Development & Operations Coordinator (Part-Time)

Candidate Profile & Core Values

Spark seeks a part-time Development and Operations Coordinator for our Chicago Region.

Successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional relationship building, communication, and project management skills, fluency in innovative thinking, and a make-it-work mentality. Candidates will also embody Spark’s Core Values: being a student and a mentor, working with passion and compassion, committing to collaboration and diversity, aiming high and true, and trusting/respecting each relationship.

Reporting to the Director of Development (DD), the Development and Operations Coordinator (DOC) will support development-related work for the Chicago office, including: grant writing and reporting, supporting the cultivation of donor prospects, donor stewardship, oversight of development operations, and supporting Spark in Chicago’s communications and external-facing brand. The DOC should have a strong work ethic and be results oriented, collaborative, highly organized, detail-oriented, customer focused, and able to excel in a fast-paced environment.


  • 1-2 years grant writing experience required;
  • Relevant fundraising or marketing experience and campaign experience welcomed;
  • Results-focused, highly organized self-starter who works effectively in teams and independently;
  • Ability to confidently manage a high-volume, deadline-driven workload with poise and optimism;
  • Sound judgment to troubleshoot challenges independently while also demonstrating resourcefulness to source additional support when warranted;
  • Superior writing skills, including proven grant writing and donor relations communications;
  • Exemplary time management and organization skills; analytical skills a plus;
  • Proficiency in Google and Microsoft products (e.g. Drive, Docs, Sheets, Word, and Excel), and managing donor databases (specifically Salesforce experience a plus);
  • Brand savvy; experience supporting marketing and promotional campaigns a plus;
  • Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship provided.
  • In addition, to be successful as a member of the Spark team in this role, you will:
    • Be an independent, results-focused, highly-organized self-starter;
    • Have a strong desire to impact an up-and-coming nonprofit organization;
    • Thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, operating with a results-orientation and exceptional attention to detail;
    • Have a proactive personality; no work is ‘beneath’ you and you are eager to serve others, rolling up your sleeves when necessary;
    • Demonstrate mature judgment, with a high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness;
    • Have a sense of humor, even under stress;
    • Be comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback;
    • Value relationships and accountability, empowering others to achieve superior results.


Core Responsibilities

Foundation Relations & Grant Writing

  • Manage Foundation process, including prospecting, grant writing, reporting, and stewardship, leveraging Spark’s Salesforce database and supporting the efforts of the Development Director.
  • Act as primary grant writer for Spark in Chicago. Craft proposals and reports under the guidance of the Development Director, successfully positioning Spark for nuanced funding opportunities and driving increased growth year-over-year.
  • Support Development Director in managing relationships with portfolio of foundations.
  • Lead prospecting research to thoughtfully and strategically identify new funding opportunities.

Communications & Stewardship

  • Create customized collateral for presentations, stewardship, and other communications; including anticipating needs and creating new support materials.
  • Maintain external facing brand, including website, social media, and similar projects.
  • Partner with Corporate Partnership Coordinator and program team to generate ongoing impact content promoting the organization.
  • Manage and execute comprehensive stewardship plan, including coordination and planning of site visits, prospect meetings, and donor appreciation initiatives.
  • Support preparation of meeting materials for Executive Board and Advisory Council and assisting with additional stewardship and follow up as needed.

Development Operations & Event Support

  • Keep current development data in Salesforce, ensuring accurate records and leveraging the tool for stewardship, reporting, and data-driven decision making.
  • Oversee Spark in Chicago’s fundraising operations, including gift processing and acknowledgements.
  • Support the execution of Spark’s annual signature events, including Ignite the Night and Share Your Spark.
  • Manage incoming / outgoing mail – depositing checks, processing invoices, etc.
  • Manage regional contracts with vendors
  • Support office operations – equipment, keys, ordering supplies, etc.
  • Organize / maintain effective information filing and retrieval system (Google Drive, Dropbox)

Compensation & Benefits

  • Salary: $19.00 per hour, 15-20 hours per week
  • Health Benefits: Please note this part-time position is not eligible for Spark’s health insurance plans.
  • Learning Benefits: Spark highly values staff’s personal learning pursuits. Priority is placed on opportunities to pursue your choice of professional training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, and more.
  • Retirement Benefits: For all contributions through Spark’s 401K plan, Spark provides a discretionary employer match of 4% in 2019.
  • Non-Monetary Compensation: The opportunity to be an integral member of an energetic, innovative, hard-working and rapidly growing team, within an organization that has the potential to significantly change the trajectory of middle-school education nationwide.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a targeted start date of August 1, 2019.

Spark is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and evaluate all candidates based on merit; we strongly encourage and seek qualified applications from underrepresented groups.

Apply For Position

Spark Employment Application

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Thank you for your interest in working for Spark!

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Please note that unless otherwise noted on the job description, Spark requires employees to be located in one of our operating regions and does not provide relocation assistance.

Please note if you were referred to this position by a Spark employee, board member, volunteer, or partner.

Instead of a cover letter, please tell us a bit more about yourself and your interest in this position by answering the questions below.
Please note responses have a 200 word limit. 
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Voluntary Demographic Questions

At Spark we believe that building a diverse team is essential to fulfilling our mission, and we are commited to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone can bring their whole selves to work and thrive.

With this goal in mind, we respectfully request the following demographic information in order to track our talent recruitment and hiring outcomes. We invite applicants to self-identify this information based on a short list of options. We recognize that questions that ask respondents to check boxes inherently do not capture the complexity of identity; however, we hope that the options represent an earnest attempt to collect data at scale while also respecting all identities. We ask that in participating you select the option that most closely aligns with how you self-identify. 

Responses to this survey are entirely OPTIONAL, and your responses, or declining to respond, will not impact the status of your application. Any information that you do provide will be recorded separately from your employment application and will not be visible to hiring managers. The data will only be analyzed retrospectively by our operations staff and reported in its aggregate form. Thank you!