Jobs Board

Director of Advocacy, Midwest (Arabella Advisors)

Company Name

Arabella Advisors

Company City


Company State


Job Location

Chicago, IL

Company Information

Arabella Advisors helps foundations, philanthropists and investors who are serious about impact achieve the greatest good with their resources. We work on issues ranging from the social and economic advancement of women and girls, and conservation of our climate and planet, to reducing poverty and inequity in the United States and around the world. Our staff members are mission-driven and action-oriented, and have a unique combination of experience in philanthropy, business, nonprofits, government, finance, law, and other fields. We combine creative, strategic thinking with knowledge and networks developed through decades of hands-on experience. The fastest-growing philanthropic advisory firm in the nation, Arabella is also a certified B Corporation.

About Arabella’s Advocacy Work

Since its founding, Arabella Advisors has partnered with funders of all sizes to develop and implement effective strategies to support issues as diverse as childhood nutrition, early education, gun control, worker’s rights, U.S. democracy, and mental health policy. Arabella’s Advocacy practice helps funders develop and advance their policy priorities and advocacy goals while grappling with questions of power, equity, and privilege. Our team draws on deep experience in issue campaigns, advocacy organizations, organizing groups, and philanthropy to conduct landscape analysis; develop advocacy grantmaking strategies; facilitate partnerships between advocacy-focused funders; shape effective advocacy teams; design and build new advocacy initiatives, and much more.

Job Description

Director of Advocacy, Midwest (This role will be reporting up to the Chicago, IL office, but can be located elsewhere in the Midwest region)

Arabella Advisors is seeking a mission-driven individual with substantial experience in social and policy change advocacy and philanthropy. This position is a core member of the team responsible for growing and managing Arabella Advisors business in the Midwest region for institutional foundations, corporations, and individual/family clients with a central focus on advocacy-related issue areas. The ideal candidate will have a background in and passion for issue advocacy, organizing, power-building, and civic engagement and will apply their expertise and knowledge to engagements with philanthropic and other social sector clients.

The position will work closely with Arabella’s Managing Director of Advocacy to support and develop new clients and to assist Arabella’s fiscal sponsorship and compliance teams.

Essential Responsibilities:

Client Service and Relationship Management (~70%)

  • Work with new and established clients who either individually or through participation in donor collaboratives are supporting issue campaigns, policy research and development, and movement organizations with an emphasis on excellent service and communication.
  • Serve as a central strategist and trusted partner to clients and support project teams so that the activities and outputs result in efficient and effective collaboration that meet/exceed client service standards
  • Contribute to professional growth and satisfaction of junior staff by providing direction, support, and guidance on complex project work; also provide education around networks, strategies/tactics, and cultures of issue advocacy
  • Facilitate client meetings and produce expert content for clients
  • Help negotiate contracts, find expansion opportunities to grow client relationships and troubleshoot engagements as necessary.

Midwest Region Client Development (~30%)

  • Qualify leads and develop new opportunities with all client types to generate a sustainable multi-year book of business by developing relationships with changemakers across the Midwest
  • Design and implement strategies to engage existing and new donors in the Midwest region, helping clients to facilitate policy change across the Midwest and when applicable, help to connect them to national advocacy campaigns and movements.
  • In close coordination with the Fiscal Sponsorship team source, structure, and launch fiscally sponsored projects and donor initiatives focused on advocacy
  • Stay abreast of developments of the field through attendance at convenings and conferences, and otherwise represent the firm at relevant sector events and meetings
  • Contribute to the development, implementation, and management of key components of the team and firm’s strategic plan, annual objectives, and key business performance metrics.

Related Core Competencies:

  • The ability to provide excellent service, including being able to effectively manage resources, create and implement enhancements across the firm to efficiently achieve service standards, and to coach junior teammates on how to address complex service challenges
  • The ability to oversee and advise on multiple complex projects, ensure support and deliverables are high-quality and meet clients’ needs
  • The ability to coach colleagues in how to understand stakeholders’ perspectives and to handle high-level stakeholder challenges
  • The ability to effectively communicate complex and difficult messages, to represent the firm to external audiences, and to mentor colleagues in how to adapt style, tone, and content to various audiences
  • The ability to help teams overcome collaboration challenges and promote compromise, inclusion, and openness; promote and lead activities that support an open, safe, and inclusive organization; understand the context in which we work and build critical cross-team connections; and share useful knowledge firm wide
  • The ability to regularly integrate learnings to improve team operations, to lead learning opportunities that enhance team performance, and to be a mentor to others
  • The ability to empower teammates to solve problems and provide guidance only when necessary; to solve complex challenges without clear owners or solutions by identifying innovative approaches; and to facilitating coordination with others and to coach colleagues in thinking through solutions
  • The ability to create space for and/or facilitate conversations about DEI, bring diverse networks and relationships to the firm, and model leading through one’s own learning edges

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Advancing DEI within our firm and in our work with partners is critical to our mission. To be effective partners to philanthropists, nonprofits, and communities impacted by philanthropic dollars, we need to have a highly diverse staff, a workplace where individuals are encouraged to retain their uniqueness and can feel a sense of belonging, and a nuanced understanding of the racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other disparities that undergird the issues we engage in and the interactions we have with one another. For us, equity means that our staff members, our clients, and the people they serve can experience the same level of success, no matter their starting place. We expect all our employees to share this commitment, and always seek ways to improve how well we live these values. Click here to learn more about DEI at Arabella and read our official DEI statement.

Total Rewards (Compensation and Benefits)

This is a full-time position. We offer a competitive and holistic total rewards package that includes salary, bonus, and benefits. Our base salaries are based on a blend of similar sized organizations from different sectors, including nonprofits, foundations, and professional service firms. They are also based on local market rates and differentiated by geography.

All full-time staff are eligible for our generous benefits package on their first day of employment:

  • Health Insurance – On average Arabella pays 86% of the medical premium, 80% of the dental premium, and 100% of the vision premium
  • Paid Time Off – 16 days’ vacation, 10 personal days, 11 company holidays (7 federal and 4 more from a list of inclusive cultural and religious holidays and your birthday), 20 hours’ volunteer leave, 8 weeks’ parental leave
  • 401(k) retirement plan – We offer a 4% employer match on a dollar-per-dollar basis, and there is no waiting or vesting period; all funds contributed by you and Arabella are yours to keep on day 1
  • Reimbursements for your personal cell phone plan and fitness
  • Pre-tax withholding for transportation and parking
  • Bonus incentive opportunities
  • Access to professional development opportunities

Working with Us

This position is open to candidates who wish to be based from our office location in Chicago, IL; it is also open to permanently remote workers based in the Midwest. Please note that all Arabella Advisors’ offices have reopened, and we work in a hybrid environment.

We reopened our offices in Summer of 2022 and work with a hybrid workplace strategy to ensure continued flexibility for our staff, while deepening our strong culture rooted in collaboration and in-person interactions between colleagues. We expect that after their initial onboarding, all Arabellans will have the choice of two hybrid schedules. Our hybrid schedule options include Flex, with 1-2 days per week in the office, or Office-based, with 3+ days per week in the office (or more if preferred) and the remaining days working at home/remotely. We will make reasonable accommodations under the guidelines of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

To center the safety and well-being of its employees, Arabella Advisors requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date. This position may require candidates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law.

We are committed to having a passion-driven, inclusive, transparent, collaborative, healthy, and fun culture. We invite you to visit our careers page to learn more.

Job Qualifications

To Be Successful in This Role, You’ll Need:

  • 8 to 10 years of experience in issue advocacy, social change, or philanthropic organizations.
  • Experience with campaign, movement building or legislative work strongly preferred.
  • Experience with large institutional foundation in the Midwest region strongly preferred, including program design and grantmaking
  • Experience with or strong understanding of fiscal sponsorship strongly preferred
  • A strong understanding of how philanthropy can support advocacy, policy change, and community power-building efforts.
  • Strong research and analysis skills across issues, including the ability to get up to speed quickly on many different issues and domains, work through complexity, and deliver informed support and recommendations
  • Proven ability to work with diverse audiences and stakeholders, facilitate meetings, convenings, and strategic processes that bring groups to decisions
  • Ability to manage and lead multiple complex projects, to oversee and delegate to team members, and to meet deadlines, while creating a positive and inclusive team environment
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Some understanding of nonprofit lobbying law, including the definitions of lobbying and what is allowable for philanthropies of different legal statuses preferred

How to Apply

Submit a resume and a one-page cover letter online. The cover letter should address why you’re excited to work at Arabella and why you’re qualified for this specific job.

Arabella Advisors is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to racial equity. If we can make the application process easier through accommodation in the recruitment process, please let us know. We make a particular effort to recruit people of color and members of marginalized groups to apply for open positions. Once you have applied, we welcome your feedback on how you have experienced our values around DEI in the recruitment process.

While Arabella is open to individuals from various locations applying to join our team, please note that we generally are unable to pay for relocation expenses, and, except in rare circumstances considered on a case-by-case basis, all applicants must already be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of application to be considered for this position.

We will review applications as they are received and look forward to hearing from you.

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