CARA Role: Membership and Engagement


The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer.


With a growing membership exceeding 8,000, CARA is the nation’s third-largest running club. CARA offers a wide range of programming and events, totaling over 1,300 dates per year.


The Membership and Engagement role will be responsible for CARA membership growth and retention, as well as general member and participant services and management. Additionally, this person will expand opportunities for the running community to engage regularly with CARA through unique grassroots, social, and group running events and programs.


The position will primarily be responsible for the following:

  • Develop and implement effective, efficient, and creative tactics for member acquisition and retention
  • Manage registration and membership databases, reporting, and processes
  • Manage member and participant general inquiries and service needs
  • Oversee CARA’s group run and group speed training network
  • Produce unique grassroots, social, and pop-up run events to engage members and the general running community
  • Oversee the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit program and associated member Race Committee


    CARA seeks candidate who fit the following characteristics:

  • Has a passion and commitment to the Chicago Area Runners Association’s mission and the running community
  • Is creative, enterprising, and inventive, with the ability to take ideas from concept to market
  • Is a high energy ‘people person’ with excellent public speaking and written communication skills
  • Has an attention to detail, organized, reliable, punctual, appetite for learning
  • Has strong computer skills, with the ability to quickly learn membership and participant management programs
  • Is professional, able to collaborate in a team environment, and ability to remain calm under pressure and stress
  • Is able to support load-in and load-out process for events, including lifting items up to 40 pounds
  • Has access to reliable personal transportation and possess a valid driver’s license and have a clean driving record over the past 10 years with no history of DUI conviction
  • Has a strong understanding of, and experience participating in, the Chicago running community is a plus
  • Has at least two years of career experience, ideally in a related role such as membership development, grassroots marketing, running specialty, running industry, or events management


General: This role reports directly to the Executive Director. The chosen candidate may be assigned additional secondary duties based on their skills and experience and or organizational need. The position will be based out of CARA’s office in Chicago’s West Loop. The position is a full-time salaried with CARA’s standard benefit package. CARA offers its staff an opportunity for a flexible work schedule. Due to the nature and timing of running events this person should expect to regularly work outside of standard business hours, including mornings, evenings and/or weekends.


Application Process: Applications must include a cover letter, professional resume, three professional references, and salary requirement. Send application by e-mail to with the subject line “Membership and Engagement Application”. Please, no phone calls or personal delivery of resumes. Review of applications will begin immediately.