We’re Hiring

We are hiring an Executive Assistant.

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, a 67-year-old family foundation, awards approximately $6 million a year in grants to support land conservation, the arts, and collections in the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Its work includes communications, convening, coaching, collaboration, and research in addition to grant-making, and often involves partnering with other organizations.

The foundation seeks an executive assistant to provide comprehensive administrative support to the executive director and board of directors and to assure smooth running of the foundation’s office. This position reports to the executive director with selected reporting to the director of finance and operations. The foundation’s 10-member staff is currently working remotely; it is anticipated that work will resume at its downtown Chicago office in early fall.


  • Establish systems for and manage all administrative aspects of the executive director’s work, including scheduling, board interaction, travel, expense accounting, correspondence, calls, and files. Draft reports, meeting agendas, and correspondence. Assist with meeting preparation and special projects, including research and analysis.
  • Support the work of the 15-member board of directors, including scheduling committee meetings, providing clerical support to individual members, and taking meeting minutes. Maintain board and committee files.
  • Plan and manage logistics, coordinate board and staff travel for, and attend three board meetings and three committee meetings annually; coordinate, assemble, and distribute board and committee meeting materials.
  • Serve as liaison to board and governance committee members and other Donnelley family members as needed.
  • Organize and support the foundation’s external relationships, including organizational memberships and with other foundations; remain informed and share information about news and events in the foundation sector.
  • Assure smooth running of the foundation’s office: manage the electronic calendar; review, distribute, and send mail; order supplies; ensure all office equipment and fixtures are in working order. Research equipment upgrades as needed. Connect with building management to remedy facilities problems and schedule routine maintenance. Organize staff development outings and holiday festivities. Coordinate as needed with the Lowcountry office.
  • Serve as the foundation’s initial face: greet visitors; screen calls and e-mails. Support staff and executive director meetings with grantees and others, including meeting set-up, ordering meals, and troubleshooting technology.



  • B.A degree; minimum of five years’ relevant experience; interest in land conservation, collections, and/or the arts.
  • Demonstrated administrative skill; the ability to manage workflow effectively and meet both tight and long-term deadlines. A demonstrated ability to see the big picture while tending to the position’s varied and detailed work.
  • Comfortable with technology; strong computer skills. Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Office 365/Teams, Adobe Acrobat, Expensify, Dropbox, and Zoom highly preferred.
  • Experience working collaboratively as part of a small team. Available for occasional travel.


Personal Qualities
The successful candidate will be an effective communicator with the ability to engage professionally with a wide variety of people; a strong writer who is good at listening, anticipating others’ needs, and planning and managing for successful outcomes. They will enjoy assuming responsibility, supporting the work of others, finding opportunities to take the initiative, and doing whatever is needed to assure that all runs smoothly.

A selection will be made in May 2021.


Further information about the foundation is at www.gddf.org.

Those interested in this position may call for additional information or e-mail a cover letter and résumé to the attention of Susan Himmelfarb at info@himmelfarbgroup.com

The Himmelfarb Group

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