Employment - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Employment

MPC is currently accepting applications for a Vice President for Philanthropy, an Associate, an Executive Assistant and for Research Assistants. In addition, we offer two paid fellowships, The Allard and Wayfinding Fellowships (details below). We are currently seeking candidates for the Allard Fellowship.

  • Applications and nominations for the Allard Fellowship are due March 31 (for a May 1-October 31 fellowship period) and September 30 (for a November 1-April 30 fellowship period). While there are two application cycles, please note there will only be one Allard Fellow selected in any calendar year, and only current or former Research Assistants are eligible. 

Vice President for Philanthropy

The Opportunity

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), a Chicago based non-profit, seeks a highly skilled Vice President for Philanthropy to maintain and cultivate valued relationships with individuals, businesses and communities who together invest in MPC’s effort to make the Chicago region more sustainable and prosperous.

Position Overview:

Staffing and properly capitalizing the development team is a high priority for MPC. The VP for Philanthropy would be responsible for the oversight, execution, and growth of a comprehensive development plan. A Development Associate and an Administrative Assistant support the VP for Philanthropy. The VP for Finance and Administration also commits 20% of his time in support of the development goals.

As part of MPC’s executive team, the VP for Philanthropy contributes to the development of organization wide strategies and direction and ensures development objectives are aligned with MPC’s strategic plan. This position reports directly to MPC’s President.

MPC is largely privately funded with approximately 40% of its annual budget from foundations, 40% from corporations and the remainder from endowment earnings individuals, and the occasional modest government grant. MPC is a financially robust organization that enjoys a $10 million endowment. In addition, a popular annual luncheon grossed $805,000 in 2015.

MPC looks to its VP for Philanthropy to engage board and staff in identifying, cultivating and maintaining donors. This includes encouraging and facilitating board members’ efforts to share their passion for the work of MPC with others and engaging program staff in conversations with donors and prospects.

Over the next five years, MPC seeks to steadily grow its annual operating budget –ambitious and sustainable financial growth that remains out ahead of MPC’s equally ambitious programmatic agenda. In reaching this goal, it is expected that the development strategy would focus on creative efforts to increase corporate support and support from new, current and lapsed foundations. Increasing annual and planned gifts from individuals is also a promising area for advancement. Organizational expectations include a recently established $25,000 annual minimum ‘give or get’ aspiration for each board member.

The successful candidate will be a dynamic extrovert, passionate about being a part of a highly motivated team working to create a competitive, equitable and sustainable metropolitan Chicago. S/he will have demonstrated experience leading fundraising efforts and confidence in soliciting gifts from a diverse set of donors. S/he must be independent, a strategic thinker, highly organized and personable, comfortable with public speaking, and possess excellent written communication skills.

Key Responsibilities:

STRATEGIC PLANNING, IMPLEMENTAION AND TRACKING

  • In partnership with the President, Executive VP and VP of Finance and Administration and other senior staff, contribute to the development of MPC’s strategic plan, and remain versed in MPC program areas and projects to identify funding sources and trends that will help position the organization and build new funder relationships
  • Create and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan that includes individual, foundation, corporate, planned gifts, and special event contributions
  • Track and evaluate all fund development activities and provide regular reports to the President, Board of Governors, and senior staff advising on areas of concern and providing strategies to accomplish goals
  • Prepare annual development budget and revenue projections and track throughout the year in collaboration with President and VP of Finance and Administration
  • Prepare and staff the President to optimize her time and talents in meeting development objectives

DEVELOPMENT STAFF OVERSIGHT AND PROGRAM STAFF ENGAGEMENT

  • Build, supervise and support a creative, energetic and high-performing development team of staff (both direct reports and others) and interns in carrying out the strategic development objectives
  • Work closely with MPC’s staff to understand and support program needs and identify fundraising opportunities
  • Build staff’s capacity to identify and assist with strategic development opportunities

BOARD SUPPORT AND ENGAGEMENT

  • In partnership with the President, enhance Board engagement in donor identification, cultivation and fundraising activities
  • Prepare and present regular updates to the board on development efforts

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • BA/BS degree required, advanced degree preferred, Certified Fund Raising Executive certification a plus
  • 6+years of development, fundraising, executive-level non-profit management, or related experience with demonstrated experience in annual fundraising in addition to experience in all aspects of donor development, including planned giving, major gifts, corporate and foundation giving with a proven track record of donor identification and solicitation success
  • Familiarity and experience with the Chicago philanthropic community
  • Strong analytical, strategic thinking and management skills, including an understanding of nonprofit financial statements
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills and ability to make compelling public presentations
  • Experience managing complex programs and balancing multiple priorities effectively
  • Experience with donor database and fundraising software a plus

Search and application Proces:

The search process will reinforce MPC’s belief in the diversity of people and ideas.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so interested parties are encouraged to apply early. Applications must include:

1) a cover letter that speaks to the ideal qualities and skills outlined in this position description;

2) a resume.

Applications should be sent to MPCphilanthropy@gmail.com with the subject line containing only the applicant’s name.


Associate

The Opportunity

MPC is hiring a full-time associate to support the current and future projects that deepen the organization’s housing and community development impact. MPC is seeking a highly motivated individual with a background in affordable housing development and policy, community development and/or urban planning. Strong relationship, project management, policy development and facilitation skills are essential. This individual will support MPC’s two-year study on the cost of economic isolation and be a part of developing new and innovative community development initiatives.      

The position will report to MPC’s director for these programs and projects, Marisa Novara

The Position

Primary responsibilities:

  • Managing outreach for the Cost of Economic Isolation, a 20-month study in partnership with the Urban Institute. The position will coordinate across 30+ local and national policy advisors to develop strategies and policies. In addition, this individual will assist in producing three products over the course of the study and will:
    • Conduct research that informs Urban’s work as well as policy advisors.
    • Work with MPC’s communications team to write about and share materials with a variety of audiences, including elected officials and the media.
    • Translate lessons learned into policy reform recommendations, to be communicated through original reports, policy briefings and dialogue with elected officials.

Duties also will include:

  • Engaging external partners such as the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, HUD and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning in ongoing and new policies and projects.
  • Assisting with community-based planning efforts for Transit-Oriented Development through the Corridor Development Initiative, in which community members work with a team of development professionals to create specific, financeable proposals.
  • Coordinating public roundtable events and workshops to further MPC’s initiatives.

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The ideal candidate holds a master's degree in Public Policy, Urban Planning or other relevant field, and has at least three years of relevant work experience. For a more experienced candidate, we will consider restructuring the role as a Manager.

A qualified candidate:

  • is a creative thinker able to help build MPC’s housing and community development work and integrate it with other emerging MPC initiatives;
  • is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle concurrent tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
  • is able to communicate directly and work collaboratively with staff colleagues and external partners;
  • is passionate about the body of issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission;
  • enjoys a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating workplace;
  • is an excellent writer and an articulate speaker in a range of settings;
  • is both entrepreneurial and executes skillfully on assigned work;
  • has a working knowledge of relevant actors and institutions in the Chicago region; and
  • has experience communicating complex ideas to a diverse, public audience.

Since 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has been dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail or mail:

  1. A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job description 
  2. Your résumé and salary history
  3. A brief writing sample 
  4. Three references

Angelina Leyva
Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
aleyva@metroplanning.org

No phone calls please.  For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org. MPC is an equal opportunity employer.


Executive Assistant

The Opportunity

MPC seeks a detail-minded Executive Assistant who possesses enthusiasm for the Council’s agenda and an eagerness to assist our leaders in furthering our mission. The Executive Assistant provides administrative, programmatic and organizational support and reports directly to the President and Executive Vice President.

The Position

The Executive Assistant is responsible for:

  • scheduling, coordinating, and handling meeting preparation and follow-up and occasional travel arrangements for meetings of the President and Executive Vice President;
  • coordinating Board and Executive Committee meetings, including drafting agendas and correspondence, communicating needs and deadlines to relevant staff member and preparing meeting minutes;
  • managing logistics for board meetings, committee meetings, roundtables and other events;
  • daily monitoring of and handling responses to emails directed to the President and initiating social media posts;
  • researching, drafting and producing memos, correspondence and blog posts for a diverse set of clients and constituents;
  • fielding phone calls and emails, managing mass mailings, assisting with hospitality needs in common office spaces and other general administrative tasks;
  • providing program support to the transportation and regional investments teams;
  • facilitating internal communication between program, communications and development staff and the President and Executive Vice President; and
  • updating MPC’s Raiser’s Edge constituent database and mailing lists.

MPC is looking for an intelligent, highly organized, personable individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The preferred candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and at least 2 years of work experience. Prior administrative experience and policy interest/experience is strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will have the following core competencies of highly successful MPC employees:

  • Entrepreneurial: a self-starter, able to proactively identify, prioritize and complete tasks, handle multiple projects and deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment, able to chart a course and map out the path to a problem solution, and extremely detail-oriented
  • Relationship Builder: able to develop sincere connections and establish rapport with diverse groups and individuals, able to maintain and cultivate relationships even during conflict
  • Passionate, Eager and Positive: passionate about the issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission, able to contribute positively to group problem solving, always seeking solutions, volunteering and taking initiative
  • Curious: demonstrates desire for lifelong learning and self-improvement, engaged in the news and current events, not afraid to ask why and seek to understand context
  • Team Player: capable and willing to work collaboratively with staff and volunteers, consult the team for guidance, value positive contributions, tap strengths of all staff and ask for help when needed
  • Strong Communicator: an excellent writer and communicator who can competently represent the organization and its work to the public, board members, donors and audiences of all kinds
  • Analytical Thinker: able to identify root causes and causal relationships, challenge assumptions and identify pros and cons of possible paths forward
  • Socially and Emotionally Intelligent: able to read people and situations, anticipate reactions, read between the lines, and be aware of emotional reactions

Since 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has been dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail or mail:

  1. A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job description; 
  2. Your résumé and salary history;
  3. A brief writing sample; and 
  4. Three references.

Madeline Shepherd
Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
MShepherd@metroplanning.org

No phone calls please.  For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

 


Allard and Wayfinding Fellowships

The Allard Fellowship, named for longtime MPC President Jean Allard and generously seeded by Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in her honor before Allard passed away in 2012, is designed to attract young talent not currently in a position to volunteer at MPC. The most competitive candidates will submit applications and nomination letters that establish why they deserve and need a paid fellowship at MPC. This fellowship will help the organization achieve economic and racial diversity goals.

The Wayfinding Fellowship, supported by a fund generously seeded by a longtime MPC Board member, is designed to cultivate and retain an established, well regarded MPC Research Assistant. Current MPC Research Assistants who have been with the organization for a minimum of two months, as well as those whose tenure with MPC ended within ten months of the application deadline, are eligible; all applicants must be nominated by an MPC Board, committee or staff member. Because the Wayfinding Fellow must have proven high performance at MPC, the most competitive candidates will identify how they plan to lead a discrete project articulated in MPC’s work plan.

Fellows will work three to four days per week for six months, compensated by a $10,000 stipend. Fellows also will benefit from structured and informal networking and mentorship opportunities with MPC staff and volunteers, as well as recognition on MPC’s web site.

There are different deadlines for applications and nominations for these fellowships:

  • Applications and nominations for the Allard Fellowship are due May 30 (for a July 1 - December 31 fellowship period) and October 31 (for a December 1 - May 31 fellowship period). While there are two application cycles, please note there will only be one Allard Fellow selected in any calendar year.
  • Applications and nominations for the Wayfinding Fellowship are due March 31 (for a May 1-October 31 fellowship period) and September 30 (for a November 1-April 30 fellowship period). While there are two application cycles, please note there will only be one Wayfinding Fellow selected in any calendar year.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail to Josh Ellis, program director and research assistant coordinator, at jellis@metroplanning.org:

  • For the Allard Fellowship, the applicant must submit a current CV, a writing sample of no more than 5 typed pages, and other supporting evidence as the applicant sees fit (e.g. evidence of quantiative analysis, GIS work, renderings, articles, etc.). The applicant must also submit a cover letter that articulates specific interest in MPC, how this Fellowship opportunity will position the applicant for professional growth, and why, but for this Fellowship, the applicant would not be in a position to volunteer at MPC. Finally, the applicant must also be nominated by a non-family member. The nomination letter should be included in the application materials, should articulate the nominee's potential for a career in urban and regional development policy, and should establish why the nominee deserves and needs a paid fellowship at MPC.
  • For the Wayfinding Fellowship, an MPC Board, committee, or staff member must nominate a current MPC Research Assistant who has been with the organization for a minimum of two months, as well as those whose tenure with MPC ended within ten months of the nomination deadline. Both the nomination letter and a cover letter by the nominee should articulate how the nominee's work at MPC has contributed substantively to MPC's mission, and how a paid fellowship would foster that nominee's professional growth and further MPC's work plan. The nominee must also submit a current CV.

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.


Research Assistant

Starting Date: Rolling start dates

Current needs

Research assistants play an important role at MPC, offering essential support for our projects, working with staff on a daily basis, attending meetings, and learning about how planning policy works in the real world. We especially like RA applicants who are talented writers, investigators, communicators, and/or GIS users.

We’re currently looking for RAs who are interested in the following projects (as of December 2015):

  • Equitable transit-oriented development. This project works to encourage more of the region’s development to occur in areas near our public transportation lines, so as to reduce congestion, eliminate pollution, and boost economic development.
  • Transportation policy. This project focuses on ways to improve our transportation network, including by identifying new funding sources, better planning existing services, and prioritizing investments.
  • Great Rivers Chicago. This project is working to develop an exciting vision for the next 100 years of Chicago’s rivers.
  • Transform Illinois. This project is identifying ways to make our governmental bodies more effective by streamlining delivery and consolidating services.
  • Cost of Economic Isolation. This project is looking to quantify the negative impacts of our economically and racially segregated region.

Overall program

MPC’s volunteer research assistants are a vital part of the organization’s success. Depending on the project at hand, RAs conduct original research, write blog posts and case studies, organize community meetings, perform GIS and quantitative analysis, and a range of other work.

You may apply for an RA position at any time, but as a general guideline new RAs start around May 1, September 1, and January 1. Candidates receiving school credit or compensation through a fellowship program will receive preference in staffing decisions, but all are welcome to apply. As a general rule of thumb, fall and winter RAs are expected to commit at least two full days of work per week, and summer RAs at least three.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail to Josh Ellis, program director and research assistant coordinator, at jellis@metroplanning.org:

  • a current resume;
  • a cover letter articulating your specific interest in MPC, the current projects you have the most interest in and what you believe you can add to them, and a proposed schedule;
  • and a short (3-4 page) writing sample.

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Notices for available positions at MPC are posted here.

Submit applications by e-mail or mail only; no phone calls please.

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

This page can be found online at http://www.metroplanning.org/about/Employment0.html

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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