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 OPPORTUNITY AND POSITION SUMMARY
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)
- Provide leadership for the strategic planning process along with the facilitator, Board, and staff
- Translate the vision and strategic plan into goals and achievable steps
- Serve as an articulate, passionate, visible, and prominent leader
- Increase knowledge of the issues and critical needs of Illinois children and position BPF to respond
- Seek out and maintain healthy relationships with new collaborations and partnerships
- Partner with the President and provide leadership to the Board of Directors and its committees; engage in activities that will bring new and diverse Board members to the organization and further Board development, provide support to Board Committees
- Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion principles
- Work effectively with the consulting firm that houses BPF and provides back-office services
- Hire, train, mentor, and supervise staff
- Retain and work effectively with independent contractors.
Finance and Resource Development (approximately 40% of the position)
- Supervise the Director of Development and Marketing, and participate in:
- developing fundraising strategies and the annual workplan for fundraising
- identifying, cultivating, and soliciting current and new funding relationships with foundations, family funds, individuals, and corporations
- identifying and soliciting sponsorship opportunities
- Continue to expand our financial resources
- Support innovative marketing and public relations opportunities to build on BPF’s institutional identity and promote the “brand”
- Work with the Finance Committee and Board to develop achievable annual budgets and oversee the management of the investments
- Ensure that the Board has the materials and information it needs to fulfill its responsibilities.
Program Management (approximately 20% of the position)
- Ensure the Focus Issue Initiative, EQUIP, and other programs are being implemented according to plans and their evaluations are proceeding
- Engage a wide circle of supporters to learn more about the BPF’s programs and the Focus Issue.
- Further develop the Legacy Council
- Attend and actively participate in relevant trainings and internal and external meetings
- Protect the Foundation by keeping information confidential
- Other duties as assigned.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
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.
- This position operates primarily in a professional office environment that is accessible; some travel to off-site locations in the Chicago metro area is required and some of those sites may not be accessible
- This is a part-time position (approximately 60% time); evening work is occasionally required
- Remote work possible, but meetings in the office and community will be required
- This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, scanners, filing cabinets; while performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to talk, hear, and use hands to operate office equipment; the employee must occasionally lift and/or move objects up to twenty-five pounds
- The workplace is a smoke- and drug-free environment
EDUCATION AND SKILLS
Previous, proven experience:
- Taking organizations to the next level
- Fundraising by identifying and managing relationships with foundations, individual donors, and corporations
- Leading, and being accountable to, a governing board
- Knowledge of Chicago’s philanthropic and nonprofit sectors
- Motivating supporters and stakeholders
- Creating, planning, and implementing innovative programs
- Developing collaborations with other organizations and leaders
- Strategic planning and implementation
- Supervising employees
- Managing the financial resources of an organization
- Building and managing a brand
- Collaborating to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts is preferred, but not required
- A true passion about the importance of programming to children and communities in economically-challenged neighborhoods, and a passion for fundraising
- An effective strategic, visionary, and innovative thinker
- A positive commitment to working with and supporting volunteers
- An ability to set priorities and deliver on them
- Strong and effective communication skills
- Strongly supportive of social media and other efforts to further our brand identity
- Operates from a fundamental understanding of the importance of valuing diversity
- Salary is in the $70,000 to $75,000 range, commensurate with experience
- Submit (1) cover letter (2) resume (3) where you learned of the position and (4) your salary range requirement to: email@example.com
- Please write your name (Last, First) in the subject line of your e-mail
- Incomplete applications will not be accepted; no phone calls please
- Position begins in January 2022