The Nature Conservancy Volunteer Stewardship Network Coordinator in Illinois


Chicago, Illinois, USA IL201


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact for people and nature around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, major US cities and in your neighborhood. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Volunteer Stewardship Network Coordinator will be responsible for leading and implementing TNC’s Illinois strategies that contribute to the protection, restoration and management of natural areas through volunteer stewardship. This position will provide leadership and coordination of the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN), a 30+ year partnership with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and a statewide network of over 110 organizations working with volunteers to manage and restore Illinois’ native prairies, woodlands, wetlands and forests.


The Volunteer Stewardship Network Coordinator will oversee the Volunteer Stewardship Network program and will serve as the main contact for volunteerism within TNC’s Illinois program, including oversight of policies and procedures for volunteerism, youth programs and corporate engagement. This position will be based in the Chicago office and under the supervision of the Director of Urban Stewardship and Engagement.


  • Provide overall leadership and coordination of the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN).
  • Organize annual regional meetings for VSN groups across the state.
  • Oversee the VSN Stewardship Fund, including the application and award process, tracking of awards, ordering and delivering of tools and the processing of reimbursements and reports.
  • Work with key conservation partners to coordinate various trainings, field tours, and the bi-annual Wild Things Conference.
  • Develop and distribute the bi-monthly VSN Gatherings newsletter.
  • Oversee management of the VSN database, mailing lists and VSN listserv.
  • Provide regular updates to the volunteer webpages, the VSN Online Stewards Toolkit and social media platforms.
  • Provide support to TNC preserve managers and serve as a main contact on volunteer programs for TNC’s Illinois program.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the Illinois program’s corporate engagement strategy for volunteerism.
  • Negotiate complex and innovative solutions with public and private partners on regional volunteer strategies specifically related to restoration practices, including prescribed fire, native seed collection, herbicide use and invasive species removal.
  • Develop stewardship partnerships with conservation organizations, community groups, corporate groups, advisory councils, museums, faith groups, local schools and universities.
  • Attend and represent TNC at events and conferences.
  • Create reports, develop and manage an annual budget and contribute information for grants, press releases, and other materials to increase awareness of volunteer stewardship opportunities.
  • Work with staff and volunteers to develop educational and promotional materials.
  • Serve as the point of contact for volunteer opportunities and volunteer programs within TNC’s Illinois program.
  • Oversee and implement volunteer policies and the TNC Youth Standard Operating Procedure.
  • Due to the nature of this position some work on weekends and evenings will be expected.


  • BA/BS/AS/Technical or vocational degree in science-related field and 1 year related experience in custodial and ecological land management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with natural systems.
  • Experience in ecological land management principles.
  • Experience supervising staff and/or volunteers.
  • Must have a valid driver's license.


  • 2-3 years related experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems in Illinois.
  • Ability to recognize plant and animal species to implement restoration activities.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, volunteerism, land management and natural resource preservation.
  • Successful experience in partnership development with a diversity of partners including public and private organizations.
  • Experience in volunteer management including recruiting, training and supervising volunteers.
  • Extensive experience working across differences such as race, culture, disabilities, socio-economic class and language group. Multilingual or bilingual skills appreciated.
  • Experience working with multiple organizations and complex organizational structures.
  • Ability to complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s) and managing time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g.; Word, Excel, Web browsers), database management, social media and website/online newsletter development (MailChimp, Facebook).
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 45421, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 9, 2017.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

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The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of *The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.*

Job Title: Volunteer Stewardship Network Coordinator

Location: Illinois

Job ID: 45421

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time