WHO WE ARE. Severson Dells Nature Center links people to nature through education and research. We promote awareness of the natural world, fostering respect, enjoyment and preservation now and in the future. The Severson Dells Nature Center is housed in a converted Deer Lodge situated on a 369-acre county forest preserve. There are four miles of trails through diverse ecosystems including prairie, savanna, oak woodland, creek and pond. We aspire to be the local leader in nature education and create meaningful experiences with and for all ages. We seek to create a diverse, inclusive culture focused on growth and outcomes to serve our community.
YOUR ROLE. As the Community Engagement Manager, you will lead the overall community outreach efforts including marketing, communications and relationship and fund development for Severson Dells Nature Center. You will serve as a key representative of Severson Dells Nature Center, engaging a broad spectrum of funders and supporters as the organization continues to grow and diversify its revenue streams. The Community Engagement Manager will work with the Executive Director and other staff to develop a vision for community engagement, and will play a lead role in implementing this vision.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT. Working at Severson Dells Nature Center is an opportunity to be a part of an innovative, agile and forward thinking team that thrives on collaboration, both internally and externally. The staff are a passionate, knowledgeable group that are dedicated to the mission Severson Dells. Severson Dells is a storied organization with deep roots in the northern Illinois community, serving residents for almost 50 years.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
- Elevates the visibility of Severson Dells locally and regionally by pitching stories, drafting press releases and talking points and maintaining a list of media contacts
- Creates engaging content, photography and videography for the organization’s social media channels, website, emails and more
- Leads the execution of an effective social media strategy and content calendar, with the goal of increased program participation and broadening our reach
- Maintains the Severson Dells website as a valuable resource for clients, donors, and volunteers.
- Manages the design and development of the print and email newsletters
- Fosters positive and collaborative relationships with the community, local nonprofit organizations, foundations and businesses
- Builds and develops strong relationships with local media to share the mission of Severson Dells and increase community awareness
- Works with the Executive Director to establish and implement annual development plans including donor appeals, membership program and fundraising events
- Assists in recruiting new donors and deepening relationships with existing donors and supporters
- Implements donor engagement programs with relationship and fundraising development at the forefront
- Maintains donor, press, and member records to enhance institutional resources
- Ensures that all participants in SDNC development programs are thanked and recognized appropriately
- Collaborates with the Executive Director to ensure fundraising best practices are followed in all areas of development efforts, including preserving donor privacy, meeting goals to minimize the cost to raise funds in each campaign or event, and representing Severson Dells in a professional manner
- Take the lead on grant writing and reporting
- Assists/manages special projects, as necessary
REQUIRED SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions unless undue hardship and/or a direct threat to the health and/or safety of the individual or others would result.
Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills
Comfortable with public speaking to groups of all sizes and demographics
Solid relationship management skills enhancing internal organizational relations and external community interactions
Project management skills: ability to multitask, problem-solve, prioritize, delegate, and to create systems and processes
Strong customer focus in all tasks and activities
Demonstrated comprehension of development and development communications best practices including experience writing for the web, and integrating social media
Experience supporting the development of diverse and inclusive environments, and demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility
Demonstrated highly collaborative style, relationship-builder who can effectively work with all constituent groups including staff, board, volunteers, donors, vendors, and other supporters
Strong organizational skills, ability to prioritize and work under pressure
Ability to easily adapt to change
Ability to maintain the highest level of discretion and confidentiality
Ability to maintain regular attendance and punctuality
Adheres to all risk management and safety programs
Microsoft and Google Suites
Mail Chimp or other comparable communication system
Website management (preferably Squarespace)
Willingness to learn new applications and identify innovative ways for technology to support organizational objectives
• A valid Driver’s License is required.
PREFERRED SKILLS and EXPERIENCE
Experience leading fundraising campaigns and developing associated communications
Familiarity with northern Illinois philanthropic community
Experience with graphic design- Adobe creative suite and Canva.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE. Bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in communication, fundraising, or marketing, in addition to a minimum of three years relevant non-profit experience with proven success in the following areas:
media promotions and social media content management
fundraising event management;
or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Certified Fund Raising Executive certification is desired or ability to obtain within 18 months.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job .
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, stand, sit, talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate objects such as a computer or controls, and includes repetitive motions of the wrists, hands and/or fingers; and is required to reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel crouch or drawl. Sufficient vision, hearing and stamina to perform the above functions is required. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently.
WORK ENVIRONMENT. While performing the duties of this job, the employee works in an office environment, but is frequently exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet while in the office or moderately noisy when in the field.
Salary Range and Benefits:
Salary Range: $41,600-$49,920, commensurate with experience
Medical, dental and vision insurance
Employer retirement match
Vacation and paid sick leave
10 paid holidays
3 paid floating holidays