Chicago Freedom School
CFS Executive Director Application
The Chicago Freedom School (CFS) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 2007 in the spirit of freedom schools in Mississippi in the 1960s, with the vision of advancing youth-led social change movements with support from adult allies. We provide programs, trainings and other nontraditional educational opportunities where young people and adults can study the work of past movements, deepen their understanding of current social problems, build new coalitions and develop strategies for change. Please visit www.chicagofreedomschool.org to learn more.
We are currently seeking a passionate and dedicated professional to assume leadership for the organization by serving as our next Executive Director. As a small organization poised for growth, we encourage committed social justice educators, activists and/or youth development professionals with prior nonprofit management experience to apply.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for CFS staff, programs, fundraising, outreach and overall execution of its mission.
Key Responsibilities and Essential Duties:
PROGRAM AND STAFF MANAGEMENT
-Nurture a healthy staff culture that is mission-focused, dynamic and communicative
-Provide oversight to all CFS programs and trainings, engage staff and facilitators in rigorous and continuous reflection, evaluation improvement and to meet goals, objectives and outcomes
-Communicate and provide leadership through a deep knowledge of CFS mission, purpose, educational philosophy and approaches
-Hire, supervise and evaluate CFS staff, including Director of Youth Programs, Training Consultant(s), Operations Coordinator, and interns
-Lead strategic planning and annual goal setting to align with organizational mission and priorities; ensure staff members are successfully achieving outcomes in support of established priorities
-Develop and facilitate workshops, as needed, for CFS and/or outside organizations and institutions
-Serve as primary staff liaison to Board of Directors, ensuring operational efficacy regarding all organizational policies and practices
-Work with board committees to support the implementation of goals, including board member recruitment and training.
-Engage with Board to explore strategic options regarding organizational structure, financial health, governance, etc.
-With Board Co-Chairs, execute all Board meetings and related activities, maintaining communication with and engagement of members throughout the year
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND FUNDRAISING
-Maintain and nurture relationships with current foundation supporters and cultivate new opportunities to expand foundation support; write letters of inquiry, grant proposals, reports; etc.
-Work with and support the Fundraising Committee to execute 3-4 fundraising drives annually, including our signature fundraising event, Moments of Justice
-Develop and implement strategies to engage with and increase individual donor base to CFS; maintain correspondence with donors, including prompt writing/distribution of thank you letter
-Work with Training Consultant to meet earned income goals and strategic partnerships
-Represent CFS in Chicago and nationally with media, community partners, and other allies in the fields of youth development, movement-‐building, and social justice education
-Seek out and lead appropriate collaborations with partner institutions and individuals
-Work with part-‐time accountant and Operations Coordinator to ensure timely payment of all bills; process and deposit donations; and adhere to fiscal controls and procedures
-Manage monthly, quarterly and annual fiscal policies and practices, including development and oversight of annual budget with Board Committee
-Serve as liaison for any fiscal sponsorship relationships contracted with CFS; work with accountant to maintain proper fiscal oversight
-Provide general operational oversight, including liaison to building management and related vendors
-Serve as contact for auditor, and assist him/her with conducting the audit and filing of taxes
-Procure and renew all reports and licenses held with city, state and federal government entities
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
-Minimum five years experience at the senior staff level in education and/or nonprofit program development and management.
-Knowledge and understanding of popular education models, anti-‐oppression principles and/or organizing and movement-‐building practices.
-Knowledge of positive youth development frameworks and a vision as to how they integrate with social justice
frameworks for young people. Possesses a deep understanding of issues facing marginalized youth.
-Experience with fiscal management, including preparing and managing budgets.
-Knowledge and experience in grant writing and reporting; experience working with Chicago area foundations a plus.
-Ability to develop and implement creative, comprehensive approaches to fundraising through special events, cultivating individual donors, and developing earned income strategies.
-Ability to manage and work with multiple stakeholders, including youth, board, staff, volunteers, donors, and general supporters.
-Strong people management, facilitation, project leadership, and organizational skills.
-Possesses a high level of cultural awareness and a continual desire to grow in understanding multiple perspectives and identities.
-Ability to multi-task, be flexible and a team player.
-Must be computer literate with excellent written and verbal communications skills.
-Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.
-Proficiency in conversational Spanish is preferred but not required.
As a small, youth-centered organization, CFS has a relaxed, hands‐on environment where youth are encouraged to come to our space to engage, study, and be in community with CFS staff, volunteers and other youth. Typical business hours are 10am-6pm, with some evening and weekend programming.
Salary: $60,000 – $64,000 commensurate with experience, which includes 100% employer-paid individual medical, dental, and life insurance benefits, paid holidays, and generous PTO time.
To apply, complete the application below and attach your resume and cover letter. Please do not email your resume and cover letter to the Chicago Freedom School.
Deadline to apply is November 15, 2017. Please apply as early as possible.
CFS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and deeply committed to diversity within its community. People of color, female-identified, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented identities are strongly encouraged to apply.
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What is your connection to the Chicago Freedom School, and how did you hear about the position?
What would make you an excellent next Executive Director for CFS?
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