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August 20, 2021

Bright Promises is seeking a strategic, visionary, and innovative thinker to be the Foundation's next Executive Director

Title: Executive Director

Reports to: The Board of Directors

Supervises: Director of Development and Marketing, Senior Program Officer, and support staff 

Status: Part-time (approximately 60% time), exempt


By advancing cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches from the idea stage to scalable solutions and interventions, Bright Promises Foundation drives vital innovation in services. Founded over 150 years ago, we remain one of the only public foundations in Illinois dedicated to addressing under-recognized and under-funded issues impacting vulnerable children and their families. Bright Promises determines important unmet needs and uses grantmaking, programmatic resources, and capacity-building to support proven community programs and innovative approaches. Our work doesn’t end with that initial investment. We ensure a lasting impact by supporting program and need assessments, ongoing evaluations, and a focus on outcomes for children. With this integrated approach, Bright Promises helps move organizations from understanding the needs, to training, and towards implementing lasting culture change.

Bright Promises Foundation’s Unique Focus Panel Process: Every four to six years, Bright Promises convenes Focus Panels of experts in various childhood fields to select a single issue that negatively impacts children in Illinois and is often not well-addressed or understood. Bright Promises leads a process of guided discussion, brainstorming, and voting, and the Panels reach consensus on a single issue to choose as the focus issue (the Focus Issue Initiative). Past focus issues include obesity prevention, promoting trauma-informed environments for children, and Social Emotional Learning engagement for parents. 

Healing, Leading, Changing: Supporting Youth to Address Trauma Caused by Racism and Creating Healing Spaces for All Youth is our newest Focus Issue Initiative. Healing, Leading, Changing addresses trauma caused by racism affecting youth. BPF will financially support organizations to build their own capacity to address racism and the trauma that it causes, work collaboratively to amplify the issue, and involve a youth-led Youth Council. The Youth Council will create tools to assist other youth-serving organizations. 2021 is the first year of the five- to six-year grant program.


The new Executive Director will replace outgoing Executive Director Iris Krieg. This transition comes at a crucial time for Bright Promises. The organization will begin 2022 with a strategic planning process with its new leader at the helm. A dynamic individual will be hired to strengthen our collaborations and community partnerships, increase our fundraising strengths, and build our brand identity.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for staff, programs, fundraising, program growth, and execution of its mission. They lead strategic planning and collaborate closely with the Director of Development and Marketing to ensure that fundraising opportunities and relationships increase. They serve as the external face and voice of BPF, initiating and maintaining strong ties with nonprofits, stakeholders, and the philanthropic community. 

The Executive Director supervises a full-time Director of Development and Marketing and directs the work of a Senior Program Officer and support staff that are part-time and are provided through a consulting relationship (along with back-office services), with an outside firm. The Board is open to evaluating this structure after completion of a 2022 strategic plan. 


Organizational Leadership (approximately 40% of the position)

Finance and Resource Development
(approximately 40% of the position)

Program Management
(approximately 20% of the position)



Bright Promises Foundation believes that interconnected social and economic issues must be addressed to ensure the well-being of children and families. We promote and embrace both diversity and justice to create lasting change. 

BPF celebrates the diversity of our supporters, funders, staff, Board and Committees, and partnering organizations. We provide training, mentoring, and resources to create an organizational culture where all staff members feel welcome, supported, and valued. 

We are committed to fostering a diverse pool of candidates for open positions in our organization. Decisions and criteria governing the employment relationship with all employees are made in a non-discriminatory manner without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, age, military or veteran status, disability, or socioeconomic, marital, parental or caregiving status, or any other factor determined to be unlawful by federal, state, or local statutes. 



Previous, proven experience:




Download the full position description here