Organization: Boys & Girls Club of Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL

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About the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago:

Founded in 1902, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago is the longest running organization exclusively and directly serving Chicago’s young people. Through programming and activities, this multi-dimensional organization has evolved to serve the needs of the changing community always keeping its mission as the cornerstone for the organization.

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago is “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago prepares their members to take on academic challenges, leadership roles, and adopt healthy lifestyles. The Clubs’ trained, professional and caring staff teaches our youth to take responsibility, not only for themselves but for their families and communities as well. Their nationally-developed programs are designed to help ensure the members graduate high school ready for college, trade school, the military or to join the skilled workforce.

The after-school hours are the most threatening time for young people, especially those who walk in some of Chicago’s most economically challenged neighborhoods ravaged by violence and drugs.  Yet, even in these troubled communities, 21 Boys & Girls Clubs are standing proud and vibrant. The doors and arms of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago are open wide to give young people:

  • A safe place to learn and grow;
  • Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals;
  • Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences; and
  • Hope and opportunity

The focus of the Boys & Girls Clubs programs has progressed throughout history. What was once basic sheltering and feeding young people has grown to offering programs and activities that develop youth’s character, cultivate self-confidence and expand their opportunities. The organization partners with schools, churches and community groups to share space and bring life-changing programs to where young people are most vulnerable during the out-of-school hours.

The comprehensive and well-rounded lineup of structured and tested programs are for young people ages 6 -18. While fun and entertaining, each program addresses today’s most pressing issues. The programs are centered on character and leadership, education and career, health and life skills, the arts, and fitness and sports.

For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, please visit

The Opportunity:

As the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago enters this exciting next chapter in its history, the new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will provide leadership and direction to fulfill the organization’s mission. A clear vision and thoughtful strategic direction setting, developed collaboratively with the Board, will be one of the major priorities for this CEO. The Board sees this next chapter as both a period of growth and evaluation for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, expanding programming and engaging with a wider range of youth. The next CEO will guide that effort and help expand the Clubs’ reach and brand in the community.

A successful CEO will have the character and confidence to work comfortably in a highly visible role and to work effectively with a broad range of constituents, both within the Boys & Girls Clubs and externally.

S/he will work with the Board of Directors to establish the organization’s next strategic plan and execute that plan with the staff. The CEO will be expected to manage the Clubs’ resources with a strict eye towards operational efficiency as well as an entrepreneurial approach to diversifying revenue streams. The CEO will work proactively with the Board and development team to fundraise for the Boys & Girls Clubs and strategically lead the organization into its next chapter which will include building an endowment. Internally, s/he will ensure the staff is working effectively to support the organization and advance the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. The CEO will benefit from an intimate understanding of the youth community and will work tirelessly to promote the organization and fundraise on its behalf.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will provide leadership and promote the Boys & Girls Clubs services as a role model to individuals, other service organizations and the local community. The CEO will be instrumental in helping to achieve the Boys & Girls Clubs aspirational objectives.

Key metrics for success of this new role include:

  • Creating and sharing a clear vision for the senior team and staff to translate strategies into effectively executed plans;
  • Providing professional leadership to the Board of Directors to assure development of an effective and motivated board, including identification, recruitment and stewardship;
  • Continuing to provide the highest caliber programming to ensure the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago remain the premier youth development organization in the city;
  • Setting goals and developing policies, procedures, budgets and programs that fulfill the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs;
  • Achieving strong fundraising success for the Boys & Girls Club through a robust and permanent major gift program, institutional engagement with corporations and foundations; and
  • Positioning the Boys & Girls Clubs for long-term sustainable success and promoting a true culture of philanthropy throughout the organization.

Candidate Profile:

The CEO will be passionate about fulfilling the Boys & Girl’s Clubs’ mission. S/he will have the character and confidence to work comfortably in a highly visible role and to interact effectively with a broad range of constituents. As a leader in Chicago, s/he will bring a genuine passion for the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago coupled with deep experience driving sustainable success.

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

Visioning and Strategic Leadership

The CEO will be a strategic leader who, with the Board, will set and articulate a vision for the organization’s next chapter. S/he will take a consultative approach to evolve the vision of the organization for the current times while preserving the rich history. The ability to think entrepreneurially and inject new ideas into the strategy will be critical as the organization makes itself relevant for the future. This leader will instinctively ‘get ahead of the curve’ in terms of anticipating needs and threats, and craft a strategy to address those while achieving the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. Fundamentally, the CEO will be a ‘change agent’ with the ability to successfully lead the Board and staff through a period of transformation.

An Expert in Development

The CEO will work in a collaborative manner, building relationships and promoting the Boys & Girls Clubs. S/he will be a proven fundraiser coupled with a deep understanding that successful fundraising and the development of partnerships with allied organizations are fundamental responsibilities. The next CEO will play a lead role in fundraising and in diversifying the Boys & Girls Clubs’ revenue streams. S/he will work in close collaboration with the Board and staff to identify, approach and cultivate partners and donors to help advance the organization’s objectives. S/he is politically adept and can articulate the Boys and Girls Clubs’ vision and direction to a wide range of audiences and constituencies. S/he will be energized by the prospect of building a culture of philanthropy.

Business and Management Acumen

The CEO will be a builder with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. S/he will strengthen and retain an empowered team that will work with him/her to implement the course of action for achieving the vision. The CEO will manage the many voices of varied constituencies including multiple boards, internal staff and the broader community. S/he will have a demonstrated understanding on how to run a financially sound organization and will be an approachable leader who builds a culture of collaboration among the staff and the Boys & Girls Club’s various constituents. A tactical executor, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieves strategic objectives.

Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

The CEO will work tirelessly as an ‘Ambassador’ for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission. S/he will be able to build rapport and promote the Boys & Girls Clubs with all constituents. As the external voice of the organization, s/he will articulate and broaden the vision of the organization to its current supporting community and future stakeholders. The CEO must be a confident public speaker and have a solid understanding of how to utilize advertising and public relations for an organization such as the Boys & Girls Clubs. S/he will build strong brand equity and awareness and will establish partnerships and seek opportunities to promote the Boys & Girls Clubs. The CEO will be a dynamic, energetic and credible leader, which will be conveyed both internally to the organization and externally to the community and can deal effectively with people of varying philosophies, backgrounds and cultures.

A Passion for the Mission
The CEO will have a demonstrable passion for the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and a commitment to effectively support the goals of the organization. On the most fundamental level, s/he will care deeply about the youth in Chicago. S/he will actively promote ways to develop children into engaged, caring citizens of their community and the world. S/he will embrace the history and culture of the Boys & Girls Clubs, which is integral to gaining credibility with the staff, parents, partners and members. In addition the CEO’s eye will consistently focus on the future and how to best adapt the Boys & Girls Clubs to its changing environment. S/he will have a collaborative spirit and will be an empathic, charismatic 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; an advanced degree is preferred.


Alison P. Ranney and Marissa Martin 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 Alison directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits 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