Organization: Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest

About Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois:

Boys Hope Girls Hope is an international organization centered on cultivating youth empowerment through the foundation of education and holistic support. Operating across 15 U.S. and 3 Latin American affiliates, Boys Hope Girls Hope utilizes structured programming adapted to the needs of each community, unique curriculum, and partnerships with local schools and universities.

For nearly 40 years, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois (BHGH) has offered scholarships to Chicago area children who are academically capable – all of whom come from families deeply troubled by poverty, homelessness, gang or domestic violence, drug use and other seemingly insurmountable challenges. BHGH empowers children, through education, to break the cycle of poverty that can trap families for generations.

A privately funded nonprofit, BHGH provides at-risk children with a stable home, high quality education, and the support they need to reach their full potential. The organization accepts motivated and capable Scholars who possess the desire to change their lives.

BHGH is unique because it is the Scholars’ choice to be there. Without BHGH the Scholars would not have the opportunity for such a quality high school education. Additionally, most of their Scholars are the first members of their families to have the opportunity to go to college. Currently, 100 percent of their Scholars who graduate from high school go on to college.

BHGH’s unique approach is a holistic, “whole-person” based approach that meets all the needs of the children in its care.  The program:

  • Supports children financially and emotionally, providing for a high quality high school education;
  • Provides children with long-term adult relationships and positive mentoring; and
  • Cares for children in non-institutional, family-like homes staffed with live-in residential counselors.

Since its inception in 1979, BHGH has been dedicated to helping capable young scholars. Children who once had little chance to succeed now have opportunities to attend college and realize their dreams.

With 3 homes in Evanston, BHGH currently has 24 Scholars attending Loyola Academy and Regina Dominican College Preparatory High School. BHGH is privately funded with an annual budget of $1.6M and an endowment of $5.2M. The organization has a reputation of solid programming; a strong foundation poised for growth.

For more information on Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Executive Director (ED) will provide overall leadership for BHGH and have primary responsibility for the management of the organization and quality of the program, with particular emphasis on the board relations, administration and fundraising. Most importantly, the ED will be present in the lives, homes and school of the BHGH Scholars.

Reporting to and partnering with the Board, the ED will set a clear vision and provide thoughtful, strategic direction for organization. The ED will oversee a full-time staff of ten (10) with five (5) direct reports which include BHGH’s Program Director, Major Gifts Officer, Director of Grants & Communications, Business Manager and Events Manager. S/he will be responsible for setting direction to fulfill the organization’s mission, upholding its commitments to the community and further elevating BHGH as a leading model of holistic socio-emotional, educational and financial support for students from under-served communities.

The ED will have the essential character, confidence and deep knowledge necessary for success in this visible and collaborative role. A respected and valued leader and trailblazer, the ED will have a high aptitude for fostering close-knit communities built on shared learning and development.

The ED and will provide leadership and vision to multiple sets of stakeholders, including:

  • The Board of Directors: The ED will support the Board in effectively carrying out its governance, planning, and fundraising responsibilities. The Board of Directors consists of business, civic, and scholastic leaders within the Chicago community. The ED will facilitate regular and effective Board and Board Committee meetings, providing counsel and assistance. S/he will also support the recruitment and orientation of new Board Members.
  • The Program Committee: The ED will support the Program Committee in oversight of the Program Director and monitoring of progress toward achievement of programmatic goals, regular evaluation of programs for quality and effectiveness, and developing recommendations to the Board for any changes required to better achieve the mission.
  • Stakeholders within the Chicagoland community: The ED will first represent BHGH to the greater Chicago community. This responsibility includes being an ambassador for the organization, along with growing partnerships with key stakeholders. These critical relationships include Scholars and their families, donors, referral sources and the general public.

The successful candidate will possess a deep commitment to caring for and mentoring Chicago’s under resourced youth. With a vision of helping adolescents thrive and flourish, the ED will have a clear understanding that education and wraparound services are key to BHGH students leading full and promising lives. Each day, the ED will deepen connections with and among students to create shared memories that will last a lifetime. S/he will have unquestioned integrity when working with Scholars and their families with the ability to attract, manage and provide resources to advance the Scholars’ BHGH experience and overall well-being.

The ED will be instrumental in achieving BHGH’s aspirational objectives. Key responsibilities for success of this new role include:

  • Cultivating strong and effective relationships with the Scholars, Parents, the Board of Directors, among others to assure open and transparent communication;
  • Achieving strong fundraising success by increasing major donors, partners, and key stakeholders, including foundations;
  • Partnering and providing leadership to the Board to assure effective governance and engagement;
  • Taking a collaborative approach in working with other organizations and institutions;
  • Recruiting and retaining qualified staff to implement stated objectives; and
  • Creating an environment and internal systems that foster high performance, growth and learning for staff and students alike.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

Strategic & Visionary Leadership

The ED will be a visionary and results-oriented leader, experienced at articulating and implementing strategies. The ability to inject new ideas into existing systems will be critical for the organization to reach its full potential. The ED will have demonstrated the ability to provide fresh, strategic leadership to business, being creative and innovative yet fiscally responsible. In partnership with the Board, the ED will envision, clearly define and then project BHGH’s importance to key stakeholders. The ED will naturally inspire fellow leaders, staff, House Parents and the Board to develop deeper relationships, leading the charge by example.

Relationship Builder and Communicator

The ED will be skilled at building effective relationships at multiple levels within a dynamic environment. S/he will have a high level of emotional intelligence with a demonstrated ability to quickly build trust and credibility with people. S/he will have a natural inclination for developing strong relationships and networks to develop productive and fulfilling relationships with the Board, donors, Scholars and their families, and other key partners. S/he will be a strong leader, communicator and collaborator who is skilled at listening to and learning from constituents. S/he is a persuasive negotiator, able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions. The ED will possess a strong sense of confidence and a style that resonates within the Chicagoland community. S/he will have a strong working relationship with key leaders and be a proactive communicator at all times.

Nonprofit Leader with Business Acumen

The ED will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. The ED will be an intelligent self-starter and finisher who is resourceful and entrepreneurial, yet team oriented. A tactical executor, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive decisions and achieve strategic objectives. S/he will be an assertive and decisive leader with the ability to translate BHGH’s priorities and goals into clear objectives for the staff and House Parents. With the ability to engender trust, honesty and integrity, the ED’s management style will be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for recognition of teamwork. The ED will be a builder with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results.

An ‘Ambassador’ for Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois

The ED will work tirelessly as an ‘Ambassador’ for BHGH. S/he will be able to build rapport and promote the organization with its many constituents. S/he will be a dynamic, energetic and credible leader, which will be conveyed both internally to the organization and externally to the community. As an external voice of BHGH, s/he will have the skills to articulate and broaden the vision of the organization to its current supporting community, future staff and key stakeholders. S/he will have the character necessary to effectively develop rapport with people of varying philosophies, backgrounds and cultures. The ED will have the ability to work closely with the Board to maintain existing donor relationships and cultivate new opportunities.

Passion for the Mission

The ED will embody BHGH’s values and mission to support and develop the Scholars as the leaders of tomorrow. S/he will possess a deep drive and passion for remaining at the forefront of organizations serving at-risk adolescents, continually motivated to develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission. S/he will want to be part of a hard-working, collaborative, fun and values-driven team. The ED will embrace the organization’s culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. S/he will lead by example, understanding that at times, a sense of humor is an essential quality. The ED will be an empathic, confident leader who treats others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A bachelor’s degree is required; MA preferred.


Marissa Martin and Chartise Clark of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Chartise directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Boys Hope Girls Hope is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit