News & Views


General Summary: The Communications / Development Associate is responsible for generating funding to meet both programmatic and administrative needs of the Agency, including capital and program expansion. This position also requires public relations, an understanding of mass communication, direct marketing, and knowledge of social media.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

1) Acts as one of the voices for the Agency with the neighborhood community and with other broad based constituencies:
• Demonstrates compassion and a clear understanding of structural and personal barriers faced by individuals who have been incarcerated;
• Possess a clear understanding of the Agency’s narrative and the ability to translate it onto the social media page;
• Possess core competencies of the usage and navigation of social media sites;
• Adept at using social media listening tools;
• Manages the external communication of information when an emergency or negative occurrence takes place.
2) Creates, edits and ensures the mailing of promotional pieces:
• Creates, edits, and disseminates Passages, the Executive Director’s Newsletter, the Holiday Asking Letter, other fund raising publications, and makes recommendations to maximize communications and outreach;
• Create, edits and ensure broad dissemination of promotional information using a variety of communication strategies;
• Reviews and updates existing database and communication software. Makes recommendations for enhancements to more effectively reach broader audiences and generate appropriate reports.
3) Researches and develops new funding streams in both the public and private sector:
• Stays abreast of fund raising opportunities throughout a vast and diverse network of sources;
• Researches and identifies new local and national foundation support;
• Aggressively cultivates a new and diverse base of individual donors.
4) Completes applications and reports related to current, non-contractual funding sources:
• Maintains a calendar of due dates for foundations, churches and other funding applications;
• Submits applications and accompanying materials in a satisfactory manner;
• Submits all reports and other materials related to applications.
5) Maintains relationships with current, non-contractual funding sources:
• Meets regularly with key contacts at foundations, churches, and other funding entities;
• Ensures use of a variety of communication strategies, including mail, electronic and other mechanisms;
• Strategically and proactively reach out and initiate meetings with funders, attend mission-central gatherings initiated by foundations and other entities.
6) Assists SLM Board with successful execution of its annual fund raiser and other fund generating activities:
• Attends Board Fund Raising Committee meetings and helps to facilitate development and execution of fund raising strategies;
• Acts as the liaison with SLM Administration related to fund raising events;
• Manages and carries out mailings for fund raising events;
• Is present at and helps manage Board fund raising events;
• Prepares reports for the Board related to these events.
7) Works with the Grant and Contracts Manager, the Director of Operations, and the Executive Director on matters related to funding concerns for short and long term planning for the agency.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:
(* denotes essential abilities required for this position)

1. * Leadership, self-confidence, creativity, empathy, and strong work ethic.
2. * Ability to construct well-written, convincing and productive fund raising materials.
3. * Ability to be the Agency’s voice in the world of social media.
4. Ability to work with a team and approach people in a manner which creates harmony and cooperation.
5. * Ability to prepare and deliver written and oral reports and presentations in a variety of settings.
6. Ability to effectively manage time for pertinent meetings and conferences.
7. * Ability to move around the city and state as needed.
8. Ability to successfully “sell” SLM brand to a host of audiences and stakeholders.

Resumes may be submitted to:

Sister Jean Hughes Adult High School Graduation

The Sister Jean Hughes Adult High School will hold its graduation at 11:00 AM on Saturday, Dec. 5th at at St. Malachy Catholic Church, 2248 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago.
This graduation is a celebration of hard work and dedication.
We invite you to join us on this special day.


Finding Freedom, a coffee table book of original poetry by residents of St. Leonard’s Ministries, is now available for purchase. The work, described as “raw, honest, and haunting” by Esquire magazine was also featured in the Huffington Post as well as in the Italian newspaper La Republica.

The book is available for the purchase price of $85.00. To purchase the book, or for more information, please contact: Rev. Annie González, Director of Operations 312/738-1414 (x/11) or

Thank You for Supporting St. Leonard’s Successful Gala

On June 4th, St. Leonard’s Ministries celebrated Finding Freedom. Over 120 guests gathered at Galleria Marchetti on Chicago’s near west side to hear residents’ poetry, share second chance success stories, and build a stronger St. Leonard’s Ministries’ financial future. The gala also recognized its sponsor Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group.

Guests enjoyed mouthwatering hors d’oeuvre and the opportunity to bid on exciting silent auction items. Lucky guests walked away with vacations at cottages in Nova Scotia and Michigan, theater ticket packages, and Cubs tickets. Thanks to all of this activity, St. Leonard’s exceeded their fundraising goals providing essential funding for the men and women served.

The event spotlighted St. Leonard’s poetry book Finding Freedom which is scheduled to be released in September. Recently retired Executive Director Bob Dougherty introduced the book to event attendees. The project began seven years ago when volunteer Brandon Crockett started teaching a poetry class with St. Leonard’s House residents. As the class became more popular, he expanded participation to women at Grace House. Over the years, residents have written hundreds of poems.

Earlier this year, Brandon reached out to Sandro Miller, a world famous Chicago photographer. Sandro agreed to take portraits which will be placed next to resident poems. Residents appreciate Sandro’s passion for his work and the once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a book. To preview the pictures and read the poems, visit:

If you were unable to join us at the benefit, there is still time to support St. Leonard’s critical services. This is an especially significant time because of the budget crisis in Springfield. Because government leaders are unable to agree on a state budget, nonprofits will not receive any revenue including contractual funding after July 1st. In addition, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, all donations above past years’ support will be matched. To donate, visit our donation section at:

Finding Freedom Celebration June 4, 2015

Location: Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago, IL
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm

St. Leonard’s Ministries will celebrate our book of poetry and photos, Finding Freedom, on the evening of June 4th at Galleria Marchetti’s. The book will be introduced by Criminal Justice Champion and former Executive Director Robert (Bob) Dougherty. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of this page.

Tickets prices are as follows:
Tickets – $125.00 (after 5/15: $150.00)
Tickets for Backers of Finding Freedom successful Kickstarter Campaign – $100.00 (after 5/15: $125.00)
Sonnet Ticket: Ticket and Book – $275.00
Monologue Ticket: Two tickets, book, and quarter page ad in program book – $450.00
Free Verse Ticket: Two tickets, book, and half page ad in program book – $750.00
Slam Ticket: Four tickets, book, full page ad in program book – $1,000.00

During the event, guests will enjoy mouthwatering food and cocktails. World renowned and Finding Freedom portrait photographer Sandro Miller will be there as well as dignitaries and supporters from across the Chicagoland area. The event will feature readings from St. Leonard’s poets / residents.

Finding Freedom, a coffee table book of original poetry and photos will be published later this summer, thanks to the support of over 360 backers. The work, described as “raw, honest, and haunting” by Esquire magazine was also featured in the Huffington Post as well as in the Italian newspaper La Republica. Although the successful Kickstarter campaign is over, supporters can purchase their book and other memorabilia at

Event tickets are on sale now as well as opportunities to sponsor the event. Attendees can purchase tickets that include opportunities to share messages of support in the event program book, as well as copies of Finding Freedom. For more information, contact Gayle at or 312-738-1414 x17.

To purchase tickets or to make an online donation, click the link below: