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Grants Officer

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) seeks a full-time grants officer to add to its development staff.

About the ABF

Located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the American Bar Foundation is a nonprofit, independent international research institute committed to empirical, interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes.  The ABF offers a rich intellectual community of scholars with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, and staff have ample opportunities to interact with ABF scholars and attend research presentations, such as a weekly Wednesday seminar series.  The ABF offers a comprehensive benefits package to eligible employees that includes generous paid time off, health insurance, and retirement.

About this position

The Grants Officer is responsible for identifying, writing, preparing, and administering proposals for research grants, unrestricted operating revenue and restricted program/projects, and for submitting timely and accurate reports for all grant funded projects.  The Grants Officer is also expected to conduct outreach in support of prospecting, including proactively targeting potential sources of funding, working with the development team to generate a strategy in support of prospecting, and engaging in activities in support of prospecting, including using email, phone, and internet research to introduce ABF to new sources of grant funding and to develop and nourish relationships with potential grantors.

This position reports to the Director of Development, and can also expect to take direction from senior managers and the Executive Director. This position will work with other members of the development, Fellows, and communications departments, and work closely with the finance team on budgets related to grant applications and compliance reporting. The successful candidate will be part of a development team that will increase and diversify the foundation’s funding portfolio.

This position is highly responsible and depends on maintaining confidentiality and discretion in all areas of foundation business.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Perform prospect research on foundations, federal agencies, and corporations to evaluate prospective funding opportunities, and proactively conduct outreach to new and potential grantors through emails, phone calls, and ongoing communications with target contacts.
  • Collaborate with principal investigators, senior management, and external partners in building comprehensive grant applications.
  • Provide guidance to principal investigators on how to best align funder requirements to each specific grant application.
  • Develop customized budgets, in collaboration with finance team and principal investigators, which meet the specific objectives of the project and adhere to Foundation policies and application requirements.
  • Review grant application components for grammar, typographical errors, consistency, and formatting in conformance with application requirements
  •  Assemble and submit grant applications.
  •  Serve as primary liaison between principal investigators and funders for the management of pre-and post-award matters.  Review and monitor compliance with contractual award terms, federal grant management regulations, and institutional policies and procedures.
  • Comply with all grant reporting requirements as required by funders.
  • Maintain current records in database and in paper files.
  • Identify, track and analyze key metrics on grant activity and impact for internal and external reports.
  • Maintain calendar of all grant-related activities.
  • Assist in stewardship of current donors, working with Director of Development and Director of The Fellows to provide regular written updates to individual, corporate and foundation donors.
  • Understand institutional history and programs.
  • Assist with other fundraising projects as requested.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong written communication skills; ability to write clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive grant applications.
  • Strong verbal communication skills, and the ability to interact with senior academics from multiple social science disciplines.
  • Ability to quickly comprehend a wide range of issues at the intersection of law and society.
  • Strong editing skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage priorities and to meet deadlines.
  • Knowledge of fundraising information sources.
  • Experience with proposal writing.
  • Knowledge of basic fundraising techniques and strategies.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with research techniques for prospect research.
  • Strong contributor in team environments.
  • Entrepreneurial nature; creative thinker willing to work regularly with faculty in grant writing.
  • Raisers’ Edge knowledge a plus.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum of two years’ experience with grant writing
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in law or social sciences (MA, JD, PhD) preferred
  • Previous experience with non-profit fundraising
  • Demonstrated success in identifying funding opportunities and grant proposal writing
  • Experience working in deadline-driven environments
  • Able to work well in a team environment, handle multiple assignments and meet deadlines
  • Able to monitor and help to meet revenue goals
  • Able to communicate clearly and effectively with academic scholars from a wide range of social science disciplines

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment.  This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.

Physical Demands

This is largely a sedentary role; however, some filing is required.  This would require the ability to lift files, open cabinets, and bend or stand as necessary.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time exempt position.  Generally, days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a 1-hour lunch period.  Occasional work outside of these hours is expected in connection with Foundation events, such as occasional travel to NSF conferences, or participation in Board meetings.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. 

EEO Statement

The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.

To receive consideration, please send a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample to as follows:

Email subject line: Grants Officer

American Bar Foundation

750 North Lake Shore Drive 4th floor

Chicago, IL 60611

No phone calls, please. 


Editorial Coordinator and Program Associate

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) seeks an Editorial Coordinator and Program Associate to be responsible for coordination of the publication of Law and Social Inquiry (LSI), a peer-reviewed quarterly journal published by the Foundation, and to provide program support for the summer Undergraduate Research Diversity Fellowship.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with an expected start in May or June 2019.

About the ABF

Located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the American Bar Foundation is a nonprofit, independent national research institute committed to empirical, interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes.  Law & Social Inquiry (LSI) is a multidisciplinary quarterly publication of original research articles and review essays that analyze law, legal institutions, and the legal profession from a sociolegal perspective.  LSI contributors examine law-and-society issues across multiple disciplines, including anthropology, criminology, economics, history, philosophy, political science, sociology and social psychology.  The journal’s combination of empirical and theoretical scholarship and critical appraisal of the latest sociolegal scholarship makes LSI an indispensable source for legal scholars and practitioners.  The ABF offers a rich intellectual community of scholars with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, and staff have ample opportunities to interact with ABF scholars and attend research presentations, such as a weekly Wednesday seminar series.  The ABF offers a comprehensive benefits package to eligible employees that includes generous paid time off, health insurance, and retirement.

Editorial Coordinator (70%)

Reporting to the Editor of Law & Social Inquiry, the Coordinator is responsible for the overall activities and correspondence between editors, reviewers, authors, and press to ensure the timely publication of an internationally recognized peer-reviewed socio-legal journal.  The Coordinator also will have the opportunity to participate in the substantive evaluation and editing of scholarly articles.

Primary duties include:

  • Maintaining accuracy of article submissions in the journal database.
  • Screening new manuscripts, inputting relevant data, and coordinating with editors and scholars to facilitate the review process.
  • Staffing bi-weekly editorial meetings, including preparing agendas and taking minutes.
  • Maintaining the production schedule and coordinating with the publisher and/or third-party vendors to facilitate the copyediting process.
  • Coordinating with Cambridge to promote the journal via social media platforms and ABF/ Cambridge University Press websites.  
  • Traveling to the Law and Society Association (LSA) annual meeting to staff the booth, answering questions about LSI, promoting the activities of the ABF, attending receptions and presentations, and representing ABF and LSI in a professional manner.

Program Associate (30%)

Reporting to the Director of Legal Affairs and Operations, the Associate prepares administrative arrangements for a high-profile summer undergraduate fellowship program.  Primary duties include:

  • Preparing and disseminating the fellowship posting, acting as the primary point of contact for applicants, and responding to inquiries about the program.  
  • Processing applications for fellowship programs using an online recruiting tool.
  • Playing a central role (with other staff committee members) in the screening and final selection of fellows.
  • Serving as a liaison to ABF faculty and coordinating internal meetings, such as brown-bag lunches with interns and faculty.
  • Scheduling, arranging, and coordinating the summer fellowship calendar, including external site visits with law firms, government agencies, and other organizations.

Qualifications

To perform this job successfully, one must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Strong writing and editing skills are required.  Candidates with newspaper, journal, or other publishing experience are strongly preferred.
  • Excellent verbal, writing, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate with vendors, management, scholars, and co-workers in a friendly and professional manner.
  • The ability to pay close attention to detail while remaining cognizant of a project’s ultimate goals and purpose.
  • A self-starter with a strong sense of urgency and the ability to think critically and solve problems creatively.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate a genuine interest in academic scholarship.
  • The ability to multitask, and prioritize effectively, while maintaining quality and accuracy.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word are required; familiarity with ScholarOne and/or Interfolio a plus.

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment.  This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.

Physical Demands

This is largely a sedentary role; however, some filing is required.  This would require the ability to lift files, open cabinets, and bend or stand as necessary.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time exempt position.  Generally, days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a 1-hour lunch period.  Occasional work outside of these hours is expected in connection with LSI or Foundation events, such as travel to the annual LSA conference, or participation in outings during the summer fellowship program.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.  Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

EEO Statement

The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.

To receive consideration, please send a cover letter, and résumé, and writing sample to  as follows:

Email subject line: Editorial Coordinator and Program Associate

American Bar Foundation

750 North Lake Shore Drive 4th floor

Chicago, IL 60611

Please include in your cover letter how you heard about this opportunity.

No phone calls, please. 

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