Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives. Openlands’ vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.
The primary role of the Community Outreach Coordinator will be to nourish and foster strong working relationships with community members, leaders, and partnering organizations to ensure the depth and success of Openlands’ community programs. This position is focused on community relationship building and communications for an assigned geography, program, and collective impact strategy to connect people to nature where they live. The goal of this position is to grow new project opportunities in specified neighborhoods that deepen volunteer engagement, empowerment, education, and project impact.
This position works with the Community Conservation team to increase Openlands’ visibility and recruit volunteers for Openlands’ programs. This is a full-time position and requires flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Identify opportunities to strengthen Openlands’ community base and connect volunteers to community-led and collective impact efforts
- Understand community members’ connection to the outdoors and interest in participating in new experiences
- Cultivate partner relationships and perform site visits for potential projects; understand expectations of new community partners; assess and negotiate Openlands’ role in the project
- Lead door to door, one-on-one, outreach, and community meetings
- Develop presentations, interactive workshops, and assist with community conservation program workshops
- Assist with translation of press releases and fliers for community conservation programs; organize and participate in public relations events
- Provide event management for projects and project wrap-up
- Track outreach data and set goals that have been set to inform practice, project impact, and evaluation
- Participate in cross-departmental committees and task forces as needed
- Other duties as assigned
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Bachelors or Associate degree desirable; a minimum of three years of related work experience
- Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills with ability to make effective oral presentations to large and small groups
- Strong commitment to customer service with the ability to maintain composure, flexibility, and enthusiasm when working with a diverse range of people and personalities
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and other desktop publishing tools
- Knowledge of Chicago with regular, reliable access to transportation to travel to and from project sites throughout the Chicagoland area. Some project sites may not be easily accessible via public transit. Valid Illinois driver’s license maintained through the duration of employment.
- Community organizing experience
- Fluent in Spanish speaking and writing
- Must be able to lift approximately 25 lbs. and work outside in various weather conditions
- At least 3 years of successful experience with program coordination, community engagement, public outreach, and program delivery, preferably in a non-profit setting
- Ability to manage multiple assignments with ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
Loop office is ADA accessible, but travel to community locations that may not be ADA accessible is required.
The work schedule will periodically shift based on the requirements of the program. Some events will occur in the evenings or on weekends, and the candidate must be able to work during these events.
This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.
Smoke- and drug-free environment.
Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local, or federal laws.
Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.
Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403b retirement plan, paid holidays, and vacation time. This position is grant funded.
This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position to JobApps@Openlands.org. Please include “Community Outreach Coordinator” in the subject line.