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Development Associate
The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Development Associate to support and assist with the development and event activities at the Better Government Association. The Development Associate will work closely with the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Director of Development & External Relations and the development team to support fundraising and membership development. One of the primary responsibilities of this position is to manage the donor database, Raiser’s Edge, including data entry, running reports and queries.
The BGA is a nonprofit and nonpartisan watchdog organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy, and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois.


  •  Responsible for day-to-day administration of Raiser’s Edge (RE) donor database. Support all development initiatives; pull lists, run queries, update/create fields and import/export data for mail merge and other functions.
  • Responsible for the management and integrity of the RE data by establishing systems to ensure accurate gift processing, record keeping, and stewardship.
  • Assist with the development and implementation of the Strategic Development Plan including annual appeals, major donors, grants, corporate and individual appeals, and special events.
  • Coordinate and prioritize day-to-day gift processing activities and ensures accurate processing and stewardship of gifts. This includes the timely preparation and mailing of acknowledgement letters.
  • Supervise the accurate processing of checks, credit cards, and electronic funds transfers for unrestricted and restricted gifts.
  • Work with Administration and Accounting to manage accurate processing of checks, credit cards and electronic funds transfers.
  • Coordinate sponsors, tickets and seating for three major BGA annual events
  • Serve as liaison with third party companies including but not limited to venues, event planning companies, and hotel event staff
  • Coordinate and manage volunteers who are assisting with the event to ensure they have a schedule and training on area of responsibility.
  • Assist with preparing budgets and provide periodic progress reports to staff directors for each event
  • Keep track of event finances including check requests, invoicing, and reporting
  • Manage digital elements of the program, while coordinating with designer
  • Order supplies and audiovisual equipment, make travel arrangements, order event signs, prepare name badges, and ensure appropriate requirements meet the quality expectations of the event
Administrative Duties:
  • Support the CEO and Director of Development by screening calls; managing calendars; making travel arrangements, scheduling meetings; preparing reports and financial data.


Strong candidates will have:
·      B.A. degree;
·      At least 1-2 years experience with Raiser’s Edge;
·      Interest in fundraising and the BGA’s mission;
·      Strong work ethic and the ability to work as part of a team;
·      Excellent organizational skills;
·      Detail-oriented, independent and resourceful;
·      Excellent interpersonal and telephone skills;
·      Excellent writing and editing skills;
·      Strong knowledge of Mac OSX, Microsoft Office, and Excel;
·      Ability to quickly learn new programs and create systems;
·      Interest in non-profit work;
·      Ability to work well under pressure.
The BGA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and equal consideration is given to all candidates regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious affiliation, age, or sexual orientation.

How to Apply: Please email cover letter and resume to Ernest Crowder,



Communications and Public Relations Internship

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks an intern to work in public relations and communications.  We are looking for a bright, ambitious intern who is in college or graduate school. The ideal candidate should be proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, excel is a plus. Daily activities would include maintaining media logs, assisting staff with internal and external communications and event planning. A major and/or interest in communications/journalism and government is preferred. 

The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy, and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois. Offices are located in downtown Chicago.

The candidate will gain a solid grounding in his or her public relations skills needed to understand and navigate the media world for a not-for-profit organization. A desirable candidate must be able to multitask, have excellent organizational skills, be deadline-oriented, have the ability to work independently, be energetic and eager to learn.

Compensation:  Unpaid. Interns must make arrangements with their schools to gain academic credit for this internship. The BGA is happy to provide any documentation necessary for this process.

How to Apply: Please email cover letter and resume to Mary Frances O'Connor,

Investigative Unit
(Ongoing—use the form below to apply)

The BGA's Investigative Unit hires unpaid interns in the summer and throughout the year to assist in news projects.

Some of the duties might include:

  • going to courthouses to pull documents
  • making phone calls to sources
  • attending news conferences
  • contributing to select stories and blogs
  • coming up with ideas for articles and investigations
  • researching
  • filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • journalism or related major in college
  • upperclassmen, graduate student or recent grad
  • previous experience writing and reporting
  • a nose for news, and an ability to learn new skills quickly
  • an understanding of local government (particularly in Chicago and Illinois) and current events
  • a solid work ethic, attention to detail and a sense of humor

Note: Depending on the circumstances, the BGA is willing to comply with requirements so that an internship can translate into course credit.

Policy Advocacy Unit
(Ongoing—use the form below to apply)

The Better Government Association seeks a full or part time Policy Intern. The Intern will report to the Policy Coordinator.


Building on the original work of the BGA’s Investigative Team (which conducts deep journalistic investigations of corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency, inequality and lack of transparency at all levels of government), the Policy Intern will assist with research that will support the BGA Advocacy & Policy Unit's advocacy efforts, coalition building and policy analysis.


The Policy Intern must be able to research issues of public policy impacting city, county and state units of government, and synthesize and present findings to members of the policy team.

The Intern must have strong interpersonal and writing skills.

The Intern must have experience working in a fast-paced office setting.

The Intern should have a basic working knowledge of and interest in local and state government and politics.

The Intern shall be a full or part time graduate or upper class undergraduate student.


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