Communications Manager


1276 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622




Jul 08, 2020

Position Description, Summer 2020
Full Time, 40 Hours per Week


826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. More information can be found at

826CHI is a creative organization that highly values collaboration, creative, and strategic thinking. Our work is grounded in goals set by our strategic plan and put into motion through collaboration. At 826CHI, we take both pride and joy in our work and operate with a high degree of professionalism. Staff members work both independently and as part of a team. Our model is inherently community-based and responds to the history, dynamics, and culture of Chicago.

Commitment to Inclusion
As an organization committed to encouraging youth in their creative expression, personal growth, and academic success, 826CHI recognizes the importance of diversity at all levels and in all aspects of our work. In order to build and maintain the safe, supportive 826 environment in which great leaps in learning occur, we commit to inclusion: We will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, English fluency, parental status, military service or disability. We strive to put our values into action through planning, decision making, and community building.


The Role
The Communications Manager supports the development and execution of the 826CHI’s strategy for all communications. Working in collaboration with staff, interns, and skilled volunteers, this role is responsible for the co-development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of communications, marketing, and public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization. Additionally, the Communications Manager is an ambassador for 826CHI, building authentic relationships on behalf of the organization. The overarching goal of this position is to advance 826CHI’s visibility to new and existing audiences and to boost financial resources that support youth programs.

Key Responsibilities
826CHI is looking for an enthusiastic, committed individual who is excited to join a hard-working, mission-driven team that has a passion for expanding access to creative youth development in Chicago. This is a 40 hour a week, non-exempt position.

Sets and executes 826CHI’s Communications Strategy

Strategy and Planning (40%)
- In partnership with the Director of Development, develop an measurable, multi-year communications plan, with defined segments, that synthesizes all areas of 826CHI’s work –fundraising, store, volunteers, programs, and leadership – for external messaging.
- Manage a VISTA Communications Associate, design interns, volunteer design and communication cohorts, in order to coordinate the execution of the communications plan.
- Oversee the creation of an editorial calendar that addresses 826CHI’s social media and mass messaging needs on, MailChimp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.
- Build relationships with contacts in traditional and digital media communities across Chicago - TV, print news, radio, blogs, podcasts, etc.
- Develop critical values-based and mission-aligned content to distribute through diverse media channels.
- Train and supervise communications interns.
- Stay apprised of industry best practices and bring a spirit of innovation and creativity to the team

Public Relations and External Outreach (20%)
- In partnership with the Executive Director, serve as a spokesperson and point person on media interactions that help promote 826CHI’s mission, vision, and work with youth.
- Work with the Development Director to plan and execute 826CHI communications strategy for small and large scale fundraising events.
- Build relationships with local experts, media outlets, and prospective partners that will help amplify 826CHI’s mission
- Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities; prepare talking points, presentations and other supporting material as needed.

Brand Management (15%)
- Monitor and develop strategies to continually improve the organization’s brand and reputation.
- Work in partnership with the Publications Coordinator and Design Cohort to create marketing collateral.
- Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions.

Resource Management (20%)
- Collaborate with 826CHI’s volunteer cohorts (design, A/V, etc.) to support 826CHI graphic design needs
- Work with Volunteer Manager to bolster cohorts membership, output, and recognition of service to the organization
- Work cross-departmentally to build systems that support meeting organizational goals for community events, programs, and volunteers
- Work with Director of Development to align marketing budget with organizational goals

Additional Responsibilities (5% of role):
- Provide documentation and anecdotes for the Development Team and communications staff to share with donor audiences
- Support other programs as needed
- Support fundraising projects as needed
- Travel to annual staff development conference

The Communications Manager reports to the Director of Development, and is a member of the Development team. This position oversees interns and volunteers.

Reporting and Compensation
This is an exempt, full-time position that reports to the Director of Development.
Salary offer begins at $45,000 and is commensurate with experience.
We offer a compensation package that includes 99% employer paid health premiums and 75% employer paid vision and dental premiums, employer-matched 401(k) retirement account, and generous paid time off, staff-wide professional development opportunities, and supportive staff culture.



  • Experience developing and managing comprehensive strategic communications
  • Experience working with youth in a community setting
  • Experience coordinating volunteers
  • Creative and thoughtful on how new media technologies can be utilized
  • Ability to work with culturally diverse staff and populations and a variety of stakeholder audiences.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Ability to think innovatively and translate strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • Detail oriented and highly organized
  • Proficient with social media applications, mass communication tools, and Google Drive.
  • Analytical and able to multitask



Experience Level

None Specified

More Information