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Northwest Center - Executive Director

Northwest Center
Illinois, United States
$96,000.00 - $125,000.00
Closing date
Jun 30, 2023

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Position Type
Community Development
Employment Type
Full Time

The Executive Director is responsible for the management, vision, and strategic direction of the Northwest Center (NWC), a 20 year old organization dedicated to the well-being of residents of the northwest side, providing housing counseling, financial literacy programs, and community activism. The Executive Director ensures the financial health and sustainability of the organization, by working closely with the Board of Directors, Director of Finance/Operations and Director of Development. The Executive Director is the key external-facing messenger for the organization communicating to funders, stakeholders, elected officials, partners, and community members.

  • Title: Executive Director
  • Status: Full-Time Exempt 
  • Reports to: NWC Board of Directors
  • Start date: October 2023


A knowledgeable, people-oriented leader who understands the complexity of non-profit work, and the importance of centering that work on increasing the quality of life of the community you serve. You bring experience leading teams, developing resources to sustain a growing organization, and serving as a powerful advocate of NW Center’s mission in the city, region, and state. You understand that you are meeting people often in times of hardship and are ready to bring a trauma-informed, empathetic lens to your work. You are committed to fighting for racial equity and social justice for all marginalized communities.


    Minimum of five years non-profit management or leadership experience  Experience working with or managing non-profit Board of Directors  Working knowledge of power building and/or grassroots community organizing and leadership development  Expertise managing and developing programs that advance the economic well-being of communities, including community organizing and housing strategy Understanding of alternative program models that provide leadership development opportunities for participants Ability to utilize an empowering coaching model internally in your supervision of NWC Directors Spirit of innovation to the program work with an eye toward piloting new ideas that could be incorporated into or will maximize existing work Experience with developing cross-departmental and cross-functional collaboration across teams within an organization  Experience with fundraising, both public and private grants for a budget size of at least $2 million dollars/year Strong belief in racial equity, specifically the ways in which communities of color are disproportionately impacted by racialized capitalism and white supremacist culture Experience in transformative justice preferred Excellent written and oral communication skills Ability to work in a fast-paced, self-directed atmosphere
    Bilingual/bicultural candidates who are fluent in Spanish (strongly preferred)


Values and Strategy | 15%

    Serve as an authentic, passionate, and visible spokesperson of NWC throughout the organization, among stakeholders, and in the Chicago community; inspire belonging, connection, and investment. Partner with the staff and board to develop, implement, and track the progress of NWC’s strategic plan and lead forward-thinking and equitable approaches to organizational development. Collaborate with the board and staff to operationalize NWC’s mission and values, engaging the community in sustaining and developing the organization.  Partner with NWC’s Directors to develop organizational priorities, strategies, and goals.

Resources | 30%

    In collaboration with the Director of Operations, ensure prudent fiscal management; budget creation and oversight; and audit completion. Partner with the Board Finance Committee to ensure accuracy and transparency in budgeting, reporting, and financial tracking. Partner with Development Director to create and implement annual values grounded fundraising and communication plans, and support the development team's work in securing grants and leading fundraising events. Develop and cultivate relationships with individual donors and other funders. Develop strategies that ensure that donors are nurtured from their first gift. Cultivate relationships with a portfolio of foundations, governmental agencies, corporate sponsors, and other granting sources. Authentically communicate the impact and value of their investment.

Impact | 10%

    Follow major trends or changes in non-profit, community development, housing, and community organizing and position the organization to respond to such trends. Serve as lead spokesperson for the organization and represent the NWC in the media; convene meetings with local, state, and national elected officials, and liaise with other non-profit leaders and community members. Lead crisis management and communications. Guide external relations, partnerships, and collaborations that will facilitate organizational growth.  Support the Leadership Team in maintaining effective systems for evaluation and regularly evaluate the program model, remaining mindful of the need for flexibility to adapt to the needs of our communities. Oversee health equity work as part of NWC’s external facing work and strategy.

Management | 30%

    Hire, onboard, mentor, and supervise NWC’s leadership team, including the Deputy Director, Director of Finance and Operations, Director of Development, Director of Health Equity, and Director of Organizing, Director of Older Adults, Director of Youth and Community Schools, Director of Financial Opportunity Center and Housing Counseling. Collaborate with the leadership team to ensure long-term organizational goals are met;  decision-making at all levels is equitable; and management policies are regularly updated and implemented effectively. Foster a culture of learning both in self and team; participate in ongoing educational growth opportunities and encourage others to do the same. Facilitate annual management schedule of goal setting and work planning; staff development and training; self-reflection and performance evaluation. Protect the organization's value by keeping information confidential.

Board Partnership | 15%

    Build, cultivate, and nurture a true partnership with the NWC Board of Directors that is values-based and centered on mutual respect and trust. Provide the Board of Directors with the resources, information, and training necessary to fulfill their duties and to be organizational ambassadors. Facilitate, in collaboration with the Board Chair, the coordination of the Board of Directors meetings.  Support the coordination of the Governance and Development Committees; provide staff support, and implement board decisions into daily operations. Serve ex-officio on other board committees (Finance, Development, Culture, and Ad-Hoc) when appropriate and ensure committee progress and alignment with organizational strategy and goals.  Actively engage with the Governance Committee to help identify prospective board members who bring the skills, attributes, and lived experience necessary for the board to be a strong strategic partner. Support board infrastructure development and training as needed; stewardship of official board documents and records. Perform other duties in collaboration with the Board Chair.


    Given the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as NWC’s office renovations and expansion plans, NWC’s office is operating in a hybrid/off-site model through December 2023 with a plan to return to work in person at NWC’s office Tuesdays-Thursdays in January 2024.  As our team continues operating in a hybrid work environment, schedules are arranged by position to maximize flexibility and the need of the position.  This position operates primarily in an office environment that is fully accessible and routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, printers, copiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to converse and exchange information, and will frequently need to move/traverse. The employee will operate office technology and equipment, and may occasionally move/transport objects up to 25-40 pounds. The nature of our community-based work often involves evening and weekend obligations, and some travel to off-site locations in the Chicago metro area. Schedule can vary depending on the needs of the agency. Occasional travel to conferences related to NW Center’s mission, both in-state and out of state.  Our workplace is a non-smoking and drug-free environment.


    Salary range: $95,000-$125,000 (commensurate with experience) 401K (matching may be available depending on annual budget)  HMO and PPO Health Insurance Options with monthly employee contributions of $50-$100 Free Vision, and Dental, Long-Term and Short-Term Disability Insurance Accommodating work schedule (including half-day & fully remote Fridays)  PTO, starting at 20 days a year, plus 2 weeks of additional paid time off at the end of each calendar year  16 week fully-paid parental leave with flexible and alternative scheduling options 

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Northwest Center is committed to diversity among its staff, and recognizes that its continued success requires the highest commitment to obtaining and retaining a diverse staff that provides the best quality services to supporters and constituents. We strongly encourage diverse candidates—people of color, immigrants, women, gender nonconforming, and people with disabilities, to apply.

Decisions and criteria governing the employment relationship with all employees are made in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to race, ethnicity, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship status, military service and/or marital status, order of protection status, handicap, disability, or any other factor determined to be unlawful by federal, state, or local statutes.

Northwest Center recognizes that job seekers from marginalized communities (for example, women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color) can be less likely to apply for jobs if they do not meet every qualification listed. We encourage you to still consider applying. Our priority is to find the right candidate for the job, and that may be you.


To apply, please complete this form. In lieu of a cover letter, please answer the questions provided. You will be prompted to upload your resume and a list of three references at the end of the form. The Application deadline is July 21, 2023. Please email our Hiring Committee at with questions. No phone calls, please.

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