Executive Director
Girls on the Run-Chicago
Job Information:

Girls on the Run Chicago

Empowering girls in 3rdthrough 8thgrade since 1999

 Are you a mission driven people person who is passionate about social emotional learning and inspiring 3rdthrough 8thgrade girls to be joyful, healthy and confident? Are you a natural leader, communicator and manager with infectious energy and a positive outlook on life? If so, we’re excited that you found us!

We’re in search of a new executive director who will empower the team and take Girls on the Run-Chicago into its third decade of outstanding results through a research-backed, activity-based curriculum, which creatively integrates goal setting and running.

The past two decades have been amazing!  Since 1999, GOTRC has:

  • Become the largest independent chapter of Girls on the Run International
  • Grown from involving 60 girls on three teams to 11,000 annually
  • Engaged participants from Chicago and all of the surrounding collar counties
  • Never denied a girl access to its program because of her family’s ability to pay
  • Funded its entire budget through fees and contributions, i.e., no government funding

Given this past growth trajectory, it’s anticipated that the coming years will continue to be about scaling and innovation, so that this unique program may be available to every girl who would like access.  There is great opportunity ahead and the stakes are high given that the GOTRC experience is life changing.

We are looking for an executive director who is eager to:

  • Lead the organization and champion the GOTRC model
  • Be a hands-on, caring leader with vision and ability to follow through
  • Work closely with a thoughtful, strategic, and enthusiastic Board of Directors to ensure continued success of the organization over time
  • Advocate for GOTRC in the community, strengthening programs and raising funds
  • Serve as the “face” of GOTRC with a strong, external presence, increasing brand awareness and strengthening our reputation
  • Manage and mentor the 16 full-time staff based at its Chicago office
  • Oversee an operating budget of $2.5 million

Executive Director

Leading with energy and passion

The executive director leads GOTRC and empowers the staff with effective management across all functions of the organization, including program, fundraising, finance and operations.  Reporting to the Board of Directors, specific responsibilities include:

Strategic Vision and Program Leadership – (40%)

  • Through your leadership, carry out the GOTRC vision and multi-year strategic plan and ensure operational plans are in place to prioritize activities in real time
  • Cultivate and leverage relationships with Girls on the Run International and other local chapters
  • Develop a future growth strategy to continue the expansion of GOTRC in reach, retention, and depth of impact
  • Collaborate with the director of programs and external vendor teams on execution of the 5K event
  • Collaborate with the director of programs to market and deliver a quality, effective, and efficient program through volunteer coaches

Fundraising Leadership – (30%)

  1. Support and expand GOTRC’s well-established fundraising platform
  2. Collaborate with the director of development in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of select individual, corporate and foundation donors and prospective donors
  3. Collaborate with the director of development on major gift and grant proposals, and special event sponsorship strategies
  4. Help retain and upgrade current funders, identify and secure new grants and work to increase the number of multi-year corporate and foundation commitments
  5. Think BIG and participate in advancing the organization’s stewardship and donor cultivation efforts to significantly increase giving over time
  6. Keep abreast of nonprofit trends, including but not limited to, fundraising, positive youth development, health and development, and region-specific topics and concerns

Mentoring and Staff Engagement – (10%)

  • Lead, motivate and develop staff to create a culture of excellence and staff members who are committed to continuous improvement
  • Ensure the organization has a diverse, skilled staff appropriate to each position through people management activities
  • Make professional development for yourself and the staff a priority

Finance and Technology – (10%)

  • Responsible for the financial health of GOTRC
  • Collaborate with the director of finance to create and maintain budgets on a regular basis, including reporting
  • Proactively identify and evaluate investments in technology to streamline internal operations and support programs
  • Provide financial information to external partners in a timely manner as required, including requirements for GOTRI
  • Set the operating metrics and budget narrative for delivery to the organization’s internal and external constituents working with the director of finance

Board Communication and Leadership – (10%)

  • Work collaboratively and communicate often with the Board of Directors. Proactively seek direction or input on organizational/environmental changes or other significant decisions.
  • Report results and progress towards goals to the Board of Directors, making recommendations to solve problems or advance opportunities.
  • Provide accurate and appropriately detailed information to the Board of Directors in a timely manner, enabling them as partners in the informed decision-making process.
  • Participate in identifying and recruiting new board members.

Candidate Qualifications

Leveraging your past experiences and future aspirations

Our next executive director will be inclusive, dynamic, visionary and possessive of exceptional interpersonal skills.  The individual will offer experience across all functional areas of GOTRC and will be comfortable setting goals and tracking progress toward them.  The ideal candidate will excel at developing individual leaders within the organization.

Additionally, our executive director will enjoy serving as a top representative of the organization and advocate for GOTRC in the community.  In this role, you will deliver highly professional and inspiring messages and demonstrate natural leadership ability. Those with a strong connection with the local community (Chicago and/or suburbs) and ability to develop strong working relationships and partnerships will be prioritized.

We seek a professional with a minimum 10 years’ work experience in a nonprofit or business environment with a minimum 5 years’ in a leadership role.  A bachelor’s degree is required.  Ideally, candidates will offer experience in nonprofit management and education at the graduate level, however, neither are required to be considered.

Additional skills and attributes of sought-after candidates include:

  • A strategic thinker with strong business acumen
  • Creative, innovative and entrepreneurial
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills; comfortable with presentations and public speaking
  • Direct fundraising experience required, including ability to identify new funding streams
  • Event planning experience; athletic event planning experience a plus
  • A natural leader and mentor to others
  • Experience working closely with a Board of Directors
  • Versatile, flexible and adaptable
  • Hands on worker and team player
  • You can quickly and deftly navigate between strategic, organizational thinking, and hands-on program delivery.
  • You are a critical thinker with intellectual curiosity.  You are highly motivated and eager to learn in support of the organization’s success.