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The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Foundation Grants & Individual Gifts Manager. This person will manage all aspects of raising support from foundations and corporate sources. This person will also be responsible for individual gifts under $5,000.

The Foundation Grants and Gifts Manager will report to the Director of Development. The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy and civic engagement to promote better government in Illinois. Its office is located in downtown Chicago. This position requires full-time on-site attendance.

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. The BGA strongly encourages minorities to apply.


  • Responsible for the full range of activities required to prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals to foundation and corporate sources.
  • Comply with all required grant reporting.
  • Conduct new funder prospecting including research, analysis of fit and potential personal connections.
  • Manage Annual Giving Efforts for gifts less than $5,000.
  • Develop and execute annual fundraising plans for sustaining and growing the number of individual gifts and size of donations.
  • Work to convert annual donors to major donors. Support major donor development efforts as needed.
  • Manage all fundraising campaigns. Monitor and track success of campaigns.
  • Work with gifts coordinator, digital and social media staff to advance fundraising efforts.
  • Provide effective stewardship of donors.
  • Maintain accurate and complete donor records and communications in database and paper files.
  • Provide support to the Board of Directors with fundraising efforts as needed.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • B.A. degree
  • Minimum four years non-profit development experience, including grant writing.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills; ability to write clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive proposals.
  • Strong editing skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Proven track record raising money from foundation and individuals.
  • Excellent computer skills and experience with Raiser’s Edge preferred.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment, manage multiple assignments and meet deadlines.
  • Enthusiastic and positive attitude.
  • Passion for BGA mission.

Send cover letter and resume to Ernest Crowder at No phone calls.


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 and Government Affairs 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 help to monitor and analyze policy proposals, research best practices, and support ally organizations, BGA staff and volunteers in planning and executing sound policy advocacy.


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 shall be a full or part time graduate or upper class undergraduate student with the ability to earn credit for her internship.

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