Role: Director, Partnerships for CARA


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 approaching 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 Director of Partnerships is primarily responsible for:

  • Securing new sponsorships, grants, and donations, primarily through corporate partnerships, that support CARA financially and or with product and services that offset organizational expenses
  • Providing stewardship of existing relationships
  • Managing partner pipeline – including prospect research, outreach, proposal development, pitch, negotiation, closing, activation, stewardship, and renewal
  • Working with relevant staff to plan partnership deliverables and to ensure all entitlements are met
  • Serving as on-site liaison to partners at CARA programs and events
  • Successfully achieving revenue goals for financial partnerships and donated product and services that offset organizational expenses
  • Ensuring CARA partnerships compliment CARA’s values and strategic vision
  • Maintaining authentic engagement with CARA’s programs, events, and members


    The ideal candidate:

  • Has a passion and commitment to the Chicago Area Runners Association mission and the running community
  • Is creative, enterprising, and inventive, with the ability to activate new ideas
  • Is a high energy ‘people person’ with excellent speaking and written communication skills
  • Has an attention to detail, organized, reliable, punctual, appetite for learning
  • 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 transportation and possess a valid driver’s license and has a clean driving record over the past 10 years with no history of DUI conviction
  • Strong understanding of, and experience participating in, the Chicago running community a plus
  • Network of existing relationships with health/fitness brands a plus
  • Has a proven record of career experience, ideally in a related role such as sponsorship, development, marketing, 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 (required). Send application by e-mail to with the subject line “Director of Partnerships”. Please, no phone calls or personal delivery of resumes. Review of applications will begin immediately.