Midwest Director

This position is based in Chicago, Illinois and reports to the Vice President, National Outreach.

Description & Responsibilities

Direct Small Business Majority’s (SBM) work in Illinois and potentially other Midwestern states, by initially raising funds to expand our Illinois outreach, policy and advocacy efforts and, once successful, expanding development and managing work in other Midwestern states.  

Our organization is funded primarily by grants from institutions like philanthropic foundations, corporations and corporate foundations. It is the primary responsibility of the Midwest Director to secure funding for the organization to support our work in Illinois and following that success in other Midwestern states. While some national funding, raised by our national Development team, is allocated to our Illinois work, the Midwest Director is responsible for raising the needed funds locally to sustain the operation. We have successfully raised money in Chicago over the past seven years, but we need a dedicated, locally-based ,effort to expand and sustain the work. 

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Maintain existing funding relationships, identify new potential institutional funders and cultivate strong relationships with these funders. (These funders will likely be based in Illinois, typically in Chicago, but there is the potential to raise money in other states)
  • Work with our national executive staff and team of grant writers on crafting proposals that match our organizational goals and those of the prospective funders
  • Work with our Executive Team to set specific fundraising goals for Illinois and ensure these goals are met in order to financially sustain our Illinois (and later Midwest) operation
  • Coordinate with our Chicago-based Midwest Outreach Manager on Chicago fundraising efforts.

In addition to the primary focus on fundraising, the Midwest Director is initially responsible for direct management of our Chicago-based Outreach Manager. (The logical progression of this position is to manage additional Midwest-based Outreach Managers at a later date.) The Chicago-based Outreach Manager conducts all our outreach, policy and advocacy work in Illinois (and soon Wisconsin) which includes the following: 


  • Develop and maintain relationships with state and regional business organizations to educate the business community on a variety of business and public policy issues 
  • Coordinate with SBM’s Small Business Engagement team to develop and maintain relationships with individual small business owners, and mobilize those small business owners to conduct advocacy on SBM’s public policy agenda
  • Develop and maintain relationships with small business support organizations so SBM can serve as a connector that directs small business owners to appropriate lenders and technical assistance providers

Policy & advocacy

  • Direct SBM’s state and municipal advocacy work, including testifying before state and municipal governmental bodies, meeting with lawmakers, speaking at press conferences, etc., to advance SBM’s policy agenda


  • Minimum of 3 years-experience of successful large dollar ($50k -$500k+) fundraising from foundations, corporations or other institutional funders
  • Expansive contacts of relevant funders in Illinois, particularly Chicago. Funder contacts in other Midwestern states a plus
  • Strong familiarity with fundraising best practices
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and judgment; Ability to quickly build relationship with all types of people
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Results driven
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, work independently and serve as part of a team
  • Superior oral and written communicator
  • Experience managing staff
  • Strong interest/experience working with state legislatures and other policymakers to enact public policy changes, particularly in Illinois
  • Political campaign or similar experience a plus
  • Experience organizing and communicating with constituency groups
  • Ability to work in a flexible, entrepreneurial environment with frequently shifting priorities and evolving internal processes and structures 
  • Interest/experience working on small business issues such as healthcare, responsible lending, retirement security, workforce, taxes and other issues
  • Available for regular travel to visit states in the Midwest (as much as one week per month on average once management & development responsibilities expand beyond Illinois) and attend key external and internal meetings (including SBM’s annual 3-day retreat in California and SBM’s annual 3-day Washington, DC summit.)

To apply, please send resume and cover letter to [email protected]

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.