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13 Sep 2023

Full-Time Illinois Executive Director

America Needs You – Posted by americaneedsyou Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Are you ready to directly impact the lives of first-generation college students and champion economic mobility for all?   


About Us  

Did you know that only 21% of low income, first-generation students in the U.S. graduate from college within six years? Those who do graduate have a median household income 27% lower than their peers. While there are a multitude of college access programs for high school seniors and job assistance programs for low-wage earners, there are few programs that ensure first-generation students stay in school and build the skills necessary to prepare for long-term careers. This is where America Needs You (ANY) comes in.   


ANY fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in New York City, ANY expanded to New Jersey in 2012, Illinois in 2015, and California in 2016, growing from serving 50 students to nearly 600 students annually. In 2021, ANY launched FirstGenU, a new virtual program designed to help 10,000 first-generation college students navigate their careers. Visit www.americaneedsyou.org to learn more. 


Position Overview   

The Illinois Executive Director (ED) is the face of ANY in the community and a champion for first-generation college students, who will lead and grow their team and market to achieve more impact. A passionate mobilizer and result-oriented changemaker, the ED leads our Illinois site and is responsible for its performance, growth, funding and success. Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the ED will be tasked with setting and articulating a compelling site strategy; fundraising and external affairs; overseeing program delivery, partnerships, and people; and providing overall nonprofit leadership and management. The ED will also work closely with the CEO and Chief External Affairs Officer (CEAO) to lead local fundraising and external affairs.  


This inspirational leader is passionate about ANY’s mission, is highly collaborative, has a hunger for developing strong partnerships and raising critical funds, has a track-record of achieving excellence, and demonstrates proven success in managing the day-to-day operations of a growing organization. The ED will have a growth-mindset and execute ANY’s current program, while also focusing on opportunities for growth.  


The position is based in Chicago, Illinois and is currently hybrid, requiring in-person attendance at monthly Saturday workshops, and in-person attendance at other work-related events/meetings, as needed.  


  • Leadership and Strategy: Deliver ANY’s vision and strategic plan in the local site, engaging with Leadership, the Board, staff, and as appropriate, external stakeholders to develop and evaluate local site strategy and ANY’s exciting growth plans.  
  • Fundraising and External Affairs: Evaluate, develop, and execute the site’s fundraising strategy to identify and prioritize funding sources to meet funding targets and diversify revenue streams. Serve as the face and primary spokesperson of ANY locally.  
  • Program Growth and Partnerships: Grow the site and build higher education and corporate partnerships for internships and volunteer and Fellow recruitment pipelines.  
  • Site Management and Performance: Oversee delivery, quality control, and evaluation of programs. Prepare annual operating budgets, manage resources and site expenses within budget guidelines and the strategic roadmap. Day-to-day management of local team.  
  • Board Management: Actively manage a local 10 to 16 person Advisory Board, recruiting and engaging a diverse group of board members.   


What does success look like?  

  • A financially healthy site that raises its budget each year and is well-known and regarded in the community  
  • A program people love coming to and getting our incredible students through graduation and into jobs! (Goals: 90% college graduation, 90% internships and employment annually.)   
  • Program growth to serve 200+ Fellow and Mentor Coach pairs annually  
  • College partnerships and relationships that support enrollment of 1,000+ students into ANY’s national virtual program, FirstGenU  
  • A highly engaged site team and Advisory Board with a healthy, feedback-rich, continuously-learning, mission-driven and collaborative culture  


Skills and Qualifications  

  • Bachelor’s Degree required  
  • 5-10 years of professional experience, including proven experience leading and managing high performing teams and programs or projects  
  • Experience leading successful fundraising campaigns or possess a curiosity to learn and do this well; possesses a baseline ability to negotiate with and influence others  
  • Experience mobilizing and inspiring diverse stakeholders   
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, including public speaking, writing and editing; relationship management with demonstrated ability of building and sustaining community relationships/partnerships  
  • Strong management and coaching skills with the ability to give effective and direct feedback and provide results-focused and motivational management  
  • Experience and comfort managing and using data effectively   
  • Embodies ANY’s Core Values and commitment to Diversity and Belonging  
  • We invite candidates from both the for-profit and non-profit sectors; experience working in and with communities resembling those of ANY is helpful   
  • As ANY workshops are held on Saturdays, this position will require flexibility and willingness to work nontraditional work hours  


Salary for this position is in the range of $100,000 to $120,000, commensurate with experience.

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How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume to jobs@americaneedsyou.org (subject line: Illinois Executive Director – Last_Name, First_Name). Please note that your application will not be considered without a cover letter. No phone calls please.  

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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