Organization: Make-A-Wish Vermont

Location: Burlington, VT

Express Interest!


Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont seeks a talented and deeply committed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the organization and serve as a spokesperson and advocate for the Make-A-Wish mission—to help strengthen and empower children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish Vermont granted 700 wishes to Vermont children with life-threatening medical conditions over the last 25 years.

The CEO will direct the day-to-day activities of the Foundation in order to effectively achieve the mission of Make-A-Wish and the goals and objectives established by the Board of Directors. S/he will bring exceptional leadership and strategic abilities, strong organizational management and communications skills, and a deep sense of respect for mission of the organization. S/he will be an enthusiastic and effective fundraiser for the organization, with the ability to conceive, build support for, and implement strategies for increased funding.


This position is directly accountable to the chapter Board Chair and, through that relationship, also accountable to the general Board of Directors.

The primary responsibilities of the role are:

Strategy and Mission Delivery

  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop a strategic plan that focuses on mission-critical, long-term goals with measurable objectives
  • Inspire staff, board members, and the general public to passionately embrace the Make-A-Wish mission
  • Ensure the Foundation is able to grant wishes to every eligible child
  • Ensure wish referrals and completed wishes reflect the diversity of the region and the communities served
  • Advance the Foundation’s reach within Vermont through strategic fundraising and successful outreach to wish families and medical professionals

Development and Funds Management

  • Serve as the Chief Development Officer for the chapter
  • Manage and direct a comprehensive fund development plan that identifies prospects and donors and enhances the short and long-term diversified funding base
  • Maintain and cultivate relationships with donors, prospective donors, and sponsors
  • Develop renewable funding sources through outreach with existing donors and new sponsorships for existing events
  • Work collaboratively with the Board of Directors in support of donor identification and cultivation
  • Coordinate chapter participation in the national fundraising programs
  • Ensure fiduciary responsibility, sound financial management, and financial accountability for contributions, income, and all other assets. Ensure public accountability consistent with Make-A-Wish Foundation of America policies

Board Relations and Organizational Development

  • Leverage passion for nonprofit DNA—a passion for mission—in all relationships with staff, board, and the public
  • Advise Board of Directors of activities, issues, and other events impacting the Make-A-Wish organization through verbal and written communication
  • Work collaboratively with board committees—primarily in the area of development, to engage and leverage the Board of Directors in donor/sponsor identification and cultivation
  • Continue to support the development and cultivation of a strong Board of Directors, representative of the diverse community

Community and Public Relations

  • Continue to raise the public profile of Make-A-Wish Vermont by serving as the spokesperson and advocate for the Agency, as well as being a visible, visionary, and influential leader and fundraiser in the community
  • Serve as the Foundation’s liaison to the medical and medical referral community
  • Provide education to the general public about Make-A-Wish services, financial needs, and volunteer opportunities
  • Develop a successful marketing/PR program that advances the awareness of the brand in the community
  • Ensure compliance with accrediting agencies and maintain favorable public relations
  • Serve as an advisor for the administration of volunteers and corresponding records and management
  • Continuously assess community needs, evaluating partnership opportunities to promote programs uniquely suited to the mission

Leadership and Management

  • Lead, motivate, manage, and develop staff to invoke passion about the mission of Make-A-Wish Vermont, and foster an environment committed to continuous improvement
  • Manage and implement an effective performance management system for all employees, which will include setting objectives and evaluation on an annual basis
  • Streamlining and/or realignment of duties to maximize effectiveness of staff
  • Ensure that the chapter meets the standards and performance measures established by Make-A-Wish Foundation of America


  • Minimum of five years experience in a leadership role; at least two years experience in a nonprofit or public agency management, including supervising paid staff and volunteers
  • A minimum of five years of major gift fundraising with individuals/corporations in a professional capacity and/or a minimum of five years of chairing diversified fundraising programs as a volunteer with demonstrated results
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies, including key community leaders and organizations
  • A demonstrated ability to plan and operate strategically, build public support, strengthen infrastructure, inspire staff and a Board of Directors, and develop effective programs
  • A strong interpersonal and communication skill set, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of varied and changing constituencies, including staff, Board members, potential donors, volunteers, and others
  • A team builder with a track record of effective staff management, including hiring, rewarding, and retaining talented managers and administrative staff members
  • Working knowledge of fiscal management, including fund accounting and budgeting
  • Passion for Make-A-Wish Vermont’s mission
  • Bachelor’s degree required, with an advanced degree preferred

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

Make-A-Wish Vermont has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Trisha Sutrisno at

Make-A-Wish Vermont is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Make-A-Wish Vermont:

Make-A-Wish serves a unique and vital role in helping strengthen and empower children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish Vermont granted 700 wishes to Vermont children with life-threatening medical conditions over the last 25 years.

Make-A-Wish America now serves 61 chapters nationally and 36 internationally, and has granted the Wishes of over 250,000 children globally. The Foundation was one of the nation’s first recipients of the Council of Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Seal, signifying adherence to charitable accountability, and was honored in the most recent edition of “America’s Greatest Brands.”

For more information, please visit

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits 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 about Koya Leadership Partners, visit