Job Description:

About Chicago Public Media

Home to WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Public Media is the largest local non-profit news organization in the country. WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times serve more than 2 million people weekly across broadcast, print, and digital platforms. As a mission-driven organization, we aspire to become the essential and most trusted news source that Chicago turns to each day for understanding the people, events, and ideas that shape our community.

WBEZ is home to local and national news programming as well as a growing portfolio of popular podcasts. WBEZ serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information, and its award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. WBEZ is supported by more than 86,000 members, hundreds of corporate sponsors and major donors. In 2022, WBEZ received more than 20 awards for its journalism, including two prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Chicago Sun-Times is Chicago’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper serving Chicago and is known for its hard-hitting investigative reporting, in-depth political coverage, timely behind-the-scenes sports analysis, and insightful entertainment and cultural coverage. Chicago Sun-Times is the winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes and countless other awards.  In recent years, the Sun-Times has focused on a digital transformation to deliver its news and content to a growing digital audience. Most recently, the Sun-Times dropped the paywall on to expand access to its journalism, and shifted to a community-funded digital membership program supported by voluntary member donations. 

Chicago Public Media believes independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information is a right of every citizen. We serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires, and enriches. We connect diverse audiences and help them make a difference in the community, the region and the world.  And, we employ 300+ staff who want to belong to an organization that inspires, supports, and challenges them to do their best work.

For more information, please see the Chicago Public Media Annual Report.


The Opportunity

The On-air Fundraising Manager is responsible for the planning and execution of a portfolio of Chicago Public Media fundraising activities, with a particular focus on pledge drives. This person will lead campaign planning and project management for programs including pledge, podcast fundraising and other audio-first effort as well as working on other fundraising and membership duties as assigned. This position is a part of the Membership team and reports to the Senior Director, Membership.

This role is varied in its responsibilities and will work alongside many CPM colleagues. Must be able to work with a diverse group of people, have great interpersonal skills and should exemplify CPM’s values:

We show up every day with passion and purpose.

We ask questions and listen with intent.

We have each other's backs.

We work hard. We have fun.

We are present in our community.

We leave proud every day.


General Responsibilities

  • Manage execution of on-air fundraising activities to meet or exceed defined revenue goals 
  • Pledge Drive Training & Production
  • Creation of materials and production/direction of pledge drives
  • Coordination of pre-and post-Drive spots  
  • Development and oversight on-going training for pitchers and producers
  • Coordination/management of messaging
  • Podcast Fundraising - Develop strategy to leverage podcasts and/or other audio-first properties in overall membership strategy
  • Broadcast Spot Inventory Management – Leverage broadcast inventory to execute a year-round membership strategy, including ideation, writing and coordination of spot production.    
  • Communicate with other internal departments to ensure effective and efficient use of resources including:
  • Programming and newsroom leadership to balance on-air priorities 
  • Philanthropic Development to coordinate major donor gifts with campaign efforts.
  • Product staff to ensure the function of digital donation products 
  • Manage relationships and coordinate work with external vendors & freelancers as they pertain to fundraising campaigns 
  • Develop and execute fundraising strategies that specifically relate to pledge drives including: 
  • Staff scheduling and project management
  • Message management, through both on-air and digital channels
  • Goal achievement
  • Create and maintain reports to measure success of campaigns and the program overall
  • Manage the revenue and expense budgets related to pledge
  • Coordinate with operations, data and analytics teams to create and maintain campaign tracking in CRM (Salesforce)
  • Foster a creative and productive work environment
  • Communicate effectively and consistently with vendors and staff to apprise others of project status and timelines
  • Work within a team framework to achieve organization goals
  • Other duties as assigned



  • A minimum of 5 years’ work experience in fundraising, marketing, events, project management or other relevant field
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate events or other large-scale, deadline dependent projects
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Well-developed collaboration skills to work with cross-functional teams
  • Ability to multi-task in a deadline-driven environment, and to manage own time and schedules
  • High energy, positive attitude, and a demonstrated ability to deliver results on-time and on-budget
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Must be open to working evenings and weekends as needed 
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Word/Google Docs, Excel/GoogleSheets, and cloud-based software
  • Affinity for public radio programming; Passion for/understanding of the WBEZ mission & values

Preferred Qualifications

  • Basic HTML knowledge
  • Basic Photoshop or Illustrator skills
  • Audio Production skills 
  • Public radio pledge drive experience


Working at Chicago Public Media

At Chicago Public Media, we care deeply about our employees as we know attracting, developing, and growing talent is key to our success and enhancing our impact.  Our culture is one where collaboration, ideas, and innovation are encouraged.  We value colleagues who will enhance our culture by bringing new ideas, diverse experiences, and talents to our dynamic workplace.

Chicago Public Media’s dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion is reflective across our brands, WBEZ 91.5 FM, Chicago Sun-Times, and Vocalo 91.1 FM, in our staff and in our work.  We are fully focused on equality of opportunity and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, experience, and all other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

At Chicago Public Media we believe dedication to a great workplace includes supporting our employees and their families. As a result, we provide a broad and generous benefits package for you at hire and in the years to come.

Our benefits include:

  • 6 weeks fully paid family leave
  • High quality Medical, Dental, and Vision plans at an affordable cost
  • A 403(b)retirement plan with a company match
  • Generous paid time off, including starting with 3 weeks’ vacation and 4 personal days.

The essential functions described above are not all-inclusive and may change periodically to meet the needs of Chicago Public Media (CPM). The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment. Chicago Public Media may change the content or format of this job at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion without notice.

Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we actively seek and welcome people from all backgrounds, orientations, and life experiences to join our team.

Job Location: 
United States
Job Category: 
Job Type: 
Full time
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(312) 948-4600
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