is an advocacy organization centering growers, farmers, earth stewards, water and land. In partnership with and guided by growers we provide funding, technical assistance, advocacy and political education as resources to reimagine our relationships to land and the local food system while honoring indigenous sovereignty, black liberation, and immigrants' rights.
AUA acknowledges that we all live and work on stolen land. Our region consists of settler colonial towns and cities which many of us came to as uninvited guests. The Chicago region is the ancestral home of the Council of Three Fires: The Ojibwe, Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi), and Odawa Nations as well as the Myaamia (Miami), Peoria, Ho-Chunk, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Sac, Meskwaki (Fox), and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) Tribes. Despite past forced removal from these lands and on-going colonialism, Zhigaagong (Ojibwe word the name Chicago is derived from) is home to the 6th largest urban indigenous population in the USA, many of whom continue to practice their heritage and care for these lands and waterways we all call home. As agriculture practitioners and earth stewards, we honor their legacy in this place. We invite you to learn more about on whose land you reside by searching:
AUA's organizational model incorporates accountability, transparency, and horizontal decision-making to create a more democratic and sustainable organization. We practice these values by having Circles - also considered working groups - with collaboration and teamwork as core elements in their function. The following are the main circles at AUA:
Solidarity and Advocacy Circle: This circle is charged with creating and implementing the purpose of the organization.
Programs Circle: This circle is charged with supporting the missional work through the program development and implementation.
Development and Operations Circle: This circle is charged with making sure that the day to day operations of the organization run smoothly. It is the most administrative of the circles and is key to making sure that the organization is able to stay fiscally solvent, that an equity analysis and accessibility practice is implemented across the organization, and that the staffing needs of the organization are met.
Expectations and Responsibilities of all AUA staff:
All team members of AUA are expected to foster and manage meaningful relationships with partner organizations, networks, growers, and funders.
All team members are expected to participate in co-creating the strategic thinking/ directions of the organization and in shared decision making models.
All team members of AUA are expected to keep the needs of the AUA community front and center and make the work we do accessible and centered in equity.
The Development Steward is responsible for cultivating donor relations, leading fundraising efforts, and supporting grant compliance to strengthen, diversify, and sustain our funding streams. The Development Steward is responsible for communicating with donors, funders, and other funding stakeholders in alignment with AUA's values and strategic directions.
The Development Steward holds a fixed position on the Operations and Development Circle, with the opportunity to join other circles as they see fit to align with their own interests and professional development. All of these tasks are written with the understanding that we are working within a collaborative circle model which fosters consistent opportunities for co-creation, feedback, and continued growth and improvement.
Fundraising Tactics & Strategic Development 40%
Tailor and implement AUA's fundraising plan to raise general operating and unrestricted funds.
In partnership with the Development and Strategic Partnerships Steward, refine AUA's strategy for donor cultivation and stewardship to best engage new and existing donors.
Co-lead creation, with implementation support from the Development and Strategic Partnerships Steward, of fundraising campaigns such as but not limited to: end of the year giving campaign, fall online campaign, peer-to-peer fundraising, etc.
Lead fundraising and cultivation events and updates with support from the Development and Strategic Partnership Steward.
Support strategy and development of a membership model and membership dues
Donor and Funder Relations (35%)
Co-steward relationships with existing funders, individual donors, and corporate sponsors.
Identify new foundational and individual donor prospects.
Identify and cultivate corporate sponsorship opportunities.
Support the maintenance of donor tracking data through AUA's CRM, grants calendar, and development calendar.
Compliance work (25%)
Collaborate on budget compliance for grants and reports with the Operations and Development Circle.
Collaborate on overall grants compliance needs with the Operations and Development Circle.
Maintain regular communication with AUA's accountant for overall compliance and organizational budgeting needs.
Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model.
Three or more years of fundraising, donor engagement and tracking experience.
A minimum of 2 years of experience in Nonprofit and/or Government Accounting.
Strong familiarity and experience in urban agriculture, food systems, or other community focused areas.
A commitment to .
Documented relationship and coalition building skills.
Strong verbal and written communications skills.
Strong organizational skills, with a proven ability to manage multiple projects.
Ability and comfort in working collaboratively.
Degree in a relevant field.
Bilingual skills and ability to communicate in more than one language.
Experience facilitating meetings and group discussions.
Familiarity with collaborative work styles, cooperative values, and horizontal leadership.
Employee to work primarily from home until it is deemed safe to return to a shared office space, with occasional visits to local farms, gardens, and possibly funders.
May require ability to engage in farm tasks (e.g using hand tools, shoveling, planting) on an occasional basis.
Requires ability to use computers, telephones, and other office equipment.
Requires ability to speak audibly and listen actively.
Requires ability to use a computer for an extended period of time.
May require periodic travel.
Accessibility is supported through accommodations for individuals with differing needs in performing essential functions.
Compensation, hours and location
Starting compensation package is $58,000 per annum
95% monthly coverage for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois health, dental, and vision insurance. FSA accounts available.
$50,000 Life insurance.
Our team operates on a 32 hours per week flexible schedule & virtual setting.
Unlimited Paid Time Off and Collective Time Off in the middle of the year and end of the year.
We offer professional development funds, monthly $25 phone stipend, internet upgrade stipend, and reimburse travel costs and office needs associated with duties of the position.
This is primarily work from home position that will require secure internet and reliable phone reception. A work computer can be provided. In-persons meetings and events primarily occurring during the growing season March- October.
We are Chicago-based and work in Central Time. There is a preference for Chicago or surrounding areas applicants.
Care centered workplace with a dedication to accountability, equity, and justice.