Senior Community Engagement Associate

Senior Community Engagement Associate

Advance Illinois Website

Senior Community Engagement Associate

Job Description Title: Senior Community Engagement Associate

Location: Chicago or Springfield, Illinois

Full-Time Exempt

Organization Overview

Advance Illinois is a not-for-profit policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system across the B-20 continuum that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. We believe every child should have access to high-quality education and care, regardless of geography, income, or race. Spanning the early childhood through higher education continuum, Advance Illinois analyzes research, data and best practice; engages practitioners, families and partners; and develops and promotes policies designed to strengthen public education, higher education, and early childhood education and care in Illinois.

Advance Illinois’ Community Engagement team works to advance educational equity for students by bridging education policy and research with stakeholders on the ground. The team works to leverage relationships with state-level groups, policy makers, grasstops and grassroots organizations, faith-based and civil rights organizations to ensure diverse perspectives are considered in the policy making process. Through our work we build coalitions and grow to achieve meaningful outcomes for students. Our theory of action is based on our conviction that when education policy and action plans are based on high-quality data and community involvement, change will lead to further racial and socioeconomic equity, improvements in learning conditions, increased student access and achievement, and sound decision making around resources.

Position Summary

Advance Illinois seeks a Senior Community Engagement Associate who will work collaboratively with the Director of Community Engagement to execute advocacy and outreach strategies to cultivate relationships with diverse stakeholders across Illinois, build coalitions around key priorities, and ensure the perspectives of diverse stakeholders are considered in the policy making process. The Community Engagement team works in close collaboration with policy, government relations, and communications team members to help inform complex issues and execute on advocacy campaigns. The Senior Community Engagement Associate reports to the Director of Community Engagement.


• Strong commitment to and alignment with Advance Illinois’ mission of improving our state’s public education system

• Extensive knowledge of public education issues and/or experience creating high-impact advocacy campaigns

• Ability to grasp and effectively communicate complex, detailed information in a clear, concise manner for a variety of audiences

• Experience in a fast-paced environment and comfortable working in an ever-shifting political environment, familiarity with state political and legislative environment highly preferred

• A tremendous drive and strong ability to achieve outcomes. Ability to set and adhere to strict deadlines.

• Excellent planning and organizational skills as well as exceptional attention to detail

• Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, and other supporters from all backgrounds and cultures

• Comfort pivoting between high-level, strategic work and smaller tasks. No job is too big or too small

• Spanish fluency, both written and conversational, preferred, but not required.

Essential Functions

• Represent Advance Illinois with stakeholders in our key priority areas

• Cultivate and maintain relationships with key stakeholders in early childhood, K-12, and higher education

• Support coalitions, networks, and campaigns by drafting plans, managing logistics, and co-leading meetings

• Develop and execute on digital advocacy toolkits in collaboration with other team members

• Collaborate with Comms team to maintain the Funding IL Future website and help upkeep social media; engaging with community partners and advocates.

• Identify and support key stakeholders to testify, engage in meetings with decision-makers, submit op-eds and letters to the editor

• Serve as the project manager for Educator Advisory Council by maintaining relationships, and leading/facilitating ongoing meetings

• Responsible for maintaining an engagement database tracking system to track qualitative data for the organization

• Identify, support, and develop leaders that will advocate for key priority issues

• Develop effective ways to elevate the voices of communities most impacted by education policy

• Support the collective impact efforts, and policy engagement with the Illinois 60 by 25 Network Education


Bachelor’s Degree

Minimum of 4-6 years of experience in a community outreach, organizing, or engagement role

Working Location

Advance Illinois has offices in both Chicago and Springfield and this person can work out of either office. Part of the job will require time on the road traveling around the state of Illinois.

Advance Illinois is a hybrid workplace. In general, employees are expected to work from the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a floating day of their choice as well as be present at in-person meetings with partners as needed. Advance Illinois will continue to monitor guidance from health officials and the need for remote work arrangements.


The salary range is $58,000 to $65,000 per year depending on experience and qualifications. Additionally, employees have the opportunity to earn a bonus of 10% of annual salary for a total annual compensation of $63,800 to $71,500. Excellent benefits package includes: health/dental insurance; shortterm/long-term disability plans; 401K with a company match plan; flexible spending account; holidays and vacation accrual.

To Apply

Please complete this questionnaire. Please also submit a resume to: All resume submissions will be acknowledged. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Please do not call Advance Illinois.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBT persons, differently abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, political affiliation, mental or physical disability, age, marital status, family status, or veteran status. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

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