Corporate Partnerships Specialist


Position Summary:

If corporate fundraising, partnerships, and engagements are your sweet spots, then we encourage you to apply today!

Aspire is looking for a dynamic, cause-driven, and proactive individual to join our team as the full-time Corporate Partnerships Specialist at Aspire. Use your relationship-building and creative-thinking skills to lead and grow Aspire’s corporate fundraising and partnerships program in alignment with our mission and vision of inclusion and belonging.

In this role, you will develop, execute, and evaluate Aspire’s corporate fundraising and partnerships program including solicitation and stewardship of cash donations, grants, event sponsorships, in-kind gifts, and revenue generated through Aspire’s CoffeeWorks and Art360 social enterprises. You will report directly to Aspire’s Director, Grants & Partnerships. 

Position Responsibilities: 

The following represents the primary position responsibilities, but other related duties necessary to meet the needs of the organization may be assigned.

Corporate Fundraising

  • Build a corporate giving pipeline: identify, research, evaluate, cultivate, solicit, and steward companies capable of corporate giving and engagement. 
  • Develop, launch, evaluate and improve a corporate gifts program at Aspire.
  • Build relationships and individually manage a portfolio of  approximately 50+ companies.
  • Solicit corporations for gifts, including cash, inkind or pro bono donations.
  • Project manage organization-wide efforts to secure corporate sponsorships for Aspire’s fundraising events.
  • Work with Philanthropy Associate Director to determine corporate giving recognition strategy to strengthen Aspire’s stewardship plan.
  • Collaborate with the VP, Philanthropy to identify opportunities to increase matching gifts from corporations.
  • Collaborate with the Events & Volunteers Specialist to identify corporate volunteer groups to add to the corporate giving and community partners pipelines.
  • Identify, write, and submit corporate grants and required grant reports.
  • Prepare customized proposals, presentations, and collateral for corporate partners and donors about funding needs and requests.
  • Serve as a liaison between Aspire and Friends of Aspire, a group of energized professional ambassadors who fundraise and network on behalf of Aspire to move our mission forward. 
  • Serve as a thought leader on corporate giving trends and best practices with industry research and make recommendations on program improvements.

Corporate Partnerships

  • Build a community partners pipeline: identify, research, evaluate, cultivate, solicit, and steward companies capable of partnering with Aspire to move our mission and vision forward.
  • Prepare customized proposals, presentations, collateral, and reports for potential or current corporate partners to achieve strategic goals that benefit our community. 
  • Facilitate partnership activities, including but not limited to “Lunch and Learns”, corporate speaking opportunities, tours, and events. 
  • Help establish outcome/impact measures, monitor results, and report results to improve Aspire’s corporate fundraising and      partnership efforts. 
  • Set goals and next steps for corporate partners in collaboration with 10+ Aspire team members across multiple departments. 
  • Conduct peer-to-peer accountability check-ins with team members to monitor progress and support their efforts to achieve mutually agreed upon goals for the partnerships they manage. 
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all prospective and current partnerships in Aspire’s CRM database. 
  • Create a culture of partnership across Aspire by participating in cross-department teambuilding activities and efforts. 

Team Collaboration & Leadership 

  • Connect and build relationships with community leaders, business leaders, family members, Board members, and others to promote and articulate Aspire’s mission, vision, and strategic needs to the greater community. 
  • Participate or assist during special events. 
  • Promote a positive culture that aligns with Aspire’s shared values during all interactions with Aspire      stakeholders. 
  • Actively participate in professional development to enhance knowledge.

Reporting to this Position: None 


Required Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3 plus years' experience in fundraising, corporate social responsibility or business development or sales 
  • Proven record of success in solicitation or sales.
  • Proven record of success in forging mutually beneficial partnerships with clients. 

Additional Licensing/Certifications:

  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation

Required Skills, Knowledge & Abilities: 

  • Dynamic and engaging relationship building skill. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong project management, organizational, and time management skills 
  • Ability to maintain confidential information 
  • Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Ability to successfully learn and use donor CRM software
  • Understand and provide superior customer service

Preferred Education & Experience:

  • Writing and submitting grant proposals and reporting requirements 
  • Leading cross-functional teams

Preferred Skills, Knowledge & Abilities:

  • Experience in philanthropic initiatives or volunteering

Leadership Competencies:

  • Achieves Results: Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
  • Builds Effective Teams: Building strong-identity teams that apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
  • Cultivates Innovation: Creating new & better ways for the organization to be successful.
  • Makes Quality Decisions: Making good & timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward.
  • Tackles the Tough Issues: Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said.


Voted as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to work for in Chicago! We know that Together, We’re Better!   

Aspire was founded in 1960 and is recognized as a leader in providing bold, pioneering, and uncompromising services to adults with developmental disabilities, their families and the community. In 2019, we joined forces with NorthPointe Resources to be one of the most recognized and respected disability service providers across the Chicago metropolitan area, Lake County (Illinois), and southeastern Wisconsin areas.

Full Time Benefits (regularly scheduled to work at least 37 1/2 hours per week)

  • Health      Insurance
  • Benefit Time      (Vacation, Sick, Personal)
  • 13 Holidays
  • 403(B)      Retirement Savings Plan with matching contribution
  • Disability      Insurance
  • Life      Insurance
  • Employee      Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Voluntary      Insurances available

Aspire is an equal employment opportunity employer. We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Let us know if you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process. In your application, we invite you to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).