Organization: The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation

Location: Oak Park, IL

Express Interest

About The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation:

The mission of The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation (“the Foundation”) is to engage people and mobilize resources to strengthen the Oak Park-River Forest community.

The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation was established by community leaders in 1959 with the initial goal of preserving the integrity of its villages. Since then, the Foundation has evolved and expanded its reach and purpose with its current mission to strengthen the community through philanthropy and nonprofit excellence. The Foundation has grown significantly over the past decade with assets under management growing to over $69 million — allowing the Foundation and its donors to provide strategic funding through grants and scholarships of $4 million in 2017.

The Foundation has established and helps guide the activities of three giving groups – Entrepreneur, NextGen and Women Leaders in Philanthropy.  The Foundation also offers programming to social impact organizations through Impact Excellence – helping important not-for-profit service providers in the community build organizational capacity.

The Foundation works closely with donors, philanthropists and various community-based organizations by assisting them in achieving their giving goals – through grantmaking, administering scholarships, collaborating and educating on community needs.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit:

The Opportunity:

The President & CEO leads and directs the advancement and fulfillment of the mission of the Foundation. He or she is responsible for the achievement of the operational and strategic goals, including fund and donor development, fiscal management, grants and programming, board relations, staff oversight, community relations and administrative matters.

Key responsibilities include:

Strategy Development and Planning

  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors, the staff and other key stakeholders, the President & CEO develops and executes the Foundation’s strategic plan, long-term goals and annual plans.

Fund and Donor Development

  • Builds a sustainable asset base that enables the Foundation to deliver on its mission by developing valued relationships with donors and fund holders.
  • Oversees all development and fund-raising activities including cultivation and stewardship of current and prospective donors.

Fiscal Management 

  • Ensures the Foundation has the financial where-with-all and the necessary financial discipline needed to achieve its goals.
  • Oversees the preparation and management of the annual budget including expense management.
  • In conjunction with the Investment Committee, ensures the assets of the Foundation are invested optimally, efficiently and in accordance with the guidelines and policies.  Oversees the preparation of investment reports for the Committee and the Board of Directors.

Grants and Philanthropic Leadership Program Management 

  • Oversees the Foundation’s philanthropic leadership efforts and all grantmaking activities.
  • Develops new programming and initiatives to further the mission and vision of the Foundation.

Board Relations 

  • Cultivates partnerships with the Board of Directors and leads Board development activities. Assists in the recruitment of new board members.
  • Oversees the preparation and distribution of Board/Committee materials.  Serves as ex-officio on all Board committees and works with Board leadership to implement Board decisions.

Human Capital Management

  • Ensures the Foundation has the necessary resources to achieve its goals and its mission.
  • Manages the Foundation’s human capital including: hiring, termination, ongoing staff development and providing periodic evaluations of staff.  Informs the Board of Directors regarding staffing issues as appropriate.
  • Ensures that employment policies are enforced and in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and Foundation policies.

Community Relations

  • Promotes the Foundation’s visibility through participation and membership in community forums, civic organizations, and activities that align with the Foundation’s mission and vision.

Administrative Management

  • Leads and oversees the administrative components of the Foundation operations including operational policies and guidelines.
  • Works with the Foundation’s legal counsel to ensure legal and regulatory compliance in all aspects of the Foundation’s work.

Candidate Profile:

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

Strategic and Visionary Leader

The President & CEO is a strategic leader who, in partnership with the Board, sets and clearly articulates a vision for the Foundation and how it can effectively deploy its human and financial assets to better the Oak Park-River Forest community. He or she is skilled at strategic planning and the process needed to engage staff, Board members and the community in developing and vetting a strategic plan that has broad support. He or she also knows how to deploy staff and resources to implement and achieve a multi-year strategic plan. The next President & CEO will deploy a bold, innovative approach to enlisting donors, responding to community needs and capturing opportunities while simultaneously ensuring adequate staff and financial capacity are in place to succeed.

Ambassadorship, Fundraising and Asset Development

The President & CEO is skilled at building valued relationships with donors and philanthropists while ensuring the Foundation significantly grows its asset base. He or she is able to inspire and motivate staff and the Board in implementing a sound, strategic development plan. The ideal candidate will work closely with donors in achieving their philanthropic wishes while helping these donors understand the needs of the community.

The next President & CEO is skilled in identifying community assets – institutional, human and financial – to meet the needs of Oak Park-River Forest’s residents. This requires a leader with a collaborative work ethic who knows how to actively and strategically seek partnerships and build coalitions with other foundations, nonprofit organizations, community agencies and leaders on behalf of the strategic vision of the Foundation.

Board Development & Leadership 

The ideal candidate will be experienced at building and supporting a highly productive Board. He or she will guide the Board in meeting its governance responsibilities in a productive, efficient and gratifying manner.  The President & CEO brings experience identifying and cultivating diverse Board members who will bring the skills, connections and commitment needed to advance the Foundation’s goals.

Nonprofit Management

The President & CEO possesses strong staff and financial management experience and exceptional verbal and written communication skills. He or she has a track record of sound financial planning, oversight and accountability, which includes the ability to clearly communicate financial status to the Board. He or she brings strong staff management experience with the proven ability to build and inspire a diverse and highly effective staff.  The President & CEO is creative and comfortable encouraging the use of all forms of communication to reach diverse audiences effectively and efficiently.

Belief in the Mission

The President & CEO will have a true commitment to strengthening the Oak Park-River Forest community through philanthropy.  Working in close collaboration with the staff and Board, he or she will work to ensure the Foundation has the greatest positive impact on the community. He or she will exhibit humility, a capacity to listen and dedication to the mission. It is imperative that he or she treats others with respect and always stays true to the values of the Foundation. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values.

Residency in Oak Park-River Forest is not required.  


Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients, has been exclusively retained for this search. Anne B. McCarthy is leading the search.

To express interest in this role, please email Anne directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.