Partner Relations Manager

Posted by
Cradles to Crayons
Chicago, IL

Cradles to Crayons

Published 25 days ago


Opportunity:                    Full-time Position at Cradles to Crayons

Department:                     Operations

Title:                                     Partner Relations Manager

FLSA Status:                      Exempt

Reports to:                        Senior Director of Operations

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.


The Partner Relations Manager is responsible for overseeing and managing external partnerships with our network of human service agencies, who provide social services to low-income families. Additional responsibilities will include crafting the strategy for onboarding, cultivating and elevating partnership to a level which meets and exceeds expectations according to our Kids Served metrics.  This position ensures that the network partner philosophy and standards are defined and executed in accordance with Cradles to Crayon’s mission and strategic plan, that strategies exist to increase distribution through our partners, and that high-quality services are effective and extend our reach. This position will manage the Partner Relations Coordinator to ensure all KidPacks are fulfilled and picked up in a timely manner.


  • Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.
  • Manage the Cradles to Crayons service function for partners and their overall relationships with the organization.

·        Strategically grow our network of partnerships with and within our distribution partners aligned with our strategic goals and mission, as guided by the Senior Director of Operations and the Executive Director.

·        Direct and manage the Partner Relations Coordinator.

·        Ensure the timely communications of the KidPack demand, working with the Operations team to predict production schedules

·        Analyze the organization’s geographic penetration, the effectiveness of our existing partnerships and make recommendations as needed to make C2C more effective.

·        Create and find opportunities which bring C2C meaningful and visible interactions with communities and organizations which contribute to the betterment of the Chicagoland, particularly in the neighborhoods which we serve.

  • Ensure that all documentation and partnership agreements are current, effectively managed and that they are adhered to by all partners.

·        Staying current on local and national trends on childhood poverty and basic needs.

  • Ensure the successful development and implementation of all services to non-profit partners while focusing on overall satisfaction and enhancement of these services per customer needs and requirements.

·        Create and lead strategy for optimal engagement with the Partner Advisory Council.

·        Create and manage the annual survey process of our distribution partners, with support of other team members. Based on survey findings, adjust systems and processes to great meet partner needs and feedback.

·        Work collaboratively with staff, volunteers, and interns to achieve the mission of Cradles to Crayons.

·        Oversee and manage the annual backpack distribution during RFS initiative.

·        Participate in Cradles to Crayons’ special events/initiatives, specifically managing all aspects related to distribution partners.

·        Plan and execute partner-related programs, as appropriate.

·        Work with IT/Salesforce Manager to advise/address issues related to online ordering system.

·        Other responsibilities as assigned by the Senior Director of Operation and the Executive Director.

·        Operations and Giving Factory production

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

b.      Assist with the fulfilment of Everyday and Emergency Essentials requests

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

d.      Receive gently used donations as outlined in the Material Handling Policy

e.      Unload pallets of incoming donations and purchases from delivery trucks

f.       Load vehicles designated for the delivery of Everyday and Emergency requests

g.      Assist with the movement, organization and tracking of inventory

h.      Assist with the physical changes and upkeep needed to create and maintain a socially distant Giving Factory

i.        Lead volunteers

j.        Perform cleaning and sanitizing duties as directed

k.      Other duties as assigned


Performance measures:

  • The highest standards of customer service are expected at all times for customers.
  • Effective, regular and responsive communication exists with other staff members, volunteers, and vendors.
  • Appearance of warehouse is maintained at all times and is safe for volunteers.
  • Assistance and support is provided to others as needed.



·        Ideal candidates for this position are individuals who thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced, and collaborative work environment.

·        Candidates shall believe firmly in the mission and vision of the organization.

·        Minimum of 3-4 years of experience in a non-profit setting, with a focus on relationship and program management is required.

·        Exemplary organizational and project management skills, attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously required.

·        Strong written and verbal communication skills are critical.

·        Technological interest and savvy (including Word, Excel, and database management) required.

·        Ability to speak fluent Spanish is a high priority

·        Ability to work evening and weekend hours is required.

·        Candidates must also be physically capable of walking up and down stairs, standing for long periods of time, and bending, reaching, pushing, pulling and lifting up to 50 lbs.


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.


Working Conditions:

This position must manage these responsibilities in 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:                     Operations

Title:                                     Partner Relations Manager

FLSA Status:                      Exempt

Reports to:                        Senior Director of Operations

Location:                            Chicago, IL

About Cradles to Crayons…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Managerial


Chicago, IL

How to Apply

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