that the program more than doubles a student's chance of enrolling in a four-year college, and our students are four times more likely to become college graduates than their low-income peers. College Possible has an annual operating budget of $33 million, more than 200 full-time employees and more than 300 AmeriCorps and VISTA service members. During the 2021-2022 school year, we reached an estimated 24,000 students nationwide. During the 2021-2022 school year, we reached an estimated 24,000 students nationwide.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

College Possible is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks to build a diverse workforce to create impact in partnership with the communities we serve. We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants. For each of its positions, College Possible is mindful about what best serves our students, and seeks to hire staff with relevant experience, skills and aptitude, and a commitment to the power of education. To learn more, read our .

Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible operates: regional sites in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA; College Forward in Austin, TX; and Catalyze partnerships in California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee. Learn more at .

Equal Opportunity Employer

College Possible is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals and conduct all possible activities in fully accessible settings.

Your role as Grant Writing and Communications Coordinator

We are seeking a creative and energetic individual to be our Grant Writing and Communications Coordinator at College Possible Chicago. The position is responsible for leadership of the site's grants as well as general communications duties to consistently articulate College Possible's mission.

The position leads the research, writing, and submission of grant proposals, Letters of Intent, grant reports, and other materials or correspondence needed to support fundraising and outreach goals. The position will also support the operational functions of development, working closely with the Chicago development team and the national external relations team in a matrixed environment to customize the design, messaging and strategy for Chicago constituencies and achieve the site's fundraising and communication goals.

The ideal candidate will be strategic, detail-oriented and able to organize and prioritize deadline-driven projects as well as be an effective storyteller. This position reports directly to the Development Director and works very closely with the Senior Growth & Development Officer and Executive Director.

Grant proposal and report writing (50%)

  • Research and identify funding opportunities.
  • Write and submit grants and funding requests with quality, timeliness, and attention to detail, and ensure accurate and timely grant reporting and evaluation.
  • Develop/maintain grants calendar to track deadlines, communication, and reporting.
  • Assist with establishing goals for grant development, submissions, and revenue.
  • Ensure that donor communications and follow up are timely and accurate.
  • Develop detailed understanding of College Possible Chicago's program and glean information from a wide range of sources to weave a compelling narrative and case for support through grant proposals.
  • Help identify needs within the organization that can be presented to potential funders (individual and institutional).

Marketing/Communications (25%)

  • Create and coordinate cross-department collaboration to ensure consistent mission focused messaging that is audience-centered and relevant.
  • Responsible for content development and strategy - informed by engagement tracking and measurements - for communication vehicles including website, e-communications and social media.
  • Manage development, customization, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including newsletters, brochures, e-communications, and the College Possible Chicago website.
  • Collaborate with the development team in creation and implementation of individual donor strategies, including writing and designing direct mail appeals and donor communications.
  • Source and write student impact stories to elevate organization mission to College Possible audiences as well as potentially pitch to external news outlets.
  • Provide support to program team with marketing and communications needs.
  • Manage development and communications calendar to strategically integrate messaging to listserv, individuals, institutions and social media followers.

Development Operations (25%)

  • Support individual giving program through direct mail campaigns, online giving programs and individual prospecting.
  • Support planning and execution of annual fundraising events.
  • Work closely with national office to process and acknowledge all local gifts.
  • Maintain and manage donor records in Salesforce database and shared files including grant tracking and reporting.
  • Collaborate with local and national finance and development teams to gather information necessary to report to all funders on grants and programs.

Other duties as assigned

What You Bring


  • Bachelor's degree in Communications, Marketing, Journalism, Nonprofit Management, or related field required.

Related Work Experience:

  • Two to four years of experience in development, communications, marketing, donor relations or related field.
  • Proven copywriting and editing acumen.
  • A strong track record of managing multiple projects and deadlines concurrently.
  • Experience with a variety of communications channels including multimedia.
  • Experience developing and implementing communications strategies a plus.

Computer/Software Skills:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite required.
  • Experience with Salesforce fundraising, Salesforce marketing cloud, CRM and email marketing preferred.
  • Experience with InDesign a plus.

Other Skills, Abilities and Requirements:

  • Problem solving, comfortable working in fast-paced work environment.
  • Relationship builder with the flexibility and sensitivity to balance the perspectives of others.
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, volunteers, donors, program participants and other supporters.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to lift up to 15 pounds when needed.
  • Office environment with limited travel.
  • Ability to stand and/or sit for a minimum of 7 hours a day.

What We Offer

In addition to joining a committed, diverse, values-based organization, we offer:

  • An opportunity for you to have a tremendous impact both internally and in the broader country.
  • a competitive salary commensurate with experience.
  • excellent benefits including complete health, dental, life, short-term and long-term insurance.
  • 401(k) retirement plan.
  • Encouraged sustainability through a generous paid time off program.
  • Professional development and growth opportunities.

To Join Our Growing College Possible Team

Please apply at: Include a resume and cover letter.