Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) is a strong, effective and well-led organization that aligns, strengthens, and mobilizes Evanston’s assets – whether those assets are nonprofit leaders, donors and their generous gifts, or the knowledge of community members. In situations where its neighbors are struggling, ECF works to change the picture. When ECF hears about a pressing need – or a great idea – it brings a variety of people to the table to get results and change lives. The Foundation builds, connects, and distributes resources to bring its community’s visions to life.
ECF is grateful for a set of generous funders, which is of key importance for a community foundation. Rapid growth since 2001 in grants and programs has transformed ECF into a catalyst for growth and change. With assets of more than $32 million and an operating budget of $1.4 million, the Foundation provides grants and innovative leadership programming of $1.25 – 1.8 million each year.
The Evanston Community Foundation seeks a proven leader with significant management skill, progressive leadership experience, and a deep-seated passion for justice and the mission of ECF. The successful candidate will be someone who deeply understands vulnerable populations and racial bias. Lived experience in underserved neighborhoods or in communities of color would be highly valued. ECF seeks a leader with demonstrated success in fundraising and a daily focus on engaging individual and organizational partners into the mission. Candidates should demonstrate the following skills:
Strong External Relations Skills and Donor Engagement Capacity: A compelling presence and excellent speaking and communication skills are a must, as is a proven history of building relationships with community and funding partners. Candidates must be prepared to serve as a true ambassador and key external representative for ECF, and to build support for the mission through collaboration, advocacy and leadership.
The next President & CEO must be able to serve as a caring, knowledgeable and collaborative representative of the Foundation. They will be able to transition fluidly between meetings in the board room, in the church basement, and with corporate and individual donors. The next ECF leader will have strong relational intuition and a bold presence, yet will also be approachable and relatable to a variety of community members.
Commitment to Evanston. Candidates for the role must be excited and enthusiastic about Evanston and willing to learn more about it. The successful candidate will be expected to have a high level of commitment to the Evanston community and to be available and present at events, community meetings, and site visits. Candidates will demonstrate an ability to be comfortable and engaged in a broad variety of social settings.
Proven Leadership and Management Skills. Successful applicants will have demonstrated the ability to build, develop and inspire a cohesive team of hardworking, devoted staff members. In addition, the next CEO will help inspire and motivate a community of mission-focused advocates and partners.
A big picture thinker and ambitious leader, the next CEO must also be a knowledgeable manager with excellent administrative and operational skills and a working understanding of different organizational structures. Candidates will have demonstrated competency in financial oversight, and a working understanding of investments.
Strategic Planning. The next CEO will have demonstrated strong experience and ability in setting goals, strategic planning, and critical thinking. The selected finalist will model strong adherence to ethics and good governance, and the individual will demonstrate a history of updating policies and procedures as necessary for a leading-edge nonprofit.
The individual must be a strategic thinker and problem-solver without seeking or desiring to solve every challenge themselves; a healthy and intentional reliance on staff and board members is required. Humility and an attitude of servant leadership will be effective traits in harnessing the efforts of others and in furthering the legacy of the Evanston Community Foundation.
Board Relations. A track record of successfully engaging with an active and participative governing board must be evident. This person will establish and maintain a climate of trust in all leadership and board related matters. The CEO will also maintain a learning environment and encourage active inquiry by the Board in pursuit of organizational effectiveness. The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to provide Board members with appropriate communication leading to strategic development and action for the Foundation. The candidate will welcome new ideas yet be able to help the board set priorities in light of limited staff resources.
The Evanston Community Foundation shares in a city-wide commitment to engage in open and honest dialogue so that we can create a socially just and welcoming Evanston — a city where all people regardless of race, ethnicity, mental and physical ability status, gender identity, sexual identity, citizenship status, and religion feel a sense of belonging.
A bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university is required.
To apply, send a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at https://bit.ly/2ZGKChq (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page). For more information about the Evanston Community Foundation, visit https://evanstonforever.org/.