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Communications Manager, Chicago Lights

Coordinate a comprehensive communications program to dynamically raise awareness of Chicago Lights activities and to support fundraising efforts for the organization

The Chicago Lights Communications Manager is responsible for the development, coordination, and execution of strategic communications to enhance the image and reputation of Chicago Lights, particularly in the areas of attracting volunteers, supporters, and donors. The Chicago Lights Communications Manager collaborates with the Executive Director of Chicago Lights, Program Directors, the Associate Director of Development, and the Director of Communications for Fourth Presbyterian Church to ensure strategic communications efforts are executed in alignment with the organizations’ broader strategic goals.

Primary Responsibilities

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Chicago Lights Communications Manager will coordinate a comprehensive communications program that consistently and dynamically raises awareness of Chicago Lights activities and supports fundraising efforts for the organization, including both internal and external outreach efforts. Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

Communications Strategy

  • Set goals and determine communication activities that will enhance awareness of Chicago Lights.
  • Create, manage, and update a calendar that demonstrates Chicago Lights’ yearly communication strategy, including monthly, weekly, and daily messages to the Chicago Lights audience about program activities and events.
  • Stay current on program happenings to ensure that appropriate and engaging information is shared, maintaining a balance between the five Chicago Lights programs.
  • Develop and manage the strategy for providing clear communication to internal stakeholders, including but not limited to submitting information for the Fourth Presbyterian Church bulletin and weekly e-news.

Digital Communications

  • Oversee the production of email marketing: generate themes and story ideas, manage the schedule, provide assignment to freelance writer/editor, and edit content prior to leadership review.
  • Collaborate with key staff to develop a strategic timeline for social media posts to ensure maximum visibility.
  • Manage Chicago Lights social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and respond to social media requests in a timely fashion, ensuring that Chicago Lights posts are accurate and include the latest news, links, and photos to remain fresh and engaging.
  • Analyze activity to provide insight into efforts.

Website

  • Manage the Chicago Lights website, ensuring that content is updated regularly.
  • Work with Fourth Presbyterian Church Director of Communications to ensure that regularly updated and accurate information about Chicago Lights programs, events, and fundraising activities appear on appropriate portions of the Fourth Church website.
  • Maintain the relationship with web developer and host, and consult as needed for expansions of or fixes to website function. Process all related payments and manage related budget lines.

Print Materials

  • Develop design concept, create, write, and manage production of all print materials, including all-purpose brochures, fact sheets, annual report, letterhead, business cards, signage, flyers, etc.
  • Contract with internal or external designers and printers as necessary, managing the project and related budget lines.
  • Provide updates to acknowledgement letters, quarterly or as needed, ensuring that they convey gratitude and programmatic information to further cultivate relationships with Chicago Lights donors.

Photography and Video

  • Collaborate with Chicago Lights Program Directors, Resource Development, and Chicago Lights Executive Director to determine the best Chicago Lights photo and video opportunities.
  • Ensure a broad and timely photo and video gallery for Chicago Lights to support effective communications, taking photos and video at programs and events as needed or managing the hiring of an external photographer or videographer as needed.
  • Maintain accessible and organized catalog of photos and video from Chicago Lights events and program activities.
  • Provide basic photo and video editing as needed.

PR/Media Relations

  • Serve as the media contact for Chicago Lights, developing relationships with media outlets and working to maximize exposure for the organization and its sponsors.
  • Coordinate efforts to develop media interest in Chicago Lights. Identify and prepare story ideas, pitch story ideas, and issue media advisories and press releases as needed.
  • Prepare press kits as needed.
  • Serve as liaison to media relations agency, working collaboratively to develop media pitches and support media efforts.

Fundraising Communications

  • Work collaboratively with the Resource Development team to execute all Chicago Lights fundraising event communications, including quarterly appeals and events.
  • Manage all communications for appeals, including developing content and design for mailed letter and email communications to donors.
  • Manage all communications for fundraising events, including invitations, signage, program books, photography, videos, digital communications, social media, etc.
  • Provide communications support to the Chicago Lights Associates Board as needed.

General

  • Provide communications support to the Chicago Lights Program Directors as needed.
  • Monitor consistent use of approved branding style guide in all communications, using an asset-based, person-first lens and uphold Chicago Lights’ values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Report regularly to key stakeholders on progress and project status.
  • Stay familiar with the programs of Chicago Lights and Fourth Church. Actively seek program updates and develop relationships with internal staff/constituents.
  • Use the S.P.I.R.I.T. principles of hospitality when interacting with visitors, guests, members, and staff of Fourth Presbyterian Church and Chicago Lights.
  • Attend staff meetings as required.
  • Other duties as assigned

    Qualifications

    • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably with a major in marketing, communications, or English
    • 3-5 years’ work experience, with a background in communications, marketing, or public relations at social impact organizations preferred.
    • Excellent writing, editing, organizational, conceptual, and creative skills; photography and video skills a plus
    • Experience and comfort working in complex, multi-layered organizations preferred
    • Outstanding project management skills with proven experience in managing multiple projects simultaneously with demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and work at a fast pace
    • Strong ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as part of a team
    • Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; experience with Constant Contact (or other web-based email system), WordPress, and Adobe CC highly desired
    • Comfort working in a multicultural, faith-based environment
    • Strong work ethic and judgment, apparent collaboration skills, and a commitment to Chicago Lights’ mission
    • Commitment to racial equity and social justice: Recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in shaping disparities, and work toward amplifying community voices to advocate for equity. Recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome, reflect on, and act on feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about race, ability, and other lines of difference.
    • Collaborative leader with a management style that regularly includes others in decision-making

    Schedule

    40 hours per week
    Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

    Compensation

    This is a full-time position with a salary range of $45,000-$50,000 and includes our robust benefits package:

    • Medical (church pays 85% of employee monthly premium and 75% of eligible dependents)
    • Optional dental and vision plans
    • Generous PTO plus eleven holidays
    • 403b retirement plans (employer contributions after one year of employment)
    • FSA for unreimbursed medical and dependent daycare expenses
    • Mass transit and commuter parking benefits
    • Life and short-term disability insurances, optional life insurance and long-term disability plans

    Apply

    Please send cover letters and resumes to jobs@fourthchurch.org. No phone calls, please.

    Fourth Presbyterian Church and Chicago Lights are committed to equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons, without regard to race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status or familial status, veteran status, military status, source of income, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.