Director of New Partnerships

Chicago, IL
Full Time
Chicago Beyond

About Chicago Beyond

Chicago Beyond works to ensure all young people have the opportunity to live a free and full life. Since our inception in 2016, Chicago Beyond has invested more than $40M in ideas, individuals, and organizations that empower young people to achieve their fullest human potential.

Chicago Beyond’s approach is holistic. We invest in everything from education, to youth safety, to community development, to healing, and more. This is critical because we recognize that there is no single barrier to equity. Furthermore, we operate at the intersection of hyperlocal community investment and large-scale systems change, and our Whole Philanthropy approach ensures that we center voices closest to the work and that we build with, not for, our partners. Select initiatives include:

Hyperlocal community investments

  • Support of early-stage ideas such as a Safe House for young people and the development of the Chicago South Side Birth Center, a nonprofit, Black midwife-led, culturally concordant, community-focused birth center to be located on Chicago’s South Side
  • Rapid Response Fund, unrestricted grants to 160+ community initiatives, led by Chicago’s abundance of Black and Brown leaders

Large-scale systems change

  • Development of a Healing-Centered Framework to support over 330,000 Chicago Public Schools students
  • Abundance, a movement co-developed with Grand Victoria Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation to end philanthropy’s complicity in anti-Blackness 
  • Increasing present-day safety for the people confined by and working in correctional institutions and their families while we move toward the ultimate goal of reducing incarceration, e.g., Publication of Do I have the Right to Feel Safe?: A Vision for Holistic Safety in Corrections, in partnership with people impacted by incarceration
  • Why Am I Always Being Researched?, a guidebook for funders, researchers, and community organizations to move from harmful power dynamics to more authentic truths; it has been used in all 50 states and more than 90 countries

Holistic healing has driven Chicago Beyond’s work since our founding.  Recognizing the long-standing need to support and invest in community wellness, we recently announced Chicago Beyond's Holistic Healing Fund, a $10M commitment to support healing in Chicago's communities.

In addition to transformative investments, Chicago Beyond’s Home for Social Innovation, our location in the West Loop, is designed to accelerate the impact of our partners and mobilize our broader community in the pursuit of equity and justice for young people. 

Chicago Beyond was founded by Liz Dozier, a nationally-renowned former educator and high school principal. Chicago Beyond’s innovative and impactful work has been featured on both the local and national level from the Chicago Tribune to Forbes to the Stanford Social Innovation Review. For more information on Chicago Beyond, please visit

Position Details

Chicago Beyond is hiring our first Director of New Partnerships to continue to source investment partnerships that are rooted in community and centered on mutual trust. New investment partnerships include wide-ranging systemic investment opportunities and reaching community leaders and organizations that are often overlooked or not on the radar of institutional funders.

Using an asset-based approach, this leader will continuously build community and identify partnership opportunities that are locally-led and driven, but often harder to find, and may have the potential for systemic-level impact. The Director also will incorporate community and partner feedback to help us improve the way we identify new partners, make immediate and long-term systemic investments and provide support and resources for those investments.

An overview of the core responsibilities of this new role are provided below.

Lead a continuous sourcing process for both systemic and responsive opportunities, collaborations and investments that accelerate Chicago Beyond’s impact

  • Build and execute on strategy and framework for how Chicago Beyond identifies both systemic and responsive potential investments to ensure a balance that allows for systems change, in addition to supporting more immediate needs
  • Create, operationalize, learn from and improve processes to generate new ideas, new relationships, and new capabilities to listen and respond (e.g., running a Rapid Response Fund round on a specific geography or topic)
  • Lead mutual due diligence process on potential investments (e.g., exercise wisdom and develop analysis to inform which potential opportunities Chicago Beyond pursues or does not pursue, prepare investment analyses and recommendations, including understanding community context, related efforts and broader implications)

Build and foster a Chicago Beyond network that supports sourcing both systemic and responsive investments

  • Manage and continuously build dynamic and trusting community relationships in a way that allows people to feel seen, heard, valued
  • Ensure that community voice is flowing into, threaded through, and amplified in Chicago Beyond’s overall work
  • Serve in multiple communities as a node for Chicago Beyond’s work, valuable to those communities; serve as a point person engaging in relevant meetings, events, conferences, task forces and commissions on behalf of the organization

Support Chicago Beyond partnerships

  • Serve as the point person and manage some investment partnerships
  • Contribute to ensuring our partnership model is valuable to community members and systemic actors, and make continuous improvements in response to partner feedback
  • Create and/or lead projects that help our partners grow their impact
  • Identify potential resources to help our partners accelerate their work and achieve their goals

Learn and iterate from the work to grow our impact

  • Help identify investment trends and priorities, and help set short and long-term goals
  • Utilize lessons learned from working in community to help improve how both systemic and responsive investments are identified and made, and create a framework to help decide which investments to pursue
  • Capture insights from our partners and design learning initiatives that serve partners, advance the field and increase collective impact

Position Requirements

  • Deep passion for Chicago Beyond’s mission, objectives and “Whole Philanthropy” approach
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity, equity for young people, inclusion, belonging, and justice  
  • Understanding of systems and how they intersect and influence one another; ability to identify areas of support to help bring about both systems change and more immediate needs that require a shorter window of support and/or attention
  • Ability to look beneath the surface or appearance of things to identify new possibilities,  opportunities, and investments that fall outside of the status quo 
  • Adept at building partnerships and activating collaborations that help accelerate collective impact
  • Skillful at navigating power dynamics; ability to contribute to more equitable relationships and greater degrees of freedom
  • Experience working at the community level to help build strategies, experiences and opportunities that center racial equity and justice (community organizing experience is a plus)
  • Excellent relationship building and networking skills; able to hold space and build trust among a diverse group of stakeholders 
  • Strong internal and external collaboration skills, with the ability to work independently and autonomously, reaching out to peers when support or clarity are needed
  • Adept at long-term and short-term planning; comfortable with long-range, multi-year approach to relationship building and partnership development
  • Strong communication skills, with an instinct for understanding and responding to human dynamics
  • Sense of possibility and creativity, coupled with an eye on the big picture (i.e., how individual decisions impact an overall strategy)

Working at Chicago Beyond 

Launched in April 2016, Chicago Beyond is a fast-moving start-up organization comprised of a small, yet ambitious team of individuals advancing equity for young people in Chicago and beyond. If you are an entrepreneurial individual looking to join a dynamic community with significant opportunities to grow and shape what you do, while making a meaningful impact, then this will be a perfect role for you!

Our values guide our work. 

  • Always Equitable – Our youth face unimaginable obstacles to achieving their fullest human potential. So, we must fight for equity, not equality.
  • Incessantly Urgent – The simple fact is that lives are literally at stake, right now. The unacceptability of the situation requires our relentless bias to action in order to accelerate our impact.  
  • Endlessly Creative – To dramatically impact the lives of our youth, we must employ imagination to augment or replace the usual, typical, and predictable.
  • Stubbornly Audacious – Entrenched challenges require disruptive ideas, boldly applied. We must be unafraid to embrace risks.
  • Uncompromising Integrity – How we achieve our mission is equally as important as our mission. We must do right by our youth, our partners, our teammates, and ourselves.

COVID-19 Work Policy

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of the Chicago Beyond team and broader community has been our utmost priority and will continue to be the case. We are continuously evaluating our working model as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.  Currently, Chicago Beyond is operating with a hybrid model.  The current expectations are at least two days a week in Chicago Beyond’s Home for Social Innovation. Staff can choose one of the two days, with one day, Wednesday, devoted to in-person full team time. 

Travel + Hours

The Director of New Partnerships is a highly external role, with the expectation of being out of the office in community (Chicago) at least 50% of the time. In addition to travel, this leader, similar to other Chicago Beyond staff, will attend community events and conversations that occur outside of regular business hours (evenings and weekends).

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for this role is $125,000 - $145,000. Chicago Beyond offers a very generous benefits package including 90% paid medical, dental, and vision coverage for employees. We also match employees’ deferral contributions toward participation in our 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan $1.00 for $1.00 on the first 5% of pay that they contribute.  Employees receive 20 days of paid time off in addition to 13 paid days off for various holidays.  There is also an organization-wide winter holiday break.

To apply 

Please note there is no standard candidate profile. Research shows that underrepresented applicants tend to downplay their qualifications. What is more important to us than numbers and titles are the experiences that you have had and the expertise you have developed. If you think you would be a good fit, please apply.

Chicago Beyond is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.


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