YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

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Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships

Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships

Job ID 
Y Center
Posted Date 
1030 W Van Buren
# Positions 
Mission Advancement
Hours per Week 
Variable Schedule 
Monday - Friday

More information about this job

Responsibilities & Requirements

Be part of our mission.

The mission of the YMCA of Metro Chicago is to develop strong children, families and communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, fitness and healthy living. Our network of 20 membership centers, five camps, early learning, school-aged and other programs at 100+ sites in the city and suburbs provides everyone with a safe place to learn, play and grow. In this role, you'll be an integral part of ensuring the YMCA continues to be a leader in making our city a world-class place to live and raise a family. So you're not just impacting a bottom line, you're impacting people and communities all over Chicagoland.


Job Summary

The Director, Grants and Strategic Partnerships (GSP) is accountable for leading a team focused on developing and managing relationships with a broad range of foundations, corporations, and local, state, and federal government agencies to secure an increased level of funding for YMCA priorities.  The Director will serve as the primary liaison for GSP in Mission Advancement.  This role will set a strategic direction for Association-wide fundraising efforts with foundations, corporations, and local, state, and federal government agencies.  The Director works collaboratively with other members of the Mission Advancement team, Y leadership Core team leaders, Finance Department, Program Directors, and Membership Center and Camps Executive Directors to identify, evaluate, and capitalize on opportunities for grant funding for priority programs.


Scope of Responsibilities

  • Set financial goals that are linked to the Y’s budgetary priorities and implementation plans to increase funding from corporate, foundation, and local, state, and federal government agencies. Lead a team of two staff members and build a highly collaborative team that will maintain and develop a deep knowledge of YMCA priorities and foundation, corporation and local, state, and federal government agency giving guidelines.
  • Develop and manage robust pipeline of philanthropic grant opportunities with clarity about the match between institutional priorities and prospective donor giving guidelines. This includes:
    • Developing and executing strategies to expand the pool of prospective donors/funders and create connections that lead to sustained philanthropic partnerships with a special focus on building corporate partnerships.
    • Stay abreast of philanthropic trends and identify and qualify corporate, foundation, and local, state, and federal government grant opportunities for YMCA priorities through research and direct contact with funders.
  • Develop and implement communications, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for corporate, foundation and government and strategic partners. This includes providing regular updates and promoting organizational events and accomplishments. Manage research, project planning, grant writing, stewardship activities/reports, and supporting the reporting on grants from corporate, foundation and government agencies.  This includes:
    • Preparing proposals and stewardship reports.
    • Managing an association-wide grants calendar and spearheading grant-seeking activities of the Y of Metro Chicago’s membership and program centers.
    • Ensuring that all written proposals, applications, reports and materials best reflect the organization’s programmatic work, as well as its brand and strategic vision.   
    • Managing detailed tracking systems for corporate, foundation and government grant application deadlines, proposals, reports, and materials in order to meet all deadlines
    • Writing and editing grant proposals, correspondences, and support interim and final reporting and reporting requirements
    • Working closely with grants compliance and program staff to ensure each project or program will meet proposal conditions and expectations.
    • Working with the donor operations team, track progress toward fundraising goals through key metrics with Raiser’s Edge data.
    • Prepare strategies and materials for visits with corporate, foundation, and government prospective and/or current funders that may involve Y leadership Core team leaders, Finance Department, Program Directors, and Membership Center and Camps Executive Directors. Prepare advance materials for meetings attended by staff and volunteer leaders.
    • Work directly with Y leadership Core team leaders, Finance Department, Program Directors, and Membership Center and Camps Executive Directors on grant-seeking activities.  Take the initiative to develop 3 – 5 year strategic funding plans for Y signature programs that align well with corporate, foundation, and local, state, and federal government agencies giving interests and guidelines. Work with Finance Department to ensure reconciliation of grant revenue and finance records.

Child Abuse Prevention

Supports the YMCA’s commitment to child abuse prevention by:

  • Reporting any items that may provide a health or safety hazard to staff, members or guests to your supervisor
  • Following all policies and procedures related to keeping children safe in our facilities and programs, including those related to the monitoring and supervision of children
  • Reporting any suspicious behavior and violation of policy and procedures to your supervisor
  • Completing all child abuse prevention training as required


Minimum and Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in related field and/or equivalent experience required; Master’s degree preferred
  • 5 or more years or more of grant-writing and grants management experience working with government, corporate and foundation partners
  • 2 or more years of leadership/supervisory experience; experience managing both internal staff and outside contractors is preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to research and identify grant partners and opportunities.
  • Grant-writing and program development experience, with a demonstrable record of success securing six-figure and above grants.
  • Outstanding project management skills.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills and strong presentation skills required.
  • Must be a proactive and creative problem-solver, must be able to work both independently and with a broad range of internal and external partners to develop relationships, facilitate collaboration and achieve results.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Raiser’s Edge (or similar donor/constituent management database) and on-line research tools required.
  • Must demonstrate strong organizational and time-management skills, with outstanding attention to detail and ability to uphold deadlines.
  • Passion and commitment to the YMCA’s mission including youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
  • Evidence of YMCA Team Leader competencies in prior experience or practice
  • Ability to meet physical requirements based on job description; The YMCA will accommodate reasonable accommodations for persons with disability.