Chief Executive Officer

1 day left

HOPE Chicago
Illinois, United States
Competitive Salary
Apr 13, 2021
May 12, 2021
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time


HOPE Chicago is a new, Chicago-based non-profit organization with a bold vision – to dramatically increase the number of Chicago Public School (CPS) students who successfully complete post-secondary college or vocational programs. It is a new “Promise” program - a second generation model that will provide a paid post-secondary education and customized wrap-around supports for students and one of his/her parents. The mission of HOPE Chicago is to ignite pathways out of poverty for multiple generations of Chicagoans by providing free, equitable and supported access to post-secondary educational opportunities. Secondary impacts include an increase in household income, lower unemployment, and a reduction in violence in targeted neighborhoods.

Founded by a serial entrepreneur, with a Board of Directors with deep roots in the Chicago community and national Promise programs, the HOPE Chicago team seeks to improve educational outcomes for underserved youth for decades to come. The CEO will work to develop this start-up organization into a large and thoughtfully designed educational initiative.

For this initiative to be successful, we are focusing on more than scholarships – we are defining the supports that families need to maximize the likelihood of post-secondary success. We want to build HOPE Chicago as a new organization that respects and leverages existing resources, and is an asset to the existing post-secondary ecosystem. In addition, we are looking to be revolutionary – we want to develop a model that can change the trajectory of students, families and communities through access to post-secondary opportunities.

The Board of HOPE Chicago seeks a dynamic leader – one who sees an exciting challenge in taking a big idea and moving it along the design process and through to implementation. The ideal candidate cares deeply about playing a role in leveling the playing field for students and their parents in underserved communities in Chicago.

Job Summary

As a start-up organization, HOPE Chicago will require the Chief Executive Officer to build a team, set the tone and culture of the organization, complete the program design that is already underway, build the program, and help raise $1B in funding.

In partnership with the Board, the CEO is responsible for the success of HOPE Chicago. Together, the Board and CEO will ensure HOPE Chicago stays true to its mission and vision, and participates in a continuous cycle of reflection, refinement and growth.

The Board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the CEO, who has the authority to carry out these responsibilities in accordance with the guidelines and policies established by the Board. The CEO provides direction and support to the Board as it carries out its governance functions.


1. Mission, policy and planning

a) Supports the Board in determining HOPE’s values, mission, vision, and short- and long-term goals.

b) Keeps informed of developments in education, human services, not-for-profit management and governance, philanthropy and fund development and responds appropriately.

c) Develops multi-year strategic plans, created with stakeholder engagement.

2. Program design and implementation

a) Establishes and maintains a recruitment process and pipeline for students and parents that result in annual cohorts that both meet the program requirements and match the annual funding scholarship allocation.

b) Retains outside evaluator to assess annual impact and make recommendations for program modifications.

c) Identifies program partners and negotiates agreements to provide needed supports.

d) Assesses partner performance, provides feedback, and makes modifications as needed.

3. Fundraising

a) Assures an effective fundraising development program by serving as the chief development officer or hiring and supervising an individual responsible for this activity.

b) Drives key results in fundraising; to identify, cultivate and solicit prospective donors and key leaders of prospective new corporate partners.

c) Leverages personal and professional contacts and relationships into fundraising opportunities.

d) Promotes a culture of fundraisinga in the organization, both at the staff and board level.

4. Board development and support

a) Keeps the Board fully informed on the important factors influencing the organization.

b) Works with the Board Chair to enable the Board to fulfill its governance functions and facilitates the optimum performance by the Board, its committees and individual Board members.

5. Management and administration

a) Provides general oversight of all HOPE activities, manages the day-to-day operations, and assures a smoothly functioning, efficient organization.

b) Oversees the fiscal activities of the organization including budgeting, reporting and auditing.

c) Creates an inclusive and collaborative work environment that recruits, retains and supports quality staff and volunteers.

d) Assures the filing of all legal and regulatory documents and monitors compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

6. Community relations

a) Facilitates the integration of HOPE into the fabric of the communities in which it serves by using effective marketing and communications activities.

b) Advocates within the public and private sectors, for issues relevant to HOPE, its services and constituencies.

c) Implements formal and informal feedback mechanisms to obtain feedback from all stakeholders in order to improve the program and generate community involvement.

d) Identifies ways to participate in the post-secondary Chicago ecosystem, establishing HOPE as a leader and partner in the field.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

• Passion for the mission and programs of HOPE Chicago.

• Lived experience in the communities and/or with the stakeholders and intended beneficiaries of HOPE Chicago

• Proven ability to personally cultivate, solicit and steward individual and institutional donors at seven- to eight-figure levels.

• Demonstrated strength in prospect discovery and in building effective strategies to compel new major donor investment.

• Broad knowledge of all functional areas of fundraising (major, planned, and annual giving; corporate and foundation giving; annual giving/membership; stewardship).

• Ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about program design, donor strategy and process.

• Experience in and deep knowledge of the education and non-profit sector.

• Proven track record in leading people, teams and organizations.

• Commitment to and demonstrated track record of promoting equity and inclusion.

• Demonstrated ability to build collaborations with community and across multiple sectors.

• A forward thinker who will be driven by innovation in developing best practices in supporting students and adults on a post-secondary journey in the current and post-COVID-19 world.

• A high level of personal skills to develop and maintain relationships and make formal, persuasive presentations to groups.

• Positive energy and enthusiasm and an ability inspire and motivate individuals and teams.

• Experience in start-up environments a plus.

• A Bachelor’s Degree is required with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in senior management.

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