Special Olympics Illinois is actively recruiting for the role of Manager, Grants & Foundation Relations.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports to a community of more than 55,000 traditional athletes, Young Athletes, Unified partners, coaches, volunteers, and more. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year-round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development. As a part of the Special Olympics Illinois team, you’ll join an energetic and hard-working group of individuals committed to transforming the lives of those we serve.



Position Overview

Special Olympics Illinois is actively recruiting for the role of Manager, Grants & Foundation Relations. A vital member of the Development team, this role is tasked with advancing local foundation and corporate support throughout the state in Special Olympics Illinois' 11 regions. This position will play a prime role in collaborating with regional development staff to increase grant revenue by directly prospecting, writing proposal applications, and submitting grant reports for the various regions – with a particular focus on not only growing support within the Chicago metropolitan area, but also pursuing grant funding that helps advance the goals of the strategic plan at the local community level. 



Primary Duties and Responsibilities


Regional Grants Liaison

  • Serves as the Primary Grants Liaison to Regional Development Staff in all 11 regions.
  • Conducts monthly meetings with regional development staff to discuss ongoing funding priorities, prospects and grant activity.
  • Works with regional development staff to identify key prospects to apply to for grants; assists with managing the regional master grants calendar of grant deadlines and grant reports.

Prospect Research

  • Conducts targeted prospect research, on a routine basis, to identify new small to mid-size foundation and corporate grant opportunities for the local regions.
  • Manages the Regions’ Master Grants Calendars of opportunities and reports.

Grant Writing

  • Compose highly technical, yet creative and compelling, grant proposals/applications to small to mid-size foundations and corporations throughout the 11 regions. 
  • Particular focus on generating grant revenue support that ranges from $1,000 to $20K.

Grant Reporting

  • Compile organization-wide and regional data (metrics, financials, program content/highlights) necessary to complete and submit grant reports for regional grant awards.
  • Manage and maintain an annual calendar of grant reports.
  • Collaborate with other departments (finance, program services, strategic planning, etc.) to compose and submit quality grant reports, as needed and required per grant agreements.

Training and Presentations

  • Conduct presentations on the organization, in general, as part of cultivating new opportunities and funding partnerships in the regions.
  • Provide grant related trainings, as needed, for SOILL staff to strengthen their knowledge-base, skill-set and overall capacity to pursue grants (this is an “assist” to the Director – Grants & Foundation Relations).

Assistance to the Director – Grants & Foundation Relations

  • Assists the Director, as needed, with chapter and multi-region grants efforts including but not limited to gathering metrics, content and financials needed for grants and reports, collaborating on grant submissions and/or reports, stewarding and cultivating of grantors at the local/regional levels.
  • Collaborate with the Director to devise an official grants & foundations stewardship plan, process and procedure for implementation and use across all regions and at the chapter level.
  • Assists the Director with holding grant review meetings, per Finance Policy, in conjunction with members of the Finance department to account for proper tracking, reporting and use of new grant awards.
  • Assists the Director in streamlining and implementing an org-wide outcome measurement plan, with key input from the Strategic Planning Director, for use in grants and reports
  • Serves as back-up to the Director for any grant-related questions or needs org-wide

Other Miscellaneous Development 

  • General assist with other development team / department projects, as needed.
  • Weekly check-in meetings with the Director on grant projects (status updates)
  • Event support at fundraising events, throughout the year, as needed.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • 1-2 years professional experience in grant writing to foundation and corporate funders, as well as managing partnerships
  • 1-2 years prospect research experience (Candid’s Foundation Directory Online and/or GrantStation preferred)
  • Excellent communication skills – written and oral
  • Excellent project management and organization skills; time management
  • Experience working collaboratively and successfully with other departments to complete projects
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and CRM (Salesforce or Dynamics preferred)
  • Ability to work remotely with minimal guidance; self-starter
  • Passion for the Special Olympics mission 


Work Schedule & Requirements

  • Based remotely in Illinois
  • Reports to Director - Grants & Foundation Relations
  • Monday through Friday with occasional evenings and weekends as position demands
  • Independent in-state travel occasionally required, including some overnight and weekend travel as an essential function of position
  • Close visual acuity required to perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; visual inspection involving small defects, small parts, and/or operation of machines; operating motor vehicles
  • First Aid/CPR Training and Certification required or willing to obtain within the first six months; must be able and willing to effectively administer First Aid/CPR on-site during events
  • Valid driver’s license and proof of insurance is required
  • Offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of a background check



This full-time position includes an excellent compensation and benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, voluntary disability insurance, a retirement savings plan with company match, generous paid time off benefits, and more. 



Special Olympics Illinois is committed to building a diverse, creative, engaged, collaborative, and hard-working team that is dedicated to our athletes, our communities, and each other. Our employees are our most valuable asset, and we aim to create a positive atmosphere where employees feel valued and fulfilled. We truly want people to love working here, and we strive to create a culture that allows for growth, opportunity, and fun.


Special Olympics Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction, and all other protected classes under federal or state laws.


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