Campaign Manager

Posted by
Heartland Alliance
Chicago, IL

Heartland Alliance

Published 7 days ago

December 14, 2020

Heartland Alliance is one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, working in communities in the U.S. and abroad, while serving those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety, by partnering with communities to break cycles of poverty and inequality. The organization is comprised of five nonprofit corporations that provide a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, economic opportunity, safety, and justice. Additionally, the organization leads state and national policy efforts that target lasting change for individuals and society.

The Research & Policy Division was established in 1989 to address the root causes of poverty and inequity. The division’s teams work individually and together to advance social and economic change in to further our mission of equity and opportunity for all. Our core areas of work include research and evaluation, data analytics, policy and advocacy, government affairs, technical assistance and field building, and innovation. We center the experiences of our program participants and people with lived experience in the systems we are trying to change, and we impact well over 4 million individuals’ lives annually through policy and systems change efforts.

Our policy advocacy work advances proven solutions to poverty at the local, state, and federal levels. We lead by developing policy proposals, building strategic alliances, and pursuing legislative and administrative action. Our policy areas and subject matter expertise include criminal legal system reform, health care access, and economic security and financial justice. Our goal is to pass and implement research-driven, meaningful policy and systems change efforts that strengthen communities and advance equity.


Heartland Alliance is seeking a Campaign Manager to advance its criminal legal system reform policy work by leading the Fully Free Campaign to end permanent punishments. This passionate, organized leader will play a central role in Heartland Alliance's groundbreaking efforts to dismantle the oppressive laws and regulations that limit opportunity for people with criminal records in Illinois, otherwise known as state-level collateral consequences.

Working closely with our policy and legislative experts, as well as team members across the Research & Policy Division and Heartland Alliance, the Campaign Manager will build a grassroots coalition and movement in Illinois, and implement our multi-year campaign plans. The Campaign Manager will organize and empower community leaders directly impacted by permanent punishments, and coordinate campaign activities to 1) advance a strong narrative about the need to remove permanent punishments and the impact on people’s lives, and 2) support a movement for state-level legislative and administrative advocacy to get rid of Illinois permanent punishment laws and regulations. “The Campaign Manager will be a member of the Policy and Advocacy team and report to the Senior Policy Manager for Criminal Justice Reform.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

·         Cultivate strong relationships and organize community members across the state, including but not limited to persons with lived experience of criminal legal system involvement, campaign allies and organizational partners, public official champions, and others to advance campaign. Develop relationships specifically with BIPOC-led organizations across the state that might have an interest in dismantling permanent punishments.

·         Support the development and leadership of people impacted by policing, incarceration, and permanent punishments in a way that is anti-racist, trauma-informed, and is sensitive to the emotional and other forms of labor being provided. (Please note that we compensate coalition governing leaders who bring lived expertise.)

·         Lead the implementation of communications strategies for the campaign to advance narrative change by working collaboratively with the Communications and Content Manager, communications team members, and coalition partners.

·         Lift up the research presented in our Never Fully Free report [LINK] to provide evidence related to the scale and impact of permanent punishments on Illinoisans by coordinating and giving presentations to targeted audiences. Work with the research team to plan for and implement any additional research.

·         Develop and provide presentations, trainings, and media interviews about the Fully Free Campaign. Author and support the development of articles, blog posts, and other thought-leader pieces to advance campaign goals, and position the campaign and coalition for narrative and policy change.

·         Work closely and collaboratively with the Senior Policy Manager for criminal legal system reform and other staff to support legislative strategies. Organize and direct coalition members and other champions around opportunities for lobbying and grassroots advocacy to support the campaign’s advocacy goals.

·         Develop and maintain deep substantive knowledge of collateral consequences and reentry challenges. Stay up to date on other criminal legal system reform efforts in Illinois, and the dynamics of Illinois policy and politics related to these issues.

·         Participate in key national, regional, and local meetings and working groups as they support the campaign’s priorities.

·         Supervise campaign staff, contractors, and volunteers as needed.

·         Other duties as assigned.


Qualifications: Wondering whether you have the right credentials or background to apply? The truth is, we don’t care where you went to school or what your connections are. We value lived experience. We are looking for people who care about addressing poverty and fighting for equity, and who have shown the potential to do great policy and coalition work. If we’re not looking for a specific educational or professional background, what are we looking for? Some of the specifics depend on the position (see the above description), but there are traits and standards we value across the board:

Commitment to Human Rights and Equity: We are looking for people who are passionate about ending poverty, advancing racial and gender equity and justice, reforming the criminal legal system, and ensuring basic human rights for all. We are looking to see these values exhibited in your life and experiences, both personal and professional.

 Curiosity and Eagerness to Learn: The best advocates ask good questions, dig deep to understand the details of complex issues, and are always learning and growing.

 We are also looking for evidence of the following types of skills. These may be acquired through lived experience, education, and/or employment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Project Management Skills: We are looking for someone with strong organization skills and the ability to manage multiple assignments under deadlines. This person will have a demonstrated capacity for working in a collaborative environment, while still working independently with a high degree of initiative.

Coalition Building and Organizing Skills: We are looking for someone who can develop and manage relationships with diverse partners, build coalition buy-in, develop coalition strategy, and execute and organize coalition activities for advocacy purposes, including meetings, communications, canvassing, and lobby days.

Critical Thinking Skills: We are looking for someone who is able to analyze and creatively solve the factors contributing to social problems .

Language/Communication Skills: We are looking for someone with excellent written and oral communication skills who is able to speak and write persuasively to a range of diverse audiences. Demonstrated ability to write and revise advocacy related materials, including outreach materials, campaign plans, run of shows, etc. Comfort with meeting facilitation and public speaking. Ability to develop and execute communications strategies, such as social media campaigns, is a plus.

 Technical Skills: Proficiency with skills in word processing, spreadsheets, Internet, and communications platforms like Mailchimp and social media. Familiarity with Microsoft Office package.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


·        While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.

·        While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms

·        The employee is regularly required to sit, stand and walk

·        The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

·        Due to computer usage, the employee will need vision abilities such as close vision and ability to adjust focus.

·         This position involves some travel.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

·        Travel will likely be required, including overnight stays, when it is deemed safe and necessary

·        The noise in the work environment is moderate.

Heartland Alliance is one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, working in communities in the U.S. and abroad, while serving those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety, by partnering with communities to break…

Details at a glance

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



208 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60604

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