Executive Assistant/CHI
Job Details
Chicago - Chicago, IL
Full Time
4 Year Degree


Opportunity: Full-time Position at Cradles to Crayons

Department: Executive

Title: Executive Assistant

FLSA Status: Exempt

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: Chicago, IL


About Cradles to Crayons:

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. C2C is at the cutting edge of volunteer management, and through its Giving Factory provides unique, hands-on opportunities for people to help other people. Headquartered in Boston, MA, C2C opened in Philadelphia in 2007 and in Chicago in 2016.

How Our Model Works: Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. C2C supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

Cradles to Crayons meets a critical need as many children 12 years old and younger live in low-income and/or homeless situations. These living conditions can have negative effects on self-esteem as poverty can lead to increased social and emotional behavioral challenges; it impacts early education since half of children living in poverty start 1st grade up to 2 years developmentally behind their peers; and safety may be compromised as children living in poverty have increased risk of injury.

While meeting the immediate needs of low-income children, Cradles to Crayons also sets a foundation for lasting change by providing meaningful, tangible volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals and families and hundreds of corporations each year by organizing clothing collections, hosting fundraisers, or working in the "Giving Factory" warehouse.

Cradles to Crayons earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator for several consecutive years. Only 2% of charities rated have received this distinction, differentiating C2C from its peers, exemplifying the high standard of service at C2C, and indicating that C2C outperforms most other charities in America.


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Executive Assistant is responsible for supporting the Executive Director to achieve their organizational goals. The Executive Assistant will have primary responsibility for scheduling, board meeting preparation, preparing monthly and quarterly reports on progress toward goals as requested by the Executive Director, tracking and inputting received donations and supporting event planning at C2C. She/he will work closely with other C2C colleagues to collect data, stories and benchmarks related to the mission of Cradles to Crayons. In addition he/she serves as the lobby receptionist supporting the Chicago market by greeting and directing all visitors, triaging calls to the main number, answering general emails, preparing volunteer nametags and assisting with volunteer registration.



  • Model and lead a positive One Cradles culture, underpinned by Cradles Cultural Values and related behaviors.


Support Executive Director & Chicago Office

  • Provide administrative and logistical support for the Executive Director (ED) and her/his daily administrative functions, planning and scheduling, and preparing for meetings with key stakeholders including members of the Chicago Board of Directors.
  • Research and prepare materials for ED participation in events and conferences.
  • Anticipate the logistical and information needs to ensure the ED is well prepared for meetings, presentations, and events.
  • Create, edit, and prepare presentations for the ED, as needed.
  • Lead, oversee, and participate in special projects and events, as needed.
  • Manage and preserve the confidentiality of all development data, financial data, and sensitive institutional and HR data both internally and externally.
  • Serve as secretary for all-staff meetings. Send out agendas and minutes.
  • Prepare materials for meetings of the local Board of Directors, Councils, and serve as secretary as all Board and Council meetings.
  • Work closely across C2Cs departments to maintain accurate and up-to-date data on C2Cs benchmarks and impact.
  • Act as the primary contact for individuals and organizations seeking information from the organization and ED, prioritizing these requests, and ensure outgoing communication is timely and accurate.
  • Coordinate onboarding and offboarding of all new employees in the Chicago market.
  • Coordinate office events, e.g. holiday celebrations, birthday acknowledgments, etc.
  • Lead volunteer groups in the Giving Factory, as assigned.
  • Work cooperatively with staff and volunteers to support the mission of Cradles to Crayons and meet the organizations goals.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.


Receptionist, Development & Event Planning Support

  • Serve as primary receptionist for the Chicago Giving Factory and greet all incoming visitors. In order to answer questions and refer to the appropriate staff, must understand the needs of different groups volunteers, champions, re-occurring groups, service partners, families and the general public.
  • Manage the general Cradles to Crayons Chicago phone line including answering phone calls, assisting with general inquiries from social service agencies and families in need of assistance, and maintaining the phone greeting to reflect office closures as required.
  • Maintain the entrance to always be organized, professional and neat in appearance.
  • Manage all inquiries sent to general info@cradlestocrayons.org address, responding to most and transferring others to appropriate personnel.
  • Work with office staff to maintain a clean, safe and efficient environment in the general office area, meeting rooms and kitchen.
  • Work with the Development and Operations teams to coordinate execution of well-planned and well managed C2C events in the Chicago market.
  • Assist with the coordination of signature events, such as Un-Gala or Backpack-A-Thon.
  • In coordination with members of the Development team, coordinate the donation process, including database management and donor acknowledgements.
  • Manage recording of all received donations in Salesforce.
  • Manage the thank you notes process, both system-generated and handwritten.




  • Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with other C2C staff and the local Board of Directors.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of C2Cs programs, data, and impact.
  • Accurately maintain data and systems for tracking.
  • Uphold high quality of customer service with all C2C stakeholders.
  • Foster and maintain welcoming and positive first impression for C2C volunteers and all visitors.
  • Ability to meet deadlines, and prepare reports and presentations to support ED.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet planning deadlines and stay within budget.



Required Experience/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

  • College or Associates degree preferred.
  • Ability to work independently, work under supervision, and work in a team-based and goal-oriented environment.
  • Self-motivated, resourceful, and has the ability to multi-task and be highly attentive to detail.
  • Ability to absorb and apply new information rapidly.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills as well as strong relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent customer service skills including the ability to communicate with visitors, donors, and community contacts in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Ability to navigate database platforms effectively; Salesforce experience a plus.
  • Familiar and comfortable with Microsoft Office suite (including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).
  • Work some weekend and evening hours.
  • Work comfortably in a warehouse environment where normal changes in temperature are to be expected.
  • Strong commitment to Cradles to Crayons mission and a passion for non-profit work.
  • 1-3 years of professional work experience.



Diversity and Inclusiveness are core values at Cradles to Crayons, and we continuously strive to be a team where everyone feels welcome and supported. It is the policy of Cradles to Crayons to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. Individuals from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.


Working Conditions:

This is a warehouse environment and normal changes in temperature are to be expected while working inside the warehouse or outside, on or around the loading dock. There are no hazardous or significantly unpleasant conditions.



In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made by Cradles to Crayons which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others, or which impose undue hardships on the organization.