Organization: Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest

About The Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago:

The Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) impacts every aspect of local and global Jewish life, providing human services for Jews and others in need, creating Jewish experiences and strengthening Jewish community connections.

JUF brings the community together from across the spectrum of Jewish life to take part in collective action and ensure the Jewish future. The partnership between its staff and volunteer leaders is a key to its fundraising, operational success and governance strength.

With its vital network of partner agencies and programs, JUF provides human services and community engagement opportunities for 300,000 Chicagoans of all faiths and two million Jews worldwide, at every stage of life. The agencies and programs supported and operated by JUF reflect the community’s needs as well as its values.

At each step, JUF is able to achieve its mission because of the tremendous generosity of Chicago’s Jewish community, which contributes over $83 million to its Annual Campaign, and involves the participation of thousands of donors and volunteers. That generosity reflects the community’s deep reservoir of trust in JUF.

The Annual Campaign is the largest piece of a multi-pronged effort that annually yields over $200 million to support JUF’s local, national and international network of agencies. In addition to the Annual Campaign, JUF manages over $1 billion as part of its endowment and other donor-supported vehicles. JUF receives contributions and bequests to The Centennial Campaign, a multi-year, capital and endowment effort, which currently stands at over $800 million, to sustain the Chicago Jewish community into the future. Other sources of funding include corporate partnership, and government and foundation grants.

This incredible community support makes possible core allocations, which during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 included the following highlights:

  • $25 million for essential local human services, $31 million for Jewish education and programs and over $1.4 million for R & D grants to support new and expanded initiatives;
  • $29 million for national and overseas needs benefiting 2 million Jews in Israel and 70 countries around the world; and
  • $84 million allocated to charitable ventures worldwide in partnership with Donor Advised Funds, Family Philanthropic Funds and Support Foundations.

Beyond these efforts, JUF is an active force in the civic life of Chicago and the State of Illinois, serving in leadership roles in many interfaith and charitable coalitions. With offices in Springfield and Washington, D.C., JUF has a voice on a variety of public policy issues and partners with government, including by contracting with government agencies, to provide $400 million in services annually to its network of agencies.

In addition, JUF sponsors educational trips to Israel (where it has an office in Jerusalem) and other countries for some 3,000 people each year; supports 17 campus Hillels across the Illinois; and offers outreach programs for teens, young adults, young families, the intermarried and LGBTQ Jews. Through its Jewish Community Relations Council, JUF convenes 45 local Jewish groups to collaborate on intergroup relations and public policy campaigns.

With a staff of over 350 people, JUF is one of the leading Jewish federations in the country and one of the leading nonprofits in Illinois. JUF is perennially listed in the upper half of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual roster of the nation’s top 400 charities.

For more information on the Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, please visit its website.

The Opportunity:

The Vice President, Marketing & Communications is responsible for the strategic planning, development and implementation of all marketing efforts of the Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF). As a member of the senior leadership team and reporting to the Executive Vice President, s/he will oversee the efforts to strengthen and align the highly recognized and respected brand of JUF throughout the organization in support of key institutional priorities.

In collaboration with senior colleagues, the Vice President, Marketing & Communications will work to engage current and prospective donors, volunteers and community partners through strategic messaging and by enhancing the environment for rewarding and meaningful experiences for a variety of JUF audiences and settings. The Vice President, Marketing & Communications will educate, motivate and lead a dynamic, community-based institution in applying best practices, with particular focus on brand strategy, positioning, consumer segmentation, digital communications and data-driven approaches while providing leadership to the overall integrated marketing activities of JUF.

In addition, s/he will meet JUF’s goals and objectives in such key areas as the annual campaign, programming and the donor/volunteer experience and will lead a team that services the needs of internal stakeholders through a professional and thorough client service approach.

More specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Create and implement innovative and compelling integrated marketing strategies that build and reinforce the JUF brand, to increase awareness, relevance, participation and fundraising revenue for JUF;
  • Lead a comprehensive, full-service and results-driven marketing team;
  • Bolster and manage efforts around digital communications, multi-media and social media to promote the JUF Annual Campaign, the impact of JUF’s work, involvement opportunities and other institutional priorities;
  • Collaborate and strategize with the Campaign and JUF Technology Departments in leveraging JUF’s CRM platform to provide key data analytics as part of an overall donor and community engagement strategy;
  • Provide strategic direction and oversight for the design, production and distribution of all JUF materials, as well as provide marketing oversight for JUF’s major events serving multiple target audiences;
  • Oversee the cultivation of media interest in JUF, the maintenance of ongoing relations with target media, and the rapid response to media requests;
  • Build collaborative relationships with senior professional colleagues, volunteer leadership, JUF’s affiliated agencies and the national Jewish federation system;
  • Ensure that the day-to-day operations and work products of the marketing and communications team align with JUF’s overall marketing strategy;
  • Effectively guide an account management process to serve internal departments’ needs, projects and priorities while providing guidance, expertise and creative solutions;
  • Supervise, support, develop and guide the professionals working within the Marketing & Communications department;
  • Develop, present and monitor the Marketing & Communications Department budget; and
  • Directly support JUF campaign integration on an ongoing basis.

Candidate Profile:

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

Marketing & Communications Expertise

The Vice President, Marketing & Communications is an experienced leader in the field with a curious mindset and a high level of intellectual horsepower. S/he has demonstrated experience in setting and implementing marketing and communications strategies in complex organizations and in serving as a leader within organizations. S/he has a measurable track record of success in previous roles and experience implementing branding and integrated marketing strategies and tactics across multiple sub-brands with demonstrated results in driving traffic and increasing involvement, awareness and revenue. S/he is analytical and data-driven, able to conceptualize and analyze both problems and solutions and identify key metrics that will help JUF work towards its strategic objectives. S/he is a strong communicator able to interface with a variety of audiences, both internal and external and will bring a strong client service perspective to the role. S/he has extraordinary written and verbal communication and presentation skills and the credibility and poise to present to a wide range of stakeholders.

Strategic & Innovative Thought Leadership

The Vice President, Marketing & Communications is a strategic and results-oriented leader who can translate business and operations plans into marketing and communications strategies in JUF’s complex landscape. S/he is a tactical and creative thinker who effectively and constructively will lead JUF to consider new and innovative approaches and will work across departments to implement best practices and consistent, customer focused messaging. The VP, Marketing & Communications will have demonstrated results from the application of market research and data analytics and an ability to strategize messaging over multiple channels, including video, electronics and print. S/he is a trusted collaborator who can serve the needs of internal stakeholders, effectively setting goals and providing oversight for the management of projects and expectations. S/he sets priorities and executes against them, while also seeing to immediate organizational needs. S/he is a strong problem solver with the ability to step into an unfamiliar situation and add immediate value. The VP, Marketing & Communications is a flexible, sensitive and adaptable learner who is comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty, and can lead teams in a dynamic environment.

Building Relationships & Using Influence

The Vice President, Marketing & Communications is a charismatic, high-energy leader who can talk with all constituents and successfully convey JUF’s objectives. S/he is excited to expand this critical function within JUF, professionalizing the communications department and collaborating across the organization to implement new strategies. S/he is a proven collaborator and influencer both internally and externally and has proven ability to ‘manage-up’. S/he will build and sustain relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies including the JUF senior leadership team, staff, Board of Directors, donors, corporations, media and community leaders and volunteers. S/he will engage and partner with department heads to collectively accomplish organizational objectives. S/he will assess, supervise, leverage and mentor staff, develop talent and build teams. As a system-wide leader, the VP, Marketing & Communications will work effectively across the organization, resulting in a stronger internal culture of branding and marketing.

Passion for the Mission

The Vice President, Marketing & Communications must have a passion for JUF’s mission and a commitment to the Jewish community. S/he will embrace JUF’s culture, while maintaining a deep commitment to strengthening JUF’s marketing and communications function and expanding the organization’s brand and reach. S/he is an empathic, charismatic leader who has strong faith in humanity and treats others with respect. S/he is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Knowledge of the Jewish community, culture, heritage, traditions, Jewish philanthropy, Jewish communal services and Israel is preferred. An appreciation for the unique, non-partisan, charitable role JUF plays is critical.

A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advance degree in a related field is preferred.


Alison P. Ranney and Alexandra N. Corvin of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please email Alison and Alex directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search 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