Block Club Chicago is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to delivering essential coverage of Chicago’s neighborhoods.
In just four years, we’ve built a large and loyal audience across Chicago. We have more than 18,000 paid subscribers and hundreds of individual donors who contribute outside of their subscriptions. We also have the strong support of local and national funders, including the American Journalism Project, which supports Block Club with a three-year, $1.5 million grant to strengthen our revenue-side operation, which will allow our editorial and community outreach to grow.
Block Club also enjoys the strong support of the Chicago Community Trust, the Joyce Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Conant Family Foundation, the Feinberg Foundations and other members of the philanthropic community that believe in the power and importance of local, independent journalism.
We’ve built our support and reader loyalty by showing up in communities every day, proving to folks that we are not just covering their neighborhoods, we’re actually a part of them. The majority of our reporters live in the communities they cover.
Annual Budget: $3M
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- 18,000 paid subscribers in first four years
- Multiple national and local awards for editorial content
As the senior leader driving Block Club’s revenue generation activities, you will create the subscription, fundraising, sponsorship and ad sales strategies that will fuel Block Club’s work. There will be a heavy emphasis on driving digital subscription and advertising sales, with a focus on innovative strategies to maximize and grow Block Club’s audience base. You will supervise all aspects of revenue generation (earned and contributed income) and manage a development team that focuses on contributed income from foundations, individuals and corporations.
- Earned income: Uses knowledge of Block Club’s vision, mission, reach and market position to develop and manage a multi-year revenue strategy encompassing subscriptions, advertising, sponsorships, events and merchandise. This includes maximizing Block Club’s existing and future audience to generate new income from existing offerings such as email newsletters, landing pages, story pages, social media and events. Develop systems to track, evaluate and report on earned income performance.
- Work collaboratively with Block Club staff to pursue strategies and opportunities to expand Block Club’s subscription base, a key pillar of our operation. Identify, track, cultivate and steward subscription initiatives, including using analytics to target potential new subscribers.
- Contributed Income: Manages a team that cultivates, solicits and stewards a portfolio of high-impact individual, corporate and local and national foundation donors, developing strong and purposeful relationships that advance Block Club’s mission; partners with Block Club’s leadership Executive Brand Team to cultivate major donors and strategic partnerships.
- Communications: Works with the Executive Brand Team to further develop the Block Club brand and to implement a communications plan, including development of our brand positioning, key messages, and various communications to our various stakeholders to advance Block Club’s mission and visibility. (e.g., donor communications, Annual Reports, newsletters, social media, press, etc.)
This role is a fit if…
- You have a firm commitment to the mission and principles of Block Club Chicago and believe in the power, impact and importance of local news
- You have a firm commitment to diversity: a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, involvement with the criminal justice system, and socioeconomic circumstance.
Experience & Skills
- You have strong experience in driving digital subscription and advertising sales, including innovative methods and campaigns.
- You have a successful track record of identifying, cultivating and signing advertising and sponsorship clients.
- You have the ability to manage a development team, overseeing individual and major donors as well as foundations. Some knowledge of Chicago’s philanthropic community is desirable but not required
- You have excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.
- You have experience successfully building and managing goal-oriented teamsstrongly preferred)
- You have database and record-keeping proficiency, including donor database/CRM experience.
- You are tenacious, self-aware and mindful of whatever is necessary to achieve and accomplish organizational goals
- You are passionate, high-energy and perceptive with exceptional proficiency in creative, strategic and analytical thinking all of which you will use to achieve Block Club’s revenue goals
- You have the ability to thrive in a rapidly dynamic and adaptive environment, able to handle pressure well
- You are detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines
- You have the ability to set and adhere to priorities
- You have the ability to work some evenings, weekends and irregular hours. Ability and willingness to travel regularly in-state and occasionally out-of-state
Location: This position is based in Chicago and requires the person to live in the Chicago area. There is an expectation of several days of in-person work at our Downtown office to work alongside and collaborate with colleagues, attend events and schedule meetings with funders, sponsors and vendors .
Benefits: This position offers full benefits, including medical, vision, dental, vacation.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Block Club believes the diversity of our community is a fundamental strength of our region. Our mission is best fulfilled when we embrace diversity as a value and a practice. We maintain that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms and behaviors. Throughout our work, we will support diversity in all of its forms, encompassing but not limited to age, disability status, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: July 8, 2022