Executive Assistant

Posted: June 1, 2021

Polk Bros. Foundation (www.polkbrosfdn.org) is a private independent foundation dedicated to building and strengthening Chicago's families and communities, especially those most affected by poverty. The Foundation focuses its work at the intersection of Chicago's most pressing issues to address the complex roots and devastating effects of poverty, challenge inequity, and ensure that all Chicagoans have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The Foundation actively partners with local nonprofit organizations, other foundations, corporations and government agencies, working to reduce the impact of poverty and provide area residents with better access to quality education and vibrant arts organizations, preventive health care and basic human services.

Since its founding in 1988, the Foundation has partnered with more than 3,000 Chicago nonprofits to build strong communities and families, increase access to quality education and the arts, improve health, and strengthen organizations and the sectors in which they work. Polk Bros. Foundation is one of the largest funders of Chicago nonprofits, granting more than $25 million to nearly 400 nonprofit partners every year, and managing assets greater than $400 million. In the current 2020/21 fiscal year, the Foundation’s Board has approved an additional $8.5 million in Equitable Recovery grants to help Chicago rebuild in a way that addresses longstanding racial inequities.

The Position
The Executive Assistant provides administrative and scheduling support to the Foundation’s CEO and Board of Directors and ensures smooth running of the Foundation’s office and systems. The position reports to the CEO. While the Foundation’s 14-person staff is currently working remotely, it plans to return to in-person work in early September.


  • Establish systems for and manage all administrative aspects of the CEO’s work, including scheduling meetings and calendar management, board interaction, speaking engagements and related preparation, travel, expense accounting, correspondence, calls, and files. Assist with CEO’s meeting preparation, special projects, and research. Draft occasional reports, meeting agendas, and correspondence, as requested by the CEO.
  • Communicate with and support the Foundation’s 9-member Board of Directors for scheduling Board and committee meetings (and related planning meetings), meeting materials, and other needs that may arise, as directed by the CEO.
  • Ensure smooth operation of the Foundation’s office, including managing general information requests, inventorying and ordering office and kitchen supplies, and ensuring office equipment and fixtures are in working order. Provide occasional door and delivery reception.
  • Serve as the primary liaison with Foundation’s technology support provider, including trouble-shooting minor technology issues on-site and monitoring staff usage of up-to-date software, security, and equipment, with input from technology support provider.
  • Participate in full-staff planning and training, including the Foundation’s ongoing racial equity training.
  • Coordinate arrangements for occasional full-staff and holiday gatherings.
  • Communicate with building management regarding physical office space needs and safety and security matters.
  • Manage the communications/phone system and newspaper/periodicals subscriptions.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Qualifications: Strong candidates will be detail-oriented and good at listening, anticipating others’ needs, and planning and managing for successful outcomes. They will enjoy assuming responsibility, supporting the work of others, finding opportunities to take the initiative, and doing what is needed to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

  • A minimum of 5-7 years of executive assistant experience (or equivalent) preferred, with strong administrative, organizational, scheduling, problem-solving, and technical skills
  • Effective written and oral communicator with a confident, diplomatic, discrete, and trustworthy demeanor
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Office (Office 365, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Adobe Acrobat, and Zoom. Comfortable with and adept at learning new systems
  • Excellent time management, deadline management, and multi-tasking skills
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy. A demonstrated ability to see the big picture while tending to the position’s varied and detailed work
  • Flexibility, teamwork and a sense of humor. Capacity to work amicably in a small office with high volume of work. Ability to work comfortably and develop relationships with people and colleagues who hold diverse perspectives
  • Commitment to the Foundation’s tradition of continuous improvement

The Executive Assistant will embrace the Foundation’s culture of accessibility, transparency, humility, and fairness and demonstrate an open, caring attitude in working with others, as well as a high level of interpersonal communication skills. The Executive Assistant should demonstrate a track record of integrity, personal responsibility, and genuineness. The successful candidate will share a deep appreciation and passion for Chicago and its residents, and a commitment to the Foundation’s mission.

Compensation/Benefits: Salary range: $65,000 to $75,000, commensurate with experience. The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package, including competitive benefits package including health, dental, and life insurance; short- and long-term disability coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan (including an employer contribution after one year of employment), generous paid time off including holidays, and a substantial matching gift program. Polk Bros. Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to maintain the diversity of its staff.

Application Process: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and interested parties are encouraged to apply early. Please submit applications to careers@polkbrosfdn.org with only YOUR NAME in the subject line. A selection will be made in July 2021 with a preferred start date of early/mid-August 2021.

Applications should include these two components: 1) your resume, and 2) a cover letter that speaks to how your experience meets the needs outlined above.