Working at CHF

The Chicago Humanities Festival has opportunities for year-round and seasonal positions. We invite you to work alongside leading thinkers and performers, share your passion for the humanities, and help bring outstanding cultural programming to your community.


    Reports to:           Managing Director, Development

    Classification:        Full-time, exempt



    The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew. The Festival envisions a city and society in which its members engage in thoughtful dialogue, explore a diversity of ideas and come together to find positive solutions. Collaborating with many of Chicago’s major cultural and educational institutions, CHF produces over 130 events annually all across Chicago. CHF has a national reputation for featuring some of today’s most important, influential and inspiring minds—exceptional authors, scholars, journalists, performers and visual artists—both on stage and online.

    POSITION DESCRIPTION                                                                                                                                               

    The Associate Director, Corporate Relations and Donor Engagement is an integral part of CHF’s six-person development team. This newly created role will lead department efforts in managing and executing engagement strategies, timelines and materials. With a particular focus on expanding the organization’s corporate funding portfolio, s/he will research, identify and guide outreach to existing and new corporate funders in partnership with the Festival’s senior team and Board.

    The position will also lead prospect research efforts, developing and implementing plans for streamlining communications with external stakeholders and internal marketing and programming teams. Primarily responsible for managing external relationship strategy for the institutional funding portfolio, this position works to establish long-term partnerships, strengthen existing relationships and initiate new contacts. Works closely with Associate Director, Institutional Funding to ensure necessary materials are developed in a timely manner.

    The desired candidate will lead department efforts to identify and research corporate prospects and proactively seek opportunities for funding based on corporate guidelines and interests. We are looking for someone who is energetic, ambitious, goal-oriented and creative, with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and with a talent for building strong and productive relationships across constituencies. S/he will be a strategic thinker with excellent time management skills and an eye for detail.


    Corporate Relations

    ●        Identify corporate prospects and conduct research to determine interest and giving potential

    ●        Develop, manage and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies for corporate sponsorships

    ●        Work directly with marketing team to implement corporate sponsorship agreements

    ●        Represent CHF within Chicago’s corporate and cultural communities

    ●        Oversee Corporate Membership program

    ●        With Associate Director, Membership and Special Events, create and execute corporate cultivation events

    Board Committee Liaison                                                                                                                                                                 

    ●        Provide staff support for both the Governance and Nominating Committee and Development Committee of the Board of Directors

    ●        Responsible for timely preparation of necessary material including agendas, reports, action items and tracking systems

    Relationship Management

    ●        Arrange, conduct and coordinate cultivation, stewardship and recognition activities such as on-site signage, recognition in publications and site visits for all funders

    ●        Serve as liaison to external and internal stakeholders to ensure timely and accurate delivery of donor benefits including tickets, access, logos, marketing materials

    ●        Develop and implement organization-wide stewardship plans. Manage senior team’s assigned relationships and document activities in Raiser’s Edge database

    Prospect Research

    ●        Lead department efforts to conduct all research and prepare necessary materials for cultivation and solicitation meetings

    ●        Create department wide system for identifying, researching and tracking donor prospects


    Other duties as assigned by the Managing Director, Development


    ●        Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred (preferably in arts management, marketing, communications or business)

    ●        5–7 years’ development, marketing, corporate business development, corporate social responsibility, or related experience

    ●        Proven track record of success in corporate  cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies

    ●        Best practices knowledge of prospect research databases, programs and systems

    ●        Excellent written and oral communication skills

    ●        Excellent organizational, interpersonal and networking skills with large groups as well as with individuals

    ●        Ability to maintain a high level of poise and professionalism in all circumstances

    ●        Demonstrated ability to take primary responsibility for diverse number of projects and to complete them in a timely manner with limited supervision

    ●        Ability to work collaboratively in a team setting

    ●        Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or Tessitura a plus

    ●        Ability to work nights and weekends as needed



    Submit resume, cover letter, and references to [email protected]


    Deadline to apply August 1, 2018

    Email applications only. No phone calls please.             


    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer





    The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew.

    We produce more than 140 programs annually, reaching a live audience of nearly 50,000 adults and +12,000 youth. In our history, we have presented over 3,000 outstanding speakers, including: 10 Nobel Laureates; 73 Pulitzer Prize winners; 56 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows; 34 Academy Award, Tony, and Grammy winners; and 18 James Beard Award winners. Our dedicated YouTube channel has had over 4.4 million views. Additional information is available at

    2018 Fall Festival: October 27 – November 11

    Employment Contract: Week of August 6, exact date TBA after interviews, through Friday, November 16.

    Interviews begin: Week of July 23
    Required new hire training: Week of August 6


    ASRs are the frontline voice of CHF and its box office, and they are multifaceted. ASRs provide the highest level of customer service to people of all ages and abilities; they lead volunteers; they troubleshoot technology; and, they work independently as project leaders and together with their box office peers.

    ASRs are part-time hourly, seasonal staff. ASRs work daytime hours in the box office during weekdays, and during festival programming, ASRs work evening and weekends. Complete availability is required during Festival events. Festival hours vary based on venue assignment. A compensated training begins in early August. Business hours are Monday – Friday,  10A – 5P. Schedules are fixed within these times.


    • Processing ticket orders by taking calls, processing cash and credit card transactions, mailing tickets
    • Carefully maintaining customer records using ticketing software, SRO4
    • Providing excellent customer service over the phone and in person
    • Fulfilling requests for accessible accommodations   
    • Leading as a Box Office Manager at event venues
    • Training volunteers at event venues
    • Acting as a representative of the Chicago Humanities Festival and its programs
    • Expanding our membership program by informing our audience about its benefits
    • Assisting administrative staff on projects as assigned

    Applicants must possess

    • Experience in theater box office or customer service
    • Tech-savvy with solid computer, data entry, and database management experience
    • A professional demeanor with good communication skills
    • A demonstrated commitment to excellent customer service
    • Ability to multi-task with accuracy and attention to detail in a fast-paced environment
    • Flexibility, resourcefulness, and assertiveness in problem solving
    • High energy, a positive personality, and grace under pressure
    • An interest in working in the arts or cultural industry

    Helpful, though not required:

    • Familiarity with Chicago cultural venues
    • Training in disability awareness, CPR, or American Sign Language
    • Ability to speak conversational Spanish a plus



    How do I apply?

    Email the following materials on or before Tuesday, July 31st 2018:

    • Letter of interest
    • Résumé
    • Contact information for, minimum 2, professional references

    Where do I submit materials?
    To: Audience Services

    [email protected]


    How should I format my subject line?

    Due to the potential number of candidates, please format subject lines exactly as shown below.

    2018 Fall ASR Application: [First Name, Last Name]

    • [Example] 2018 Fall ASR Application: John Smith


    When will I be notified of a potential callback and interview?

    All ASR candidates will not receive interviews or be contacted until the final week of July.  

    Thank you!
    We look forward to reviewing your materials.


    Email applications only. No phone calls please.                             

    The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer

how to apply

Please contact Saloni Dar, Associate Director, Administration & Operations, at 312-661-1028 ext. 715 for details about volunteering.

Volunteers - Apply Now