Design Strategist, Chicago

UpStart believes that when trailblazing leaders have a committed partner, the fire of our tradition burns brighter. Every day, we partner with our network of bold leaders to expand the picture of how Jews find meaning and how we come together. UpStart fuels and amplifies their powerful ideas, providing them with the lab, launchpad, and support system they need to build a better tomorrow.

We are seeking a talented program designer, facilitator, and relationship-builder, to support and drive our Chicago-based program work. As a member of a small, regional, and multidisciplinary team, and working closely with the Innovation Lead in Chicago, the Design Strategist, Chicago (DS) will focus on supporting local Jewish institutional leaders in becoming effective change-agents at their organizations, drawing on best practices in entrepreneurship, business strategy, and design thinking. The DS will also support our UpStart Accelerator entrepreneurs in Chicago, work closely with the development team on grant reporting needs, and alongside the brand strategy team to provide marketing outreach and content support.

The DS is a full-time exempt position based in Chicago, reports to the Innovation Lead in Chicago, and is focused 65% on local programs and community engagements, 20% on support of entrepreneurship and new ventures, and 15% on development and communications.

Key Activities

Local Programs and Community Engagements (65%)

  • Design and facilitate programs for local Jewish institutional leaders to support them in becoming effective change-agents in their organizations and communities.
  • Co-design and implement a curriculum to engage professionals and lay leaders in community-wide learning opportunities.
  • Develop partnership program proposals and contracts with our local partners.
  • Serve as a key relationship-builder with clients and partners such as JUF, day schools, and synagogues,
  • Implement evaluation data collection processes and synthesize findings in order to improve upon programs.

Venture Accelerator (20%)

  • Support recruitment efforts for UpStart’s National Accelerator, building a pipeline of local Chicago entrepreneurs bringing something fresh and impactful to Jewish life.
  • Coordinate regional UpStart network events, resources, and showcase opportunities.
  • Provide targeted coaching support on an as-needed basis in the core content areas relevant to running and growing successful programs and ventures.
  • Expand UpStart’s network of highly qualified professionals to support participants of the Accelerator, as well as UpStart’s broader work in the community.
  • Coordinate local programming designed to support emerging Jewish social entrepreneurs not yet ready for the Accelerator

Marketing/Development (15%)

  • Support UpStart’s Communications and Content Manager on Chicago-focused strategic marketing campaigns and outreach, such as regional email, website, and social media content.
  • Provide support for local fundraising efforts, including grant reporting, evaluation data collection, identification of potential donors, and local leadership development efforts.
  • Represent UpStart at community events.

Skills and Attributes

  • A passion for creating positive change in the way Jewish life is lived.
  • Practical knowledge of program implementation and human-centered design methodologies.
  • Access to Jewish networks and understanding of the Chicago Jewish ecosystem.
  • Experience in community outreach and managing community partnerships.
  • Track record of success in managing and leading engaging educational programs.
  • Comfort and experience interfacing with and leading clients through an educational experience.
  • High standards for excellence and exceptional attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively, both independently and with others
  • Ability to adapt with resourcefulness, flexibility, and a positive attitude in an entrepreneurial culture.
  • Excellent people, communication, and project management skills.
  • Exhibit a high degree of professionalism and emotional intelligence.
  • Excellent time management skills.

Salary and benefits

Compensation is commensurate with experience.  UpStart is an equal opportunity employer. All individuals are entitled to equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, genetic information, medical condition, veteran status, or any other class protected under federal, state, or local laws.

To Apply: Send a resume with a cover letter that communicates why you would be a “fit” for the position to Careers@upstartlab.org with the subject: UpStart Design Strategist, Chicago.

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