Careers in Nonprofits


Nonprofit organizations are incredibly diverse in size, issue area of focus, and in the specific work that they do. What are the specific skills and experiences that nonprofit organizations are looking to see in graduate and postdoctoral candidates? We'll hear from four graduate alumni working in various capacities at nonprofits and answer your questions!


Sarah Borgeson (MA'06, Divinity) serves as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), a world-renowned academic research hospital that has been ranked the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America for 25 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. RIC's approach combines integrated research, scientific discovery and education to advance human ability in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Sarah advances RIC's mission by overseeing annual commitments from institutions, corporate sponsorships for RIC's SkyRise Willis Tower climb, and institutional commitments for RIC's $300 million "Advance Human Ability" capital campaign to build the Abilitylab, the world's first translational research hospital. Sarah is a passionate advocate for Chicago's philanthropic and nonprofit communities and serves as a Board member for Chicago Women in Philanthropy (CWIP), as well as co-chairing its Programs and Capacity Building committee. She has authored articles for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on corporate partnerships in the field of community development finance, served as a speaker for Chicago Women in Philanthropy, the Chicago Fundraising Summit, and The University of Chicago, and has been recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Pierce Family Foundation for excellence in the field of philanthropy.

Hannah Luchtenberg (MA'15, Humanities), Recruiter, Permanent Division at Careers in Nonprofits

Ben Helphand (MA'01 Divinity) is the Executive Director of NeighborSpace, a nonprofit urban land trust dedicated to preserving and sustaining community managed open spaces in Chicago. NeighborSpace shoulders the responsibility of property ownership for a network of more than 100 flower, vegetable and prairie gardens across the City, so that community groups can focus on gardening and community building. Helphand came to the organization in 2007 and has grown it from 52 to 108 protected community spaces. In that time he expanded the scope of the land trust to include emerging interest in sites focused on urban agriculture and nature play. Helphand is also the co-founder and board president of the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail (FBT), an all-volunteer, community-based organization that since 2002 advocated for the conversion of the under-used Bloomingdale rail embankment into what is now the heart of The 606 parks and trail network. Helphand also serves as a board member of the Active Transportation Alliance, the Mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and in 2012 was awarded a Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader Fellowship. Originally from Oregon, Helphand came to Chicago to pursue a degree in the history of religion from the University of Chicago and then went on to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Paul Durica, Director of Programs at Illinois Humanities Council (PhD'13, English and MFA'02 Creative Writing, Univ. of Michigan), is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present. Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). He is currently the Director of Programs for Illinois Humanities.


Lindsey Martin, Mellon Career Development Officer in the History Department, University of Chicago (PhD'15, History, Stanford University), is the Mellon Career Development Officer in the Department of History at the University of Chicago, where she coordinates Making History Work, the AHA-Mellon Career Diversity for Historians initiative. She received a PhD in Russian History from Stanford University in 2015.