Evanston, IL

Chief Advancement Officer, Youth & Opportunity United
The Organization

The Organization
Founded in 1971, Y.O.U. is an Evanston-based non-profit that partners with families, schools, and the community to provide academic, social, and emotional support to close the opportunity gap and prepare all youth for post-secondary and life success. Each year, Y.O.U. provides over 1,600 youth across 11 school sites with free, holistic, out-of-school support, including afterschool and summer learning programs, mental health counseling, and experiential learning through partnerships.

This is an exciting time of transformation for the organization, following a three-year $16.4M capital campaign that expanded programs, launched an endowment, and funded a new headquarters facility.  The organization is implementing a new strategic plan focused on data & evaluation of impact, increased integration of services, and a refined program model.  Our staff are a diverse collection of 70+ passionate individuals, committed to social justice, to trauma-informed care, to inclusion and equity, and to helping youth realize their full potential.

Y.O.U. is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Position Overview

The Opportunity                               
Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) seeks a Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) to join a dynamic youth development organization. The CAO will oversee all aspects of fundraising, development and communications at Y.O.U. and will play a lead role in strategic advancement planning with the CEO. The CAO will report directly to the CEO as a key thought partner, collaborate with other members of the Executive Team, lead the Advancement Team of four, work closely with the Board of Directors and support various organizational committees.

A successful candidate will be passionate about the mission, will actively integrate with program staff to promote advancement planning, will be comfortable presenting to external and internal groups, will have a proven track record of cultivating, securing and expanding organizational funding via a strategically designed and comprehensive pipeline and will have strong executive presence.

The Role

  • Development and Stewardship: 70%
  • Leadership, Strategy, & Risk Management: 20%
  • Organizational communication: 10%

Development and Stewardship

  • Set and execute a vision for advancement in partnership with the CEO that best supports the strategic plan of the organization
  • Lead the Y.O.U. Board of Directors and Executive Team in developing short, medium, and long-term fundraising plans and projections
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy in Y.O.U., ensuring collaboration among and between internal stakeholders in keeping with our values and financial goals
  • Oversee the advancement planning process to meet and grow a $4.5-$5M annual operating budget to ensure availability and sustainability of resources, and to maximize impact and growth
  • Develop successful identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies to direct and monitor the progress of donor relationships
  • Establish innovative strategies to promote giving to Y.O.U., in particular focusing on attracting and increasing corporate, foundation and individual support
  • In partnership with the CEO, create individual stewardship plans for each Board member, to ensure leadership contributions and 100% participation
  • Ensure the accurate and up-to-date maintenance of corporate and foundation records as well as individual donor information in the Neon database
  • Develop and utilize forward-looking fundraising models to provide insight into the organization’s current, future and past fundraising goals and strategies
  • Utilize a variety of engagement strategies with all donors to increase giving, including personal visits with other Y.O.U. allies (CEO, etc.) to develop and foster understanding of Y.O.U.’s vision and programs, and enthusiastically embrace asking strategies. In partnership with the advancement staff, cultivate and nurture relationships with current and potential corporate and foundation contributors.
  • Collaborate closely with Y.O.U.’s Finance Department and Programs Team to develop fundraising proposals, grant expenditure, programmatic impact and current and future fundraising opportunities
  • Establish and follow advancement policies and procedures and maintain appropriate internal controls
  • Provide timely, accurate, and useful advancement, programmatic impact and management reporting for all funders and Y.O.U.’s Board of Directors; prepare and communicate monthly and annual fundraising status reports, including a real-time pipeline of current and future fundraising opportunities

Leadership, Strategy, & Risk Management

  • Support the development and leadership of the Advancement team, which includes an Advancement Officer, Grants Manager, Communications Manager and Grants Writer, and Communications and Development Coordinator
  • Serve as staff lead of the Advancement and Nominating Committees of the Board and support preparation of full Board meetings
  • Continually review department infrastructure to ensure support of organization’s revenue growth and goals
  • Serve as a strategic thought partner to the Chief Executive Officer, supporting strategic planning, organizational dashboards and reporting, data & evaluation efforts, and external relations
  • Collaborate closely with Chief Talent Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as well as Program Directors, on cross functional issues such as culture management, effective program design, and managing organizational change
  • Serve as a key leader and build internal relationships with staff, in order to develop an understanding of programming that enables strategic resource allocation for efficient impact and growth of financial resources to meet programmatic needs
  • Represent Y.O.U. to internal and external stakeholders including the Y.O.U. board,  community partners, donors, grantmakers and public officials
  • Other projects and duties as assigned to assist the CEO and broader organizational initiatives

Organizational Communications

  • Lead the creation and support the implementation of a comprehensive communications plan that enhances Y.O.U.’s public image and status in the local community, as well as with corporate and grant community, with a recognizable “brand” reflective of organizational mission and values
  • Define expectations and lead the development and maintenance of brand image, positioning, and messaging for Y.O.U.
  • Define expectations and lead in the maintenance of image and identity standards for the organization
  • Manage the development and production of organizational marketing communications, including print and electronic publications, collateral materials, presentations, website content, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, new media productions, advertising, media relations, and television broadcasts for staff and the community

Events Management

  • Conceptualize, manage and support the coordination and execution of all fundraising events in partnership with respective organizational staff, Board members and community stakeholders
  • Assist the CEO in strategically preparing for and prioritizing external events involving CEO and other organizational leadership

The Candidate

The CAO will be a seasoned, strategic and innovative leader with at least ten years of experience in advancement, development or comprehensive nonprofit fundraising, including at least four years of departmental leadership.  Successful candidates will demonstrate a proven track record in corporate, foundation, governmental, individual and and major gift solicitation and cultivation, preferably with major gift campaign experience, and evidence of cultivating new donors.

The successful candidate will have the following experience and attributes:

  • Minimum of ten years of progressively responsible fundraising and development experience and four years leading a team of advancement or development professionals
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with preference given to candidates with advanced degrees or additional, relevant certifications
  • Performance in a senior advancement management role that partnered with executive staff to develop and implement successful fundraising strategies
  • Significant experience working with and cultivating individual donors and Board members
  • Experience and interest in strategic planning, including process design and measurement
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to identify and translate programmatic outcomes and operations into compelling narratives for internal and external  audiences
  • Demonstrated leadership ability, team management, and interpersonal skills
  • Proven effectiveness supervising and developing advancement professionals
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in people and systems
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to Y.O.U.’s mission
  • An ability to work well with others in a highly collaborative environment

The Offer

Y.O.U. is a dynamic and energetic place to work, with a rich history as a community organization coupled with an entrepreneurial approach to solving problems. Out-of-school time programming spans grades 3 – 12, and a holistic model of program delivery includes collaboration with families, schools, and partners.  The Y.O.U. headquarters is a brand new facility housing administrative offices, a Maker Lab for STEM programming, a commercial-grade kitchen, clinical counseling spaces, a community gathering space, and an outdoor garden/event space.

Staff members of Y.O.U. benefit from

  • Professional learning budget for every staff, plus all-staff continuous learning trainings
  • Medical, Dental, & Vision Coverage
  • Pre-tax benefits including flexible spending and transit
  • 401K plan including company contribution
  • 12+ paid holidays per year, including a week-long Winter Break
  • 15 days of paid vacation and 12 days of paid sick leave annually
  • Competitive salary practices
  • Team-oriented culture supported by staff work groups to inform our values, shape our practices, and build community through social  gatherings
  • Caring and flexible work environment committed to work-life balance
  • Strong commitment to building and maintaining an inclusive environment, including race and LGBTQ+ equity work

How to apply

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Y.O.U. at this link to apply for the position. In addition to the general details requested, applicants are asked to submit a resume and a cover letter describing specifically how their background, skills, education, and experience match the needs described above.

Motivated candidates can also send their resume and cover letter to Tim Carnahan, Chief Talent Officer, at tcarnahan@youthopportunity.org.

Sign up