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We’re Hiring: Operations Coordinator

Reports to Publisher

Block Club Chicago, the independent, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to delivering essential coverage of Chicago’s neighborhoods, is seeking an operations coordinator to help optimize our work and supercharge our organization for growth. This role offers early- to mid-career candidates an exciting opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a fast-growing news organization that’s been recognized as one of the most promising new models for collaborative local journalism in the United States.

Directly reporting to the Publisher, the Operations Coordinator will take the lead in developing operational strategies and executing key special projects vital to the long-term viability and sustainability of Block Club Chicago.

This vital role, funded in partnership with the American Journalism Project, will enable the continued sustainable growth of our news organization in service to all Chicagoans.

About Block Club Chicago

In just four years, Block Club has 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, $1.6 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 Foundation 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. 

Fast Facts

  • Established: 2018
  • Employees: 24
  • Annual Budget: $3M
  • Our Story: View
  • Frequently Asked Questions: View

THE POSITION

Summary

The Operations Coordinator provides “traffic control” for a wide range of operational functions across the Block Club organization. Working closely with the leadership team, this person will coordinate and streamline the many internal functions of a growing organization, making sure our workflows run smoothly and efficiently on many fronts. The work managed by the Operations Coordinator will touch all departments, providing an exciting opportunity to be deeply embedded in all branches of the Block Club organization. The role’s responsibilities will be consistent with an early- to mid-career skill set, and its unique positioning will provide ample career growth opportunities in all directions. The Operations Coordinator will be empowered to identify areas for operational improvements and will be encouraged to suggest new, creative ways Block Club Chicago can best support its journalism and the people producing it.

Key Alignments:

Mission 

  • 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 are a team player who actively engages with our shared mission to grow and expand our business.
  • 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 organizational skills for tracking a wide variety of tasks in a clear, functional manner that can be understood by the leadership team.
  • You work well with others and build trusting relationships.
  • You have excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills to deal with both internal and external stakeholders e.g., colleagues, service providers, subscribers and funders.
  • You have database and record-keeping proficiency (familiarity with Google Suite and/or Airtable a plus) 
  • You are nimble, adaptable and eager to learn — this role will expand and evolve, and the right candidate will grow with the position’s scope.

Work Style

  • 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 make Block Club function efficiently.
  • 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 feel comfortable working semi-independently and can also identify when a question needs to be escalated to a supervisor

Example responsibilities:

  • Intake, triage and direct external requests to the appropriate colleague and/or department
  • Maintain an organized document library of frequently referenced templates and materials, and use them to fulfill requests
  • Identify opportunities to standardize new processes or materials when certain tasks reoccur with increasing frequency 

Salary: $50-60,000, depending on experience

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, and to handle in-person requirements, including on-site merchandise fulfillment.

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.

How to Apply

Send us an email explaining why you’re a good fit for this job along with your resume, two references and links to your social media accounts or accounts you manage/have managed. Feel free to include any social campaigns you worked on, engagement projects you’ve tackled or anything else you’re proud of and would like us to see.

Email careers (at) blockclubchi (dot) org along and put “OPERATIONS COORDINATOR” in the subject line, please!

DEADLINE TO APPLY: November 15, 2022