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Executive Director, Children First Fund

Company: Noetic Search, LLC
Location: Chicago
Posted on: June 11, 2024

Job Description:

ABOUT CHILDREN FIRST FUNDThe mission of the Children First Fund ("CFF") is to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools ("CPS") through philanthropy and partnerships. CFF serves as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, and individuals. By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, CFF maximizes the impact of CPS' partnerships and advances the CPS Vision.BACKGROUNDEstablished in July of 1996 as the independent 501(c)(3) foundation for CPS, CFF identifies and communicates CPS' most urgent needs to partners. There are two main paths CFF supports CPS: direct to school, student and family support - which sends resources directly to school communities and is responsive to the community's most pressing and evolving needs. Secondarily, CFF provides support to advance district-wide strategic priorities - addressing ongoing, keystone initiatives that are integral to the District's vision and advancing equity.Children First Fund is committed to:

  • Elevating the needs of the CPS' children, schools, educators, and families;
  • Being a trusted, independent arm to ensure fidelity of investments and implementation;
  • Publicly celebrating partners impact on CPS's children, schools, educators, and families;
  • Identifying and communicating CPS's most urgent needs to partners; and
  • Finding and creating new ways to strike meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships.CFF is governed by a 7-person Board of Directors comprised of passionate ambassadors who are business leaders with a deep commitment to public education and it is driven by a 12-person staff.THE OPPORTUNITYAs one of the largest school districts in the nation, a groundbreaking study from Harvard and Stanford Universities revealed that CPS is at the forefront of academic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide. With impressive strides in reading, CPS ranked first in post-pandemic reading gains and in thetop third in math gains. These achievements underscore the success of various strategies and investments launched over the last five years and demonstrates to funders that their support is driving transformative change.Sharing opportunities for philanthropic support that inspire major commitments from partners and donors is the primary work for CFF. Looking ahead, CPS is finalizing their new 5-year strategic plan, positioning CFF to continue to leverage philanthropy to seed and help scale interventions and policies that respond to the needs of students, staff and families. THE POSITIONReporting to the CFF Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead the evolution of CFF's organizational model, including collaboration with CPS leadership, serving as a representative voice on behalf of CPS's vision in the civic, business, and philanthropic communities. The Executive Director will manage and grow a team to support the foundation's goals and will be a lead fundraiser on behalf of CPS's priorities. The Executive Director will be the public face of CFF and in partnership with the CFF fundraising team, will actively engage potential individual, foundation and corporate donors, while building, expanding, and cultivating CPS/CFF existing relationships.The results-oriented leader will be responsible for the Children First Fund's annual fundraising strategy. The Executive Director will set industry leading key performance indicators and will manage the team's progress to goals. Working with a high-performing team, the leader will manage the growth and upskilling of all staff ensuring that they are even more motivated to achieve ambitious goals. With innovative approaches the leader will take Board engagement to the next level. This will entail supporting recruitment, onboarding and development of the Board of Directors. In collaboration with the Board, they will execute good governance protocols, including regular meetings, and substantive engagement. The Executive Director will provide oversight for all financial activities for CFF including but not limited to the annual audit, developing and managing an annual operating budget and internal and external reporting, etc, to ensure financial prudence and fidelity of operations.CORE COMPETENCIESStrategic Vision:. Develop a business plan and subsequent fundraising targets to enable the financial and operational sustainability of CFF. Implement a strategic vision for CFF that aligns with the CPS priorities.Development: Serve as philanthropy expert within CPS with advanced knowledge of industry trends locally and nationally. Collaborate with CPS CEO and Chiefs across multiple departments in CPS and serve as leader of the collaboration between CFF and CPS. Ensure outreach, partnership and outcomes with external stakeholders align with CPS departments.External Relations: Serve as a dynamic, key spokesperson; clearly and compellingly convey CFF's vision, values, programs, challenges, and achievements to all stakeholders including CPS. Represent CFF with external stakeholders, including strategic meetings, conferences and convenings, speaking engagements, and other opportunities with the philanthropic community and government agencies.Leadership: Provide inspirational and influential leadership and direction. Serve as a coach and mentor to CFF staff including supporting professional development opportunities. Management: With a demonstrated understanding of the organizational structure of a nonprofit, cultivate a strong and transparent, and working relationship with the Board of Directors. Promote and support Board engagement in strategic planning, resource development, and recruitment of new Board members emphasizing diversity. Review and improve, where needed, protocols for transparent and regular reporting on grant expenditures, keeping funders engaged and CPS grantees accountable to execution fidelity through the development of spending dashboards for CPS leadership and the CFF Board of Directors. Conduct annual review and revisions to internal controls and operational protocols per improvements to foundation infrastructure and changes in revenue.THE PROFILEThe Board seeks to hire a dynamic, externally facing leader with strength in growing philanthropic support. The ideal candidate is an accomplished fundraiser who will serve as the leading philanthropy expert. The Executive Director will represent the Foundation at all levels of engagement with donors, strategic partners and within CPS leadership. Skilled in building and executing fundraising strategies, the Executive Director will develop a new business plan and subsequent fundraising targets to enable the financial and operational sustainability of CFF. The ideal candidate will have passion for CFFs mission, experience navigating complex systems, and will be an accomplished leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success. The ideal candidate has demonstrated grit and proven experience as a leader, fundraiser, relationship builder and collaborator.The successful candidate will be the face of the organization. The ability to develop and leverage key relationships and build credibility among stakeholders is key. The qualified candidate will have outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with a broad array of partners. This person will create strategies for leveraging philanthropy and private partnerships at all giving levels to increase Chicagoans' connection to the city's schools and youth, to build public trust and investment in Chicago's future and CPS' continued success.The person we seek will be an innovative marketer who will continue to grow visibility for CFF. The Executive Director will lead the expansion of CFF's marketing strategy to ensure CFF's brand recognition amongst all philanthropic institutions and donors.Qualified candidates will bring a passion for the mission and commitment to elevating the needs of CPS schools, educators and families. The Executive Director will stand for diversity and will be an ambassador for both CFF and CPS and the ecosystem of partners and constituents. The qualified candidate brings a strong work ethic, integrity, and solid judgment.The ideal leader will provide the staff with both autonomy and accountability by leading by example, providing professional development, career pathing and empowering the team to take fundraising to the next level. They will be a collaborative, warm, humble and inclusive leader with the ability to inspire the team to reach new fundraising heights. The health and happiness of the team are priorities.Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required; master's degree preferred. 10+ years of experience in fundraising is desired with grant making experience as a plus. SALARY & BENEFITS$200,000 - $250,000 plus competitive benefits, including medical and dental insurance. Paid time off and paid holidays. Flexible work environment.HOW TO APPLYApplications and nominations are being received by Noetic Search. For more information, visit or .Children First Fund is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.

Keywords: Noetic Search, LLC, Chicago , Executive Director, Children First Fund, Accounting, Auditing , Chicago, Illinois

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