Chicago Area Director

Posted Date: June 21, 2016
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Department: Parks for People
The Chicago Area Director is responsible for developing and managing The Trust for Public Land’s programmatic activities in this region.  The principal geographic focus will be the city of Chicago, but will also include surrounding counties and towns that comprise the Chicago metropolitan region.
The Trust for Public Land’s work in Chicago has been associated with The 606, a signature project for TPL, both locally and nationally.  A primary responsibility for the new Director will be to complete the development and fundraising associated with this project. Beyond this, the Director will be responsible for developing a vision and strategic plan that identifies future programs and projects for The Trust for Public Land in Chicago.
In all of this work, the Area Director manages and mentors the operations staff and works in close collaboration with the Director of Philanthropy to raise funding to support the office’s programs and operating costs. The Area Director is also responsible for working with public and private partners, donors, the local Advisory Board, and others within the TPL organization to enhance opportunities for success of the office and its program.
25% Program Development and Management:  The Area Director will be responsible for directing staff and working with program partners, both public and private, to complete existing projects like The 606, and develop new ones.  This includes evaluating new project and program opportunities in priority areas like Green Infrastructure, conservation finance, park design and development, among others.  In all of this work, the development and maintenance of positive relationships with key public and private partners will be paramount.
35%    Philanthropy:  Funding support for the Chicago Area Office and the programs it carries out is derived partly from public funding, but primarily from private philanthropic dollars.  The Area Director will work in close coordination with the local and national TPL philanthropy staff to cultivate and solicit major gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.  S/he will work in partnership with philanthropy staff to create and implement a fundraising plan.  Working with local philanthropy staff leadership, the Area Director will manage the local Advisory Board, and serve as the primary face of TPL in the donor community.
15%    Management/Administration:  The Area Director is responsible for supervising staff who report to her/him, and for creating a positive working environment, strong staff morale and a culture of teamwork and mutual support among all staff, including philanthropy staff who do not report to the Director.  The Area Director is also responsible for developing the office budget and taking necessary actions to meet or exceed the targets within the budget.
25%    External Relations: The Area Director will be expected to represent The Trust for Public Land and building the organization’s visibility in the Chicago regional market.  This includes working with public officials and staff civic leaders, partner non-profits, the media, the donor community and others. 
  • A college education or the equivalent in urban planning, urban studies, landscape architecture or related fields. An advanced degree preferred
  • At least 8 years of relevant non-profit work experience, including at least 5 years of staff management experience.
  • Extensive experience working with fund raisers, raising mission support from public and private sources
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills
  • Experience working on large-scale open-space urban programs such as trails, gardens or parks
  • Experience with public finance techniques, government funding practices and procedures, the foundation community, fundraising, marketing practices, best management practices and budgeting practices.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, energy, the capacity to lead, mentor and inspire others, the capacity to be both a high performer and a team player, common sense and a sense of humor.
  • Experience in public speaking.
  • An ability and willingness to travel as required and to work flexible hours outside a 9-5 schedule.
  • A passionate commitment to The Trust for Public Land’s mission of creating parks and conserving land for people.