Employment - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC is currently accepting applications for a Content Strategist and Development Manager

MPC offers unpaid Research Assistant positions. We are accepting applications for Summer 2017 positions through March 31 (details below). In 2017, MPC is also offering one paid fellowship: The Allard Fellowship. The fellowship will take place from July 1 – December 31, 2017 (details below). 

Content Strategist

About MPC:

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges.  MPC is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with an established tract-record of high-quality research, advocacy and demonstration projects to help our region and its local communities thrive. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems—with a focus on economic development, vibrant neighborhoods, quality housing and transportation choices and well-managed natural assets—and we think ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow.

With a current professional staff of 20, five Senior Fellows/Advisors and a team of volunteer Research Assistants MPC’s 2017 budget is $4.1 million.  More information on MPC can be found online at: https://www.metroplanning.org

The position:

MPC is hiring a full-time content strategist who will be responsible for directing and creating highly strategic, persuasive and memorable content across all platforms. Working closely with the communications and marketing team as well as with program and development staff, the content strategist will 1) drive content via our channels that is timely, engaging, humanizing and aligned with MPC’s brand and mission and 2) engage new and existing audiences and motivate them to action (i.e. share our content, learn more, donate, etc.).

Primary responsibilities:

  • Develop content strategy aligned with organization work plan and help MPC meet business goals and objectives.
  • Develop an editorial calendar and work with communications team and program and development staff to publish content in a timely manner. Manage content distribution to online channels, traditional media, and social media platforms to increase web traffic and event attendance.
  • Write and edit a wide variety of content, including but not limited to blogs, newsletter, social media, general web, media materials, op-eds, and other stories that humanize MPC’s work.
  • Optimize content according to SEO, and use content management systems to analyze website traffic and users engagement
  • Work with staff to support and improve their own writing efforts, and ensure brand consistency.
  • Create a library of personal stories that humanize MPC work and can be deployed for both marketing and development activities.
  • Manage print and online production of materials (fact sheets, reports, invitations, etc) as needed.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

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 BA in marketing, public relations, journalism or in a relevant field, and has at least five years of relevant experience.

A qualified candidate:

  • is an excellent writer and has experience developing content on a wide range of platforms;
  • has experience working on CMS platforms, and with other marketing and communications tools including Mailchimp, Adobe Creative Suite;
  • is an analytical and creative thinker able to help expand audience engagement;
  • 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;
  • is passionate about the body of issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission; and
  • enjoys a fast-paced, intellectually-stimulating workplace.

How to apply:

Please send the following materials by email to:

Angie Leyva
Metropolitan Planning Council 
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60603

  1. A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job being filled;
  2. Your résumé and salary history; and
  3. A short writing sample (2-3 pages)
  4. Three references  

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

Development Manager

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), a Chicago based non-profit, seeks an experienced professional to guide its restricted fundraising program and assist with other development tasks. The position will report to the Vice President of Philanthropy.

Position Overview:

In order for MPC to achieve its top priorities, the Council must expand its operating budget.  Historically, the organization’s funding has been comprised of 40% foundation, 40% corporate, and the remaining from individuals, investment income and the modest occasional public sector grant. MPC will grow its budget by leveraging its success in foundation and corporate fundraising, as well create a more diversified revenue stream by deepening its individual giving. The Development Manager will contribute to this overall goal by executing the foundation and restricted corporate support fundraising efforts.

The successful candidate will be highly organized, personable, able to work collaboratively but also independently, able to juggle multiple deadlines, and possess excellent written communication skills.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with MPC’s program staff to develop a deep understanding of MPC’s priority programs. Attend regular programmatic meetings to inform proposal and prospect research.
  • Research foundation and corporate funders with a history of supporting MPC’s issue areas philanthropically.
  • Oversee the grant application process, including composing and editing LOI’s, proposals and reports, in conjunction with the program staff, as well as track all activity in a grants calendar (approximately 100-120 documents per year.)
  • Ensure that MPC’s program priorities are clearly represented in all proposals and with aligned with funders’ priorities.
  • Communicate regularly with program, communications and development staff on funding opportunities and associated deadlines.
  • Ensure all funders’ metrics are integrated into MPC’s tracking system. Work with program and research staff to ensure progress on outcomes and indicators are being reviewed by the Management Team and recalibrated on a regular basis.
  • Work with program, communications and development staff to execute sponsored events, forums and panel discussions, including researching potential sponsors, managing logistics, and assisting with promotional materials and post-event reports. Expand corporate partnership opportunities and interaction with donor cohorts, including Executive Advisors and Leadership Circle.
  • Coordinate with communications staff to ensure consistent messaging, repurpose content, and maximize impact of donor events and fulfill sponsor expectations.
  • Work with communications, program and development staff to create donor stewardship materials.
  • Input appropriate information into Raisers Edge database.
  • Research prospective individual donors and assist with donor communication.
  • Participate actively in Development team meetings and MPC staff meetings.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • BA/BS degree required, experience in development, marketing or policy work.
  • Excellent writer and an effective ambassador for MPC; able to represent the organization before key audiences.
  • Self-starter and self-motivated; able to prioritize, handle multiple tasks and projects, and work in a deadline-driven environment. Able to work effectively with minimal hand-holding from the Vice President of Philanthropy, who needs to devote attention to growing other areas of fundraising.
  • Passionate about the issues MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission.
  • Creative and strategic thinker who can tailor MPC’s grants fundraising program to meet the organization’s needs, as well as align with foundation and corporate funding priorities.
  • Able to work collaboratively, and motivate staff colleagues and volunteers to participate in the fundraising process.
  • Experience with donor database and fundraising software and/or emailing marketing service (Raiser’s Edge, MailChimp, Constant Contact) a plus.

Search and Application Process:

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

Applications must include:

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

2) a resume; and

3) three writing samples (one donor acknowledgement or solicitation letter, one grant proposal and one additional sample)

Applications should be sent to: jmyers@metroplanning.org with the subject line containing only the applicant’s name.

About MPC:

For more than 80 years, MPC has made the expansive Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. MPC cares about the entire Chicago region—from its people and businesses, to its neighborhoods and transportation networks, to its lakes, rivers and parks. MPC understands that all of these regional assets need to work together effectively so that the Chicago metropolitan area can continuously reinvent itself and unlock its potential.

While MPC works to solve today's urgent problems—with a focus on economic development, vibrant neighborhoods, quality housing and transportation choices and well-managed natural assets— thinks ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow.

With a professional staff of 20 and a 2017 budget of $4.1 million, MPC has bold plans to execute by 2020. These ambitious plans require an equally ambitious development strategy and skilled development staff to finance an expansion of the work.

More information on MPC can be found online at https://www.metroplanning.org

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 a talented emerging professional not currently in a position to volunteer at MPC. Competitive candidates will submit applications and nomination letters that establish why they deserve and need a paid fellowship at MPC and what they hope to accomplish during their fellowship. This fellowship is designed for candidates who reflect the economic and racial diversity of the Chicago region.

For the Allard Fellowship, the applicant must submit:

  • current CV;
  • writing sample (1-2 pages);
  • any other supporting evidence as the applicant sees fit (e.g. evidence of quantitative analysis, GIS work, renderings, articles, etc.);
  • 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; and
  • nomination letter 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 shouldestablish why the nominee deserves and needs a paid fellowship at MPC.

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

How to Apply

The Metropolitan Planning Council is accepting applications through April 1, 2017. The fellowship will take place from July 1 – December 31, 2017. Please send the following materials by e-mail to Kara Riggio, program manager and research assistant coordinator, at kriggio@metroplanning.org:

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

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Research Assistant

We are accepting applications for Summer 2017 positions until March 31, 2017. 

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 recruiting RAs for summer 2017, particularly for the following priority projects:

Great Rivers Chicago. This project is working to implement an exciting vision for the next 100 years of Chicago’s rivers. Community engagement, GIS, research, writing, and design skills needed.

Cost of Segregation. This project is looking to quantify the negative impacts of our economically and racially segregated region. GIS, qualitative and quantitative research and writing skills needed.

Transform Illinois. This project is identifying ways to make our governmental bodies more effective by streamlining delivery and consolidating services. GIS, qualitative and quantitative research and writing skills needed.

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. We are currently examining opportunities for infill station development and suburban TOD. Community engagement, GIS, research and writing skills needed.

Stormwater management: This program includes a number of discrete projects, including facilitation of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, research into stormwater infrastructure financing and more. GIS, qualitative and quantitative research and writing skills needed.

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. 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: 

Applications are considered on a rolling-basis, and most of our Research Assistant positions for Spring 2017 have been filled. If you are interested in a position for Summer 2017, please send the following materials by e-mail to Kara Riggio, manager and research assistant coordinator, at kriggio@metroplanning.org, by March 31, 2017:

  1. A current resume;
  2. 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
  3. A short (2-3 page) writing sample, and if applicable, examples of geospatial analysis or design work

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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