External Relations Officer
Job Type

For over 50 years, Legal Aid Chicago has provided free civil legal assistance to people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago. Each year our attorneys, volunteers, and staff help resolve civil legal problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. Legal Aid Chicago was founded on the philosophy that all individuals are entitled to quality civil legal representation, regardless of their income. We work to ensure that poverty is not an impediment to justice by dismantling the legal barriers that perpetuate inequality. Legal Aid Chicago staff live our mission through our core values of equity, excellence, inclusion, kindness, and respect.

Position: Legal Aid Chicago is seeking a full-time External Relations Officer. Under the direct supervision of the Director of Development, who is overseen by the Chief External Relations Officer, the External Relations Officer is responsible for supporting the multiple functional areas within External Relations (fundraising, communications, and marketing) by providing skills, knowledge, and creativity to support effective and efficient operations of the department.


Duties include:

Donor Outreach & Acknowledgment

  • Create, help oversee, and manage direct mail campaigns throughout the year and interface with design consultant and printing house
  • Help create, generate, and facilitate timely acknowledgement letters to donors
  • Send internal weekly reports of fundraising income received
  • Analyze results of giving initiatives
  • Process and track donor pledges, invoices, and checks

Database Management

  • In-house subject matter resource for Raiser’s Edge
  • Manage Raiser’s Edge donor database, including maintenance, user accounts, reports, queries, and data clean-up projects
  • Maintain and develop best practices for organizational records in order to sustain data integrity
  • Orchestrate Raiser’s Edge queries for complex mailing lists
  • Deliver clear and accurate reporting and tracking

Other Duties

  • Help research and identify new private sources of fundraising income (from foundations and donors) for general operations support
  • Craft compelling documents that persuasively translate and communicate Legal Aid Chicago’s vision, mission, and project/program initiatives
  • Interpret guidelines, draft narratives, and other required proposal components; gather material and information necessary for developing a strong proposal
  • Submit proposals to help obtain new and increased funding
  • In collaboration with the Chief of External Relations and Director of Development and Communications, along with the rest of the External Relations team, assist in the planning and execution of special events, including the two biggest fundraisers of the year (the June Annual Luncheon and the fall Justice Is Served event).
  • Other duties as assigned by Supervisor.

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Legal Aid Chicago offers a comprehensive benefits package, including low-cost employer-paid health plan options, employer-provided group life and long-term disability insurance, fitness center access, generous paid time off, and much more.

  • Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 3-5 years of professional fundraising experience in a nonprofit environment
  • Minimum 2 years of Raiser’s Edge experience preferred. May consider other CRM database system experience
  • Experience with grant writing and/or creative writing
  • Excellent writing, proofreading, and verbal communication skills
  • Superior time management skills and ability to handle multiple projects with attention to detail and meet deadlines
  • Ability to research quickly and effectively
  • Sensitive to the needs of Legal Aid Chicago’s clients and community
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Cover letter, resume and the contact information for two professional references are required to apply.  

Legal Aid Chicago is firmly committed to creating a diverse workplace and is proud to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants therefore does not discriminate on the basis of creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age religion, marital or parental status, alienage, disability, political affiliation or belief, military or military discharge status, or ex-offender status. Applicants who have experience with our client communities are encouraged to apply.