Opportunity: AmeriCorps State & National position at Cradles to Crayons
Department: Community Engagement
Title: Community Engagement Fellow
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Reports to: Manager of Community Engagement
Location: Chicago, IL
About Cradles to Crayons:
Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. C2C is at the cutting edge of volunteer management, and through its “Giving Factory” provides unique, hands-on opportunities for people to help other people. Headquartered in Boston, MA, C2C opened in Philadelphia in 2007 and in Chicago in 2016.
How Our Model Works: Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. C2C supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
Cradles to Crayons meets a critical need as many children 12 years old and younger live in low-income and/or homeless situations. These living conditions can have negative effects on self-esteem as poverty can lead to increased social and emotional behavioral challenges; it impacts early education since half of children living in poverty start 1st grade up to 2 years developmentally behind their peers; and safety may be compromised as children living in poverty have increased risk of injury.
While meeting the immediate needs of low-income children, Cradles to Crayons also sets a foundation for lasting change by providing meaningful, tangible volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals and families and hundreds of corporations each year by organizing clothing collections, hosting fundraisers, or working in the "Giving Factory" warehouse.
Cradles to Crayons earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator for several consecutive years. Only 2% of charities rated have received this distinction, differentiating C2C from its peers, exemplifying the high standard of service at C2C, and indicating that C2C outperforms most other charities in America.
Reporting to the Manager of Community Engagement, the Community Engagement Fellow will help to ensure that Cradles to Crayons meets our objective of strategic engagement by building and maintaining partnerships that advance the goals of both Cradles to Crayons and partnering organizations. The Community Engagement Fellow will have primary responsibility for implementation of a community engagement and product acquisition strategy to bolster the organization’s efforts to acquire new and like-new donated children’s items. She/he will research, foster, and establish relationships with community groups, schools, religious associations, corporations, individuals and/or foundation supporters. The Community Engagement Fellow will support all activities associated with Cradles to Crayons’ engagement model, including: volunteer recruitment, volunteer scheduling, product acquisition, program and event sponsorships, and other strategic relationship-building opportunities. The Community Engagement Fellow will also be charged to support the organization as needed with tasks in marketing, support in planning for our signature events, and limited fundraising research/grant writing activities.
This is a full-time AmeriCorps position through our partnership with Project YES! at the Northwestern University Settlement House. AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 90,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. AmeriCorps’ members serve with more than 3,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations. Members serve in full or part-time positions over a 10-12 month period. Upon completion of their service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans. Members also have access to other benefits such as: health insurance, child care, training, and student loan forbearance during their service.
Identify constituents with interests consistent with C2C’s programs utilizing C2C’s network, warehouse visitors and research methods.
Support C2C’s leadership in cultivating and soliciting corporate, individual and foundation donors through preparation of research reports and other background materials.
Recruit, schedule, and lead volunteer groups. This includes weekend and evening events.
Input, track and maintain information in Salesforce data base.
Work closely across C2C’s departments to maintain accurate and up to date data on C2C’s benchmarks and impact.
Assist in the coordination and execution of special events including logistics, invitation lists, program planning, site visits, and follow-up. This includes weekend and evening events.
Work with a team to help plan and execute Project YES! events including National Days of Service, Veteran’s Day, MLK Day, Global Youth Service Day, and Seeds of Service.
Attend Project YES! service trips on September 18-20, 2017 and March 26-28, 2018.
Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.
Report to Manager of Community Engagement on a weekly basis with progress to goals.
Work cooperatively with staff and volunteers to support the mission of Cradles to Crayons and meet the organization’s goals.
Assist with any other tasks as assigned by Manager of Community Engagement or Executive Director.
Meet established goals.
Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of C2C’s programs, data and impact.
Accurately maintain data and systems for tracking.
Uphold high quality of customer service with all C2C stakeholders.
Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with other C2C staff, other site counterparts, and volunteers.
Exhibit initiative by contributing to the engagement strategy, and undertaking projects to increase personal bandwidth relative to the engagement process.
Ability to meet deadlines, and prepare reports and presentations.
Execution of well-planned, well-managed Cradles to Crayons events.
21 years of age.
U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident.
Strong written and oral communication skills as well as strong relationship-building skills.
Excellent customer service skills including the ability to communicate with visitors, donors, and community contacts in a courteous and professional manner.
Ability to navigate database platforms effectively, Salesforce experience a plus.
Familiar and comfortable with Microsoft Office suite (including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).
Ability to work independently, work under supervision, and work in a team-based and goal-oriented environment.
Self-motivated, resourceful, and the ability to multi-task and be highly attentive to detail.
Ability to absorb and apply new information rapidly.
Work weekend and evening hours.
Work comfortably in a warehouse environment where normal changes in temperature are to be expected.
Strong commitment to Cradles to Crayons’ mission and a passion for non-profit work.
Regular access to a personal vehicle.
DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH:
Diversity and Inclusiveness are core values at Cradles to Crayons, and we continuously strive to be a team where everyone feels welcome and supported. It is the policy of Cradles to Crayons to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. Individuals from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Living stipend of $12,630; forbearance for qualified student loans; health insurance; $5,815 Education Award given upon completion of service; eligibility for SNAP benefits; invaluable training and experience.
TERM OF SERVICE:
This year’s term of service will run from September 6, 2017 through August 15, 2018. The Community Engagement Fellow will work Tuesday-Friday and one additional day of the week.
This is a warehouse environment and normal changes in temperature are to be expected while working inside the warehouse or outside, on or around the loading dock. There are no hazardous or significantly unpleasant conditions.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made by Cradles to Crayons which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others, or which impose undue hardships on the organization.
Additional Salary Information: Living stipend of $12,630
Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children’s items through... grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children across the state through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.