Volunteer Coordinator

Job Description

Horizons for Youth enables Chicago students of all academic ability levels to become the first in their families to graduate from college. Founded in 1990, we are Chicago’s only organization providing a comprehensive suite of wraparound services and tuition support beginning in kindergarten and continuing through college graduation.

For more information, visit www.horizons-for-youth.org


The Volunteer Coordinator will support the volunteer recruitment and retention efforts of Horizons for Youth. In general, the Volunteer Coordinator will help to advance the growth efforts of the organization by meeting the volunteer needs of the organization.

The Volunteer Coordinator will recruit volunteers from the community and place them within the organization. He or she will work with the Program Managers to ensure that the mentoring and tutoring needs of all students are being met. The Volunteer Coordinator will also recruit ad hoc volunteers for events and corporate volunteer days. In an organization that relies heavily on volunteer support, this work will be crucial to recruiting and maintaining a strong volunteer base.

The Volunteer Coordinator will report directly to the Vice President of Programs. However, the Volunteer Coordinator will also work with the program team in areas that overlap to include both families and volunteers, and to ensure that the training needs of all volunteers are being met.


The Volunteer Coordinator position is full time with a work schedule of 40 hours per week. At least one Saturday of every month is a required work day for hosting volunteers and supporting Program Managers, as needed during outings and fundraising events. Flexibility is needed, as later evening hours are often required to meet with potential volunteers. Additional hours are needed during peak periods. A comp time policy is in place to allow staff members to balance their schedules.

The position includes paid vacation and health, dental, and life insurance benefits, with 100% of employee premiums paid by Horizons for Youth.


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proven organization and time management skills
  • Ability to work with diverse populations and to speak in front of groups
  • Leadership and creative problem solving skills
  • Flexible schedule
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Experience working on a Programs or Operations team preferred
  • Conversational Spanish preferred

Job Responsibilities

Individual Volunteer Recruitment

  • Conduct community outreach activities to recruit new volunteers, with a special emphasis on potential Mentors and Tutors.
  • Facilitate individual information interviews to communicate volunteer opportunities and requirements, and assess candidate fit with program. 
  • Recruit volunteers who are reliable and can offer the appropriate commitment to the student they will tutor or mentor to match their needs.
  • Include a focus on recruiting diverse volunteers as a critical element of recruitment efforts.  Additionally, increase recruitment of male Mentor candidates.
  • Respond to and track all inquiries for volunteer opportunities including phone calls, website applications, and personal referrals.
  • Identify, register, and attend Volunteer Fairs throughout the city that will expand our reach.
  • Continue to refine and implement the recruitment and retention strategy.

Corporate & Group Volunteer Recruitment

  • Conduct outreach activities to recruit corporate volunteer groups, including facilitating breakfast or lunch-and-learn sessions, happy hours, and other off-site information sessions.
  • Coordinate corporate volunteer in-service days and follow-up with corporations to drive future individual and corporate involvement.
  • Manage and track corporate volunteer groups who are able to support a one-time event or Child Enrichment Outings.
  • Communicate with the Development team any potential corporate sponsorship or revenue generating opportunities.
  • Partner with the High School Program Manager to plan quarterly professional development high school outings with local corporations.

Volunteer Supervision, Maintenance, and Retention

  • Conduct regular follow-up with new volunteers throughout their first year, especially the first three months, to ensure that they are properly placed and that they are having a quality volunteer experience.
  • Plan social events for volunteers to interact, such as sponsored happy hours.
  • Organize volunteers needed for monthly outings, including substitutes whose regular mentors are unable to attend.
  • Maintain all volunteer records, including hard files, as well as Salesforce database records.
  • Establish and implement volunteer recognition strategies.
  • Increase involvement opportunities for waitlisted volunteers.

Mentor Orientation and Training

  • Conduct information sessions and interviews for all new volunteers. These sessions should enable the new volunteer to understand Horizons for Youth and to determine where they would like to dedicate their efforts within our organization.
  • Conduct fingerprint and SSN-trace background checks and reference checks for volunteers and staff who will interact with students.
  • Place volunteers in specific roles per their specifications, being careful to meet both the needs of the individual and the needs of the organization and our families.
  • Develop and implement ongoing Mentor training and support curriculum.

Special Events Volunteer Management

  • Recruit volunteers, accordingly, for yearly events such as On Cloud Nine and No Ordinary Evening.
  • Communicate with volunteers leading up to the specific event and manage those volunteers on the day of that event.
  • After the event’s completion, acknowledge volunteers for their help and follow-up asking for feedback for future improvement (as most events are annual).

How to Apply

Email your resume and cover letter to Meghan Colgan, Vice President of Programs, at meghan@horizons-for-youth.org

Grant and Development Writer


This position is a key member of the Horizons for Youth staff and is integral to the development of the organization and our ability to meet our growth goals. As such, they will be responsible for producing extensive written communications and for contributing to strategy and relationship development for corporate, foundation and individual donors. This role will work closely with the development team to support the implementation of a diversified development strategy aimed at raising $2.5 million this fiscal year.

Job Duties

  1. Grant Management and Writing – 30%
  • Manage organization’s fiscal year grant calendar in conjunction with Development Director and revenue goals
  • Develop highly competitive proposals for corporate and foundation donors
  • Ensure grant proposals are written and submitted according to published giving guidelines
  • Develop, track, and report key measures of progress in all areas of grant activity
  1. Prospect Research & Relationship Management – 25%
  • Research and identify potential corporate and foundation donors
  • Assist with building and fostering relationships with potential corporate and foundation partners, including the support of corporate volunteer days.
  • Represent Horizons for Youth at events focused on building relationships with corporate and foundation partners
  • Maintain and enhance stewardship strategies and systems for corporations and foundations who support Horizons for Youth
  • Create personalized and thoughtful acknowledgement letters for corporate and foundation donors
  • Manage, track, solicit, and acknowledge in-kind donations
  • Ensure regular communication with all corporate and foundation donors is maintained
  1. Individual Giving – 35%
  • Collaborate with the Development Director on individual giving strategies, including student sponsorships and annual fund development.
  • Create donor communications including major gift proposals, major donor updates, student updates, and annual appeal pieces
  • Maintain regular communication with tuition sponsors and mid-level donors.
  • Provide “stories” and messages throughout the year that create opportunities for donors to connect with our students and families.
  • Assist with writing the annual report and general information pieces as needed
  1. Special Events / Projects – 10%
  • Manage special projects as determined by Horizons for Youth executive team
  • Ensure timely, quality recognition of all sponsors, donors, and participants related to these projects
  • Support the Special Events Team as needed
  1. Other duties as assigned

Minimum requirements of position:

Successful candidates will possess excellent writing skills and direct experience in written communications for corporate, foundation and/or individual donors. Candidates should be efficient, organized, forward-thinking, proactive, and able to interact at all levels of the organization. They should be willing and able to work within a budget and to develop creative strategies and partnerships as needed to meet the organization’s needs. In addition, the following qualifications are required:


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • One to three years of work experience in a development office
  • Grant writing experience required
  • Strong computer skills (Microsoft Office)


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented, with the ability to multitask and meet deadlines in a face-paced environment
  • The ability to work well both independently, and within a team
  • Commitment to cultural sensitivity and respect for differences
  • Commitment to the continuous improvement of the development team and the organization’s mission

Work environment:

  • Flexible schedule – may be required to attend after hours’ meetings. Occasional work on evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Some work at off-site locations may be required, and those spaces may not necessarily be fully accessible
  • This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.
  • Smoke-free and drug-free environment
  • Horizons for Youth is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Horizons for Youth does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Horizons for Youth is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.

How to Apply:

Email your resume and cover letter to Stephenie Lazarus, Development Director, at stephenie@horizons-for-youth.org