Community Engagement Associate

Posted by
Cradles to Crayons
Chicago, IL
Published 28 days ago


Opportunity: Full-time Position at Cradles to Crayons

Department: Community Engagement

Title: Community Engagement Associate

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Reports to: Senior Manager of Community Engagement

Location: Chicago, IL


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 Senior Manager of Community Engagement, the Community Engagement Associate 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 Associate 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. One

will research, foster, and establish relationships with community groups, schools, religious associations, corporations, individuals and/or foundation supporters. The Community Engagement Associate will also coordinate and schedule all incoming product by acting as the liaison between collection sites, community volunteers, and Cradles to Crayons’ transportation partners. The Community Engagement Associate will support all activities associated with Cradles to Crayons’ engagement model including: community events, product acquisition, logistics, volunteer recruitment, volunteer scheduling, program and event sponsorships, and other strategic relationship-building opportunities. The Community Engagement Associate will also be charged to support the organization as needed with tasks in marketing, and support in planning for our signature events.


• Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.

• Execute a variety of community-based events including strategic outreach, logistics, invitation lists, program planning, site visits, and follow-up. Oversee timeline and delegate and coordinate roles and responsibilities to teammates and colleagues—under the supervision of the Senior Manager of Community Engagement

• Lead signature collection events each year to increase brand awareness in the community, recruit a network of volunteers, and secure needed product donations—under the supervision of the Senior Manager of Community Engagement

• Lead and manage relationships with key faith-based and school groups to secure participation in signature events, product collection drives, and volunteering opportunities throughout the year-- under the supervision of the Senior Manager of Community Engagement

• Identify and manage relationships with individuals and groups in various communities with interests consistent with C2C’s programs, utilizing C2C’s network, warehouse visitors and research methods to increase product donations from community-based resources. Support the maintenance of positive donor relationships through positive interaction, timely follow-up and excellent customer service skills.

• Support the growth of Giving Factory @ Home, Garage Ambassadors, and Giving Factory Direct programs by assisting in strategic outreach, logistics, invitation lists and program planning—under the supervision of Senior Manager of Community Engagement.

• Collaborate with marketing team to create marketing materials, email blasts, and communication/PR plans to support, promote, and elevate community engagement events and initiatives.

• Analyze product acquisition trends, identify gaps in inventory, and design community collection initiatives to bring in most needed product.

• Input, track and maintain community contacts and accounts, collection drives, volunteer visits by community groups and individuals and other information in Salesforce database.

• Recruit, schedule, and lead volunteer groups and champion volunteers. This includes weekend and evening events.

• Report to Senior Manager of Community Engagement on a weekly basis with progress to goals.

• Work closely across C2C’s departments to maintain accurate and up to date data on C2C’s benchmarks and impact.

• 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 Senior Manager of Community Engagement or Executive Director.

• Assist the Partner Relations team with the fulfilment of Everyday and Emergency Essentials requests

• Load vehicles designated for the delivery of Everyday and Emergency requests

• Unload pallets of incoming donations and purchases from delivery trucks

• Receive gently used donations as outlined in the Material Handling Policy

• Assist the Senior Production and Planning Manager with the movement, organization and tracking of inventory

• Perform the duties needed to run the General Sort, Clothing Sort, Sizing, Outfits, Books, Shoes, SUP, Kitting and Toys stations.

• Assist the Senior Director of Operations with the physical changes and upkeep needed to create and maintain a socially-distant Giving Factory

• Lead volunteers

• Perform cleaning and sanitizing duties as directed

• Perform other warehouse, inventory, receiving and distribution tasks as directed by the Manager on Duty.


• 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.


• 2 or 4-year degree preferred (or equivalent experience) in a relevant field.

• 2 years of experience in non-profit, community organizing, logistics, event planning, volunteer coordination, or other relevant detail-oriented role.

• Proven written and oral communication skills, as well as strong relationship-building and project management skills.

• Self-motivated, resourceful, and the ability to multi-task and be highly attentive to detail.

• Ability to navigate database platforms effectively, Salesforce experience a plus.

• Excellent customer service skills including the ability to communicate with visitors, donors, and community contacts in a courteous and professional manner.

• 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.

• 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. Must have a valid Illinois driver’s license (or the ability to obtain one), proof of insurance, access to a vehicle, and a clear driving record.

• 21 years of age.


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.


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.


Opportunity: Full-time Position at Cradles to Crayons

Department: Community Engagement

Title: Community Engagement Associate

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Reports to: Senior Manager of Community Engagement


Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Education
    Other Education Requirement


Chicago, IL, USA

How to Apply

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