Client Service Associate

Full-time position
National search, preference for Chicago or Seattle regions

Do you want to make a difference in the world by working with nonprofit organizations to accelerate their impact? Are you excited to leverage your research and project management skills to become a strategic partner to nonprofits? If so, then this role may be for you. 

Position Overview

As an integral member of Alford Group’s consulting team, the Client Service Associate (CSA) works across service lines to function as a primary analyst; contributor of actionable, data-driven recommendations; developer of engaging presentations; and key project manager on projects serving all segments of the social sector, including nonprofits, foundations and impact-driven corporations. As such, the CSA is a valued member of every project team on which they serve.

Position Responsibilities and Expectations

The main duties of this position include:

Research, Analysis and Presentation

In many instances the CSA serves as the primary analyst of the primary and secondary research that forms the basis for much of the consultancy’s client work. Depending on the scope of the project, the CSA can be expected to perform some or all the following functions:

  • Ability to find information and/or identify sources of information, both qualitative and quantitative; Synthesize qualitative and quantitative data, capture themes and create visuals for reports and presentations.
  • Design, test and field constituent surveys; Analyze survey data. Design new ways to convey conclusions in creative visual ways and to supplement graphs, charts and tables.
  • Review and analyze materials and reports provided by clients as relates to their fundraising function, strategic plans, governance, etc. and identify opportunities or inconsistencies with best practices and/or organizational goals.
  • Serve as a writer and proofreader of work products such as presentations, work plans, case statements, final reports and more.
  • Design and author high-impact reports and presentations using crisp language and engaging data visualizations.
  • Conduct prospect research on individuals, foundations, corporations and other funder types, as appropriate.
  • Stay up to date on trends relevant to clients and the sector.

Project Management

Successful project management is critical to producing quality deliverables on time and on budget for our clients. Managing workflow to deadlines is part of every consultant role and especially important in the CSA role. In this capacity the CSA will:

  • Work closely with project leads, project team members and other colleagues to design, plan, coordinate and contribute to the completion of high-quality client work.
  • Maintain day-to-day workflow of project tasks and deliverables in accordance with timelines and competing priorities.
  • Serve as a primary point of contact for client teams and ongoing communication; Proactively communicate progress, or lack thereof, against deadlines; Support work to resolve issues and address competing demands; Prompt action from clients and colleagues on tasks and deliverables to ensure timely completion.
  • Prepare materials — such as agendas, Gantt charts, dashboards and status reports — to support internal team and client team members in advancing progress.
  • Manage internal and external scheduling within client teams.
  • Coordinate meeting preparation and logistics for internal and external appointments.

Business Development and Marketing

The CSA will support the consultancy’s business development and marketing activities of consulting staff. In this capacity the CSA may:

  • Represent Alford Group at industry/social sector events and professional conferences and meetings and support consultant-wide efforts to maintain network connections.
  • Research and draft content for white papers, blog posts, social media posts, etc. on topics relevant to their experience and to the social sector.
  • Participate in sales process and represent Alford Group services and their role on a prospective client team.

Characteristics of a successful CSA:

  • Deadline-oriented, with the ability to anticipate client and team needs and mitigate potential roadblocks.
  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking and active listening skills.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills; High attention to detail and proven proofreading abilities.
  • Ability to take initiative, simultaneously coordinate multiple projects and manage deadlines.
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team and independently with minimal supervision at times; Demonstrated comfort and ability working in a remote or hybrid work environment.
  • Ability to manage relationships with diverse people, including client staff and high-level volunteers.
  • Strong meeting coordination and participation, including virtual and hybrid meetings.
  • Brings a creative eye to the development of engaging presentation of client work, including data visualizations, reports, slide decks, etc.
  • Thoughtful of the relationship between style and substance of work product.
  • Adapts quickly and can work simultaneously for numerous project leads.
  • Open to and comfortable receiving and giving feedback.
  • Desire to expand skills and learn trends via self-identified and consultancy-offered professional development opportunities.
  • Ability to perform above minimum expectations of the current role and desire to grow within the consultancy.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required. Advanced degree preferred in business, nonprofit management, public policy, organizational development or other relevant field of study.
  • At least three years of professional experience, with at least one year in the nonprofit sector, preferably with an emphasis on roles in frontline fundraising, communications/outreach and/or grant writing.
  • High technical proficiency: MS Office Suite including Word, Excel and PowerPoint required; Proficiency in project management software, such as Basecamp; and experience with InDesign, Adobe Suite or similar expertise is helpful.
  • Knowledge of or readiness to learn donor management software, such as Raiser’s Edge and other customer relationship management, wealth screening and survey systems.
  • Ability to work occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends as required by client and consultancy engagements.
  • Some domestic travel may be required. A valid driver’s license is essential. The CSA must be able to travel independently, locally and nationally.
  • All employees of Alford Group must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Alford Group is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace that fosters a sense of belonging where you can bring all of your true and best self.  We know there’s no “perfect” candidate, and we are not looking for the right “fit”.  We are looking for candidates who are excited about this role, are mission driven, want to bring their best and do their best.

Position Details

About Alford Group

Alford Group is a national, full-service consultancy serving nonprofits in nearly every state in the country. Since our founding, we have partnered with over 3,000 nonprofits to accelerate their impact and advance social change. Alford Group expects each employee and associate of the consultancy to reflect and promote our vision, mission and values.

Vision: A world where possibilities are endless and reflect the best of who we are as humans.
Mission: We accelerate the nonprofit community’s impact and advance social change.

We Value:
• Honest Partnerships
• Equity-Centered Practices
• Continued Learning
• Joyful Connections

Confidential Data
Our team members have access to sensitive, confidential information and are trusted to maintain these files and documents properly. 

Work Environment
We are proud to offer a flexible work environment and the ability to work remotely. If you are in the Chicago area, we have regular get-togethers at the downtown office for business meetings, team meetings and social events. 

Reports to
Chief Client Experience Officer

This is a salaried position with a range of $50,000 to $60,000 based on experience and a full benefits package, including a 401K plan, health insurance, 18 days of paid time off plus annual Alford Group holidays.

Diversity in the Workplace
Alford Group is an equal-opportunity employer. We actively seek a diverse workplace and are committed to creating an inclusive and equitable environment for all employees. 

Alford Group recognizes that diverse staff and perspectives advance our mission and help our organization thrive and grow. A diverse team also allows us to approach situations with nuance and develop unique insights to our clients and partners. We actively recruit, develop and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds and support everyone in being exactly who they are. As a result, we encourage all candidates with diverse perspectives and backgrounds to apply. Please contact us if you need accommodation to participate in the application process. 

Our teams are committed to strengthening the nonprofit community by delivering consulting services that make a difference. If you feel passionate about using your skillset for building resilience in communities and expanding the reach of our nonprofit partners, Alford Group welcomes the opportunity to have a conversation with you!   

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume and two relevant writing samples (e.g. stewardship or impact report, donor communications, grant reports, business proposal, etc.) on our website here.

Based on an initial interview, applicants can anticipate an additional 2-3 interviews, including a work project to demonstrate data analysis and presentation skills. The entire interview process typically occurs over the course of four weeks.