Senior Project Manager

Company: IFF (CDFI)

Location: Chicago, IL

Job Function: Project Management


IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive. Key to our success has been a deep sense of purpose, a broad perspective, and a relentless focus on achieving positive results. Across the Midwest we help clients from every sector, including human service agencies, health centers, schools, affordable housing developers, and healthy food grocery operators. Staff contribute extensive business experience and an unrivaled connection to the mission of IFF to the clients we serve.

IFF is looking for candidates with a commitment to the work we do who can demonstrate their creativity, diligence, enthusiasm, growth-mindset, thoughtfulness, and passion to make meaningful change in the areas of economic and racial justice.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Partnering to create thriving communities is at the heart of everything we do.  We leverage knowledge, capital, and resources to advance equitable and transformational outcomes in under-resourced communities, guided by our commitment to be an inclusive, anti-racist and anti-oppressive institution that honors communities as asset-rich and as experts in their own stories.


The Senior Project Manager builds and maintains relationships of trust with nonprofit clients and internal IFF colleagues by assisting in furthering real estate learning, planning and brick and mortar project goals. The Senior Project Manager demonstrates strong multi-tasking abilities with its leadership of simultaneous large projects of different sizes, scopes, timelines and locations under the supervision of the Managing Director of Real Estate Solutions. This includes assisting clients with assessing the financial feasibility of a real estate project; search for and secure a facility under a favorable lease or ownership agreement; packaging financing for loan approval and closing; and completing the due diligence, acquisition, and predevelopment phases of a facility project. The Senior Project Manager also leads internal and interdepartmental projects.


  1. Plans, manages, and executes large and complex real estate consulting or development projects as project team lead. Manages and supports a variety of projects concurrently.
  2. For each project assigned as a project team lead, coordinates all aspects of project management, including as a trusted advisor to a diverse portfolio of clients, managing to client goals and expectations; scheduling and preparing for internal and external meetings; delivering against project scope and goals as defined in engagement or amending project scope as needed; and managing project team members, as appropriate.
    1. Develops and analyzes project real estate development space needs, budgets, financing scenarios, and occupancy cost projections.  Determines client’s ability to take on debt for a project and overall financial ability to own and/or lease and manage real estate.
    2. Conducts site visits and performs assessments and evaluations of potential buildings and vacant land for projects.  Manages all aspects of such site visits including coordinating project team members and external vendors as necessary.
    3. Coordinates all predevelopment work associated with projects including necessary due diligence of buildings and land, conducting a selection process through a Request for Proposals for an architect, contractor, or other vendor, supporting a project requiring a zoning review or change, assisting with identifying and securing capital funding sources, and any other work necessitated by the project.
    4. Leads project team in preparation and delivery of written reports and analyses as necessary for clients, including real estate project feasibility reports, strategic facilities plans, facility assessment reports, final project summary reports and other consulting reports as required by the project
    5. Assesses the status of projects against their plan and schedule, identifies actual or potential problems, and identifies and presents solutions to ensure that the projects are completed as planned.
    6. As project lead, assigns work to other team members, manages deadlines for completion and provides preliminary review.
    7. Keeps Managing Director of Real Estate Solutions and/or Directors of Consulting apprised of progress through regular updates or meetings. Coordinates project deliverables review with Directors of Consulting on a timely basis.
    8. Solicits bids from and secures external vendors for work on projects.  Evaluates and makes recommendations on bids and negotiates terms of work.
  3. Leads coordination of RES response to special projects. This can include working inter- and cross-departmentally to craft RES scope, budget, learning objectives and approach during ideation phase; developing RES content; and monitoring and reporting out on RES performance and progress against objectives.
  4. Assists other project leads as a project team member in a supporting capacity and carries out duties as assigned by that project lead.
  5. Represents IFF Real Estate Solutions at meetings, presentations and events, when requested by the Managing Director of RES; and prepares written materials on projects for other IFF departments as needed.
  6. Maintains required job knowledge and skills and core professional competencies.  Attends and participates in required educational programs and staff meetings.
  7. Performs other duties as assigned.

Performance Measures:

  1. Successful completion of assigned projects according to goals set for each project, the project budget and schedule, and the RES department’s policies and procedures. Completed projects meet quality standards.
  2. Build and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, architects, contractors and other professionals and obtains a high level of colleague satisfaction with respect to work performed.
  3. Achieve and maintain the highest quality of work product and level of excellence for both internal and external clients.
  4. Internal and external meetings are facilitated in an organized way and are meaningful to the participants. Outcomes of these meetings are analyzed and well presented.
  5. Continually seek to achieve efficiency and other improvements in all operations.
  6. Achieve and maintain a superior level of satisfaction and working relationship with all internal and external clients, partners and team members in the development and execution of contract and project efforts.
  7. Written reports are complete, accurate and clear and follow policies and procedures.
  8. Oral presentations are clear, well organized, comprehensive, and persuasive. Appropriate supporting material and visual aids are well utilized and enhance the presentation.
  9. Values and supports differences in others, contributing to an inclusive work environment. Demonstrates the ability and willingness to communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to create a collaborative, collegial, and caring community.
  10. In the role as Project Team Leader, Project Team Members are satisfied with how the project was organized and managed and the project’s outcomes; in the role as Project Team Member, Project Team Leaders are satisfied with work on the project.
  11. Cultivates a culture of openness in information sharing. Encourages open communication, cooperation, and the sharing of knowledge.
  12. Models personal accountability that promotes ownership and engagement.
  13. Builds and maintains effective working relationships with colleagues, peers and team members.
  14. Values and supports differences in others, contributing to an inclusive work environment. Demonstrates the ability and willingness to communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to create a collaborative, collegial, and caring community.
  15. High level of satisfaction with both internal colleagues and external contacts.


Education:  Bachelor’s Degree required, preferably in urban planning or studies, business or finance.  Advanced degree in real estate, planning, policy, business, social science or social work preferred.

Previous Experience: At least five years of experience in economic or community development, real estate analysis or development, financial analysis, public policy or government administration required. Advanced degree in real estate, planning, policy, or business preferred.

Special Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Experience with client management and consulting work building trusted client relationships based on client project goals. Ability to understand and translate client project goals into project scope and deliverables.
  2. Strong strategic and analytical skills, with an emphasis on finance and lending.
  3. Direct project management experience, with demonstrated experience concurrently managing multiple complex projects of varying scopes, budgets, timelines and managing scopes of work to project fee.
  4. Direct experience with real estate development projects.
  5. Knowledge of nonprofit businesses, including operations, governance, and financial management. Preference will be given to candidates that have demonstrated knowledge and experience working in the specific business sectors of IFF.  Preference will also be given to candidates with experience leading or supporting community-based programs.

Additional Requirements:  Regular travel in the assigned metro region and occasional travel throughout the Midwest is required. The Senior Project Manager will visit abandoned buildings and vacant lots, as well as construction project sites, for purposes of inspection and assessment.

Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary Grade 6.  This salary grade starts at $93,800.

IFF also offers a great benefits package including:

  • Medical plans (PPO, HMO, and HSA options)
  • Dental plans (PPO)
  • Vision discount program
  • Pretax medical, transportation, and dependable care flexible spending accounts
  • Generous vacation and sick time
  • 401K plan with 5% employer contribution after one year of employment
  • Employer-paid life and AD&D coverage
  • Employer-paid short-term and long-term disability coverage

Other perks include:

  • Professional development
  • Flexible work schedule policy
  • Summer Fridays policy

How to Apply

Please visit our Careers section of our website to apply online.  Both a resume and cover letter are required.