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Grants and Research Manager

Aurora Civic Center Authority
Illinois, United States
$50,000.00 - $60,000.00
Closing date
Nov 30, 2022

The Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA), an innovative organization located on Stolp Island in the Fox River in the heart of historic Aurora, Illinois (one hour from downtown Chicago), is seeking a Grants & Research Manager. ACCA is the parent organization, which also includes a 501(c)3 arm under the name of Paramount Arts Centre, Inc. It operates three performance venues: the 6,000-person RiverEdge Park, the 1,843-seat landmark Paramount Theatre, and the 165-seat Copley Theatre. ACCA produces and presents over 300 performances each year, including star-studded touring productions and a self-produced Broadway Series of musicals for an annual audience of 350,000 patrons from over 250 communities. ACCA proudly operates the Paramount School of the Arts in the new John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center, right next door to Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora, and the company looks forward to producing a new, Bold Series of plays and musicals in the newly renovated Copley Theatre beginning in the 2021-2022 season. Paramount Theatre also hosts free community events, $1 Classic Movie Mondays and its opulent interiors provide a spectacular backdrop for private functions such as wedding receptions or corporate galas. Across the street from Paramount Theatre are the gorgeous Meyer Ballrooms which play host to multiple wedding receptions and rental events throughout the year.


The Aurora Civic Center Authority is committed to being a defining catalyst for personal and community transformation by:

  • making the performing arts accessible for every age and socioeconomic background,
  • introducing the magic of live theater across generations to encourage expansive imaginations and broad views of people and the world,
  • and contributing to the future stability and growth of Aurora’s downtown.


The highest purpose of any theater is to inspire its community toward a more perfect humanity. Such humanity can exist only when every member of the community is included and valued, empowered and heard. To express this truth, ACCA commits its leaders, volunteers, artists and staff to the active, continual and accountable pursuit of the following principles: equity, inclusion and diversity.


ACCA truly believes and lives by its mission statement and its commitment to equity, social justice and inclusion.

DEPARTMENT – Development

DIRECT REPORTING – Chief Development Officer

WORKS CLOSELY WITH –Development Team, Audience Services, Marketing, Finance

POSITION STATUS & SCHEDULE – Full time exempt, approximately 40 hours per week. Hours may include evening and weekend hours.


COMPENSATION – Starting at $50,000 annually

HIRE DATE – Immediate

POSITION SUMMARY – The Grants and Research Manager will identify, define, and develop new and existing funding sources while leading the cultivation, writing, and submission of grant proposals to local, state, federal, and private funding sources. They will be responsible for preparation of proposals and grant applications, administrative research of institutional, as well as individual, funding opportunities. This individual will work closely with Paramount staff to create revenues for new and existing programs, to articulate the objectives and outcomes for those programs, and establish methods for evaluation of success. This position will work to create and maintain prospect research systems, design identification strategies and methods with a focus on discovery of individuals and organizations with the affinity and capacity to provide philanthropic support for Paramount. This person reports to the Chief Development Officer and is part of a growing development team that works closely with staff throughout the Aurora Civic Center Authority.





  • Lead grant application process including establishing timelines, writing compelling proposals and letters of inquiry to corporations and foundations that align with Paramount’s goals and initiatives.
  • Research and identify local, regional, and national corporate and foundation prospects that will result in funding for the immediate and long-term goals of the organization; proactively engage and build relationships with potential partners to generate new proposals based on giving guidelines and mutual interests.
  • Proactively research and monitor corporate, foundation, and government funding opportunities and disseminate that information to relevant partners, including staff with programmatic interests.
  • With the CDO, create goals and strategies for institutional giving by developing outreach, solicitation, and stewardship plans for institutional funders.
  • Provide proposal support from inception to completion, including submission through corporate, foundation, or government agency-specific systems.
  • Communicate proposal requirements, eligibility, restrictions, deadlines and other pertinent grant information to relevant partners and administration; ensure funder’s guidelines and legal requirements are met.
  • Monitor progress of approved applications and provide communication to funding sources in the form of quarterly, annual, and final reports.
  • Identify, research, and analyze prospects for major gift cultivation and solicitation by utilizing the database and other sources; synthesize all relevant information to produce written reports/profiles.
  • Provide high-quality research analysis to Development staff used to inform solicitation and engagement strategies.
  • Utilize available data to develop a profile of what a current major gift/planned gift/grant donor looks like, and apply that profile to the larger database to determine which prospects deserve closer attention.
  • Prepare and/or review grant budgets and budget justifications.
  • Play a vital role in overall fundraising efforts.
  • Support Development Department staff as needed.



In addition to the duties listed above, ACCA expects the following of each employee:  adheres to ACCA’s policies and procedures; works in a safe manner; performs duties as workload necessitates; maintains a positive and respectful attitude; communicates regularly with supervisor about department issues; demonstrates efficient time management and prioritizes workload; demonstrates regular and consistent attendance and punctuality; meets productivity standards; participates in ACCA events as needed or required; and completes other duties as assigned.



  • Minimum of 1 year of related experience in fundraising, grant writing, prospect research required; preferably 2-5 years of experience working with foundations, state/federal government and/or corporations in an equivalent role
  • Advanced, superior writing skills – the ability to capture the purpose, importance, and impact of programs and projects with an emphasis on effective structure, grammar, succinctness, and alignment with foundations’ giving interests
  • Knowledge of professional fundraising practices and principles
  • Applicant must be exceptionally organized, accurate, and detail-oriented, and able to coordinate multiple and overlapping projects, timelines and deadlines with well-crafted proposals and reports
  • Experience utilizing donor databases to develop tools and reports to advance donor-focused relationships
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Ability to work well both independently and on a team
  • Supportive of the mission of Aurora Civic Center Authority
  • Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality


Due to frequent and necessary interaction with members of the general public, performers, fellow employees and other individuals, successful candidates for employment are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before they begin work and will be required to provide proof of vaccination.  “Fully vaccinated” as defined by the CDC means that at least 14 days have passed following receipt of the final dose of an FDA authorized Covid-19 vaccine. Additionally, the Covid-19 bivalent booster is required for eligible employees.



Please submit a cover letter and resume using the online job application at

Or mail/drop off to: Aurora Civic Center Authority, ATTN: Patty Stefanski, 8 East Galena Blvd., Suite 230, Aurora, IL 60506

ACCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment, and applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability status, marital or familial status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  ACCA encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, veterans, and others who are eager to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

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