Grant Writer (Part-Time, Temporary)

Candidate Profile & Core Values

Spark seeks a Grants Writer (Part-Time, Contractor) for our Chicago region for a temporary position through the end of July 2019. This will be a part-time role (up to 20 hours per week), with the potential to increase to full time based on performance and organizational need. This position does not require set hours and is eligible to be fully remote for a candidate with significant relevant experience.

To accelerate a fundraising career and help Spark fulfill its mission, successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional project management skills, innovative thinking, and a make-it-work mentality. Candidates will also embody Spark’s Core Values: being a student and a mentor, loving what you do, taking positive risks and dreaming big, creating meaningful change in the world and making diversity a priority.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Grant Writer (GW) will help ensure Spark’s sustainability and impact by identifying foundation and corporate funding opportunities; telling Spark’s story in a compelling way; managing the grant proposal process and supporting systems; helping to build relationships with existing and prospective funders; and coordinating with regional staff also supporting the grants research and proposal process. The GW 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.


  • 2-3 years relevant fundraising or marketing experience; for-profit 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;
  • Superior writing skills, including proven grant writing track record preferred;
  • 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);
  • Bachelor’s degree required;
  • 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:
    • 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 responsibility, integrity and trustworthiness;
    • Have a sense of humor, even under stress;
    • Be comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback;
    • Have a strong desire to impact an up-and-coming nonprofit organization;
    • Value relationships and accountability, empowering others to achieve superior results.


Core Responsibilities

Grant Writing and Reporting

  • Write letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and funder reports
  • Compile budget information for grant requests, based on the appropriate project costs
  • Respond to relevant Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFAs), funder inquiries, etc.
  • Maintain a compelling, up-to-date statement of need for Spark’s proposals

Grants Administration

  • Keep relevant staff members informed of upcoming deadlines to ensure on-time and complete follow-through on all grant opportunities and reports on awarded grants
  • Work closely with relevant staff members to ensure that grant objectives are being met and that funder reports are complete, timely, and accurate
  • Collaborate with staff members to maintain up-to-date records of program and community data to include in Spark proposals and reports
  • Maintain updated institutional supporter lists for inclusion in proposals, publications, and donor events
  • Conduct prospect research of potential new funders and grant submission opportunities

Systems Management

  • Maintain up-to-date grants and reporting calendars, including anticipated response dates for submitted proposals and likelihood of award
  • Maintain accurate foundation and corporate accounts information in Salesforce database
  • Maintain accurate and complete electronic and hard copies of grant files

Communications and Marketing Support

  • Support drafting of regional communications, such as a quarterly Chicago newsletter
  • Customize collateral for upcoming events and meetings as requested by the Executive Director
  • Draft engaging social media content as needed, with input from Program Team


Compensation & Benefits

  • Compensation: up to $40/hour, commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits: Because this position is contracted part-time, benefits will not be provided. If this position shifts to a staff position of more than 30 hours per week, full employee benefits will be offered, including health, learning, and retirement benefits.
  • 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.


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.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis to fill an immediate need.

To Apply:  Click here to apply now!

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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.