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Northern Public Radio
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DeKalb, IL 60115
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Employment & Internships

The Station

Northern Public Radio is the source for NPR news and information in Rockford, DeKalb, Sterling, LaSalle, and Freeport. We serve communities throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Flagship station WNIJ is home to a 10-person newsroom with beats ranging from education and community policing to arts, culture, and spiritual expression. Sister station WNIU is the area’s only 24-hour classical music station.

Northern Public Radio is part of numerous journalism collaborations with Report for America, America Amplified, Illinois Public Radio and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The stations are licensed to and broadcast from the campus of Northern Illinois University.


Associate Director for Community Philanthropy and Partnerships

Role Overview

This role reports to the Director of Northern Public Radio and serves on the station’s cross-departmental leadership team.

As the Director of Community Philanthropy and Partnerships, you will play a pivotal role in advancing WNIJ – Classical WNIU by spearheading initiatives to grow our audience, cultivate donors, and foster community support. You will provide day-to-day direction for the marketing and engagement team. You will develop and lead efforts to engage community partners for programmatic and sponsorship opportunities, driving our fundraising and audience development goals forward.

Key Responsibilities

Audience and on-air development

Collaborate with programming and marketing teams to develop initiatives that enhance listener engagement and expand our audience reach. Implement strategies to drive listener support through on-air fundraising drives, membership campaigns, and community events.

Expansion of mid-level and major donors

Identify, cultivate, and steward relationships with major donors who are passionate about the mission and impact of public radio. Develop personalized cultivation plans and engagement strategies to deepen donor relationships and secure significant financial contributions.

Community Philanthropy

Work closely with local businesses, organizations, and community leaders to identify opportunities for philanthropic partnerships and financial support. Develop creative sponsorship packages that align with the interests and values of our supporters while providing valuable exposure for our partners.

Community Partnerships

Build and engage a network of strategic partners aligned with our mission to enrich our live programming and enhance listener engagement. Develop creative strategies to expand our audience reach and deepen community connections.

Required Qualifications

Minimum of 3-5 years major gifts experience or comparable experience in generating revenue in a nonprofit setting;

Proven experience in fundraising, partnership development, or events management, preferably within the nonprofit or media sector;

Strong networking and relationship-building skills, with the ability to identify and engage key stakeholders;

Strategic thinker with the ability to identify opportunities for collaboration and develop innovative solutions;

Excellent communication and negotiation skills, with the ability to articulate value propositions and build consensus among partners;

Additional Preferred Qualifications

Bachelor's degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience;

Passion for public radio and a commitment to advancing our mission of serving the community;

Highly organized, open, and flexible;

Strong verbal and written communication skills;

Team oriented with desire to lead;

Comfortable with a fast paced, changing environment;

Life-long learner and good problem solver;

High ethical standards;

Join Our Team: Associate Director of Community Philanthropy and Partnerships

Are you a leader with a passion for fostering community support, driving strategic partnerships, and advancing the arts, cultural and information mission of public radio? WNIJ - Classical WNIU (the public radio stations of Northern Illinois University) seeks a visionary Director of Community Philanthropy and Partnerships to lead our fundraising efforts and cultivate meaningful connections with our audience and community partners.

At WNIJ - Classical WNIU, we're dedicated to providing exceptional classical music and insightful news and information to our listeners. As a public radio station, we rely on the support of our audience and local businesses to keep the music playing and the community connected. Join us in making a difference through the power of public radio!

Why Join Us

Make a meaningful impact by leading efforts to foster community support for the arts, cultural and news programming unique to public radio.

Collaborative culture: Join a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about their work and supportive of each other's success. We value collaboration and experimentation in everything we do.

Professional development: Take advantage of opportunities for growth and advancement as you expand your skills and expertise in partnership development, community engagement, and nonprofit fundraising.

If you're ready to make a difference and lead the way in building community support for public radio, we want to hear from you! Apply today by submitting your resume and cover letter outlining your qualifications and interest in the position.

Apply Here



Northern Public Radio is pleased to offer an internship that will introduce qualified applicants to many facets of media production.

This position will primarily work in support of Classical WNIU, and as such an interest and enthusiasm for classical music is necessary. Specific interests of the intern will be discussed and incorporated into the duties whenever possible. Assignments and duties of the Classical Producer Internship include, but are not limited to: 

- Researching, writing and producing Public Service Announcements

- Researching, writing and producing original digital content for web or social

- Audio library organization and cataloging

- Production assistance with local programming: planning and recording performances, digital editing and broadcast preparation, including hosting of specialty shows

- Other duties as interests and skills allow

For more information, please send résumé to David Tallacksen at Northern Public Radio: dtallacksen@niu.edu


Northern Public Radio is pleased to offer an internship that will introduce qualified applicants to many facets of radio and video production.

The position may also provide an opportunity to experience other elements of radio operations, such as news and business, as time permits. Specific interests of the intern will be discussed and incorporated into the duties whenever possible. This position does not include on-air announcing functions. Assignments and duties of the Media Production Internship include, but are not limited to:

1. Involvement with the WNIJ and WNIU Operations and Production Departments.

· Hands-on use of broadcast and production equipment

· Preparation of promotional and other broadcast material

· Use of the Digital Audio Workstation(s)

· Work with a variety of audio media

· Operating a camera and video production software

· Creation of social media videos/content

2. Involvement with the Program Department

· Basic introduction to audience measurement tools

· General introduction to program decision-making process

For more information, please send résumé to Spencer Tritt at Northern Public Radio: stritt2@niu.edu