Executive Director



Sales & Business Development
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2024

ABOUT THE ROLE, the Executive Director in Illinois is the leader of local regional operations and team members, playing a pivotal role in the strategic and financial success of Playworks in the region. This position reports to the HUB Vice President, who oversees operations in Illinois, alongside other regions. Key responsibilities include steering regional financial success, strategic impact, and close collaboration with the regional board.

Playworks Illinois, renowned for its strong reputation, deep community relationships, long-standing school and district partnerships, and significant brand recognition, is poised for growth. In the current school year, Playworks IL is projected to impact a substantial number of elementary schools across Illinois, supported by a dedicated team and a robust budget.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead the executive management of Playworks’ regional finances, including fundraising strategies, income generation, and board development.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive budget aligned with Playworks’ goals in Illinois.
  • Regularly forecast revenue and expenses, maintaining financial vigilance.
  • Formulate and uphold a regional business plan, incorporating input from various stakeholders.
  • Oversee program planning, implementation, expansion, evaluation, and quality assurance in Illinois, coordinating with the regional leadership team.
  • Foster and enhance school, district, and community partnerships, in collaboration with the Regional Partnership Manager and Program Director.
  • Cultivate new and existing funding relationships, integrating efforts with the hub-wide development team.
  • Expand Playworks’ presence and impact in Illinois through strategic partnerships.
  • Lead the Playworks Illinois team, promoting goal achievement and professional growth through coaching, mentoring, and training.
  • Collaborate with headquarters and other regional leaders nationwide to share insights and foster collective growth.
  • Uphold and promote organizational values, fostering a fun, collaborative culture with high engagement and recognition.

Candidate Profile:

  • Deep commitment to Playworks’ mission and vision, with a strong alignment with our Equity Statement.
  • Proven leadership in fundraising, budget management, and team development.
  • Extensive knowledge of the philanthropic and public school landscape in Illinois.
  • Significant achievements in philanthropy, including corporate, major donor, and foundation fundraising.
  • Inclusive, adaptable leadership style that maximizes team potential.
  • Exceptional communication skills, adept in various settings and with diverse groups.

Required Skills & Experience:

  • Proven fundraising expertise and relationship-building skills with the philanthropic community.
  • Experience in collaborating with school districts, government agencies, and partners.
  • Effective team leadership with a focus on outcomes and goal-setting.
  • Entrepreneurial, creative approach with a track record of achieving results in dynamic environments.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Comfort with technology for operational and initiative advancement.
  • Passionate commitment to improving outcomes for children and schools.
  • 7+ years of leadership experience in nonprofit, government, private sector, or education, with strategic management skills preferred.
  • Adaptability to changing environments.
  • Familiarity with the cultural and educational context of Illinois.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

Compensation & Benefits:

  • At Playworks, our starting salary takes into consideration internal pay equity, geographic pay differential and robust external market data. We highly value transparency and equity within compensation and therefore are committed to adhering to established compensation pay points. The salary for this position is $129,700.
  • This is a full-time exempt position that reports to the Vice President, Field Operations and will be based in Illinois. While this position is remote, it will require travel within Illinois for engagement with schools, funders, and partners.
  • A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, 401(k) plans and employer match of up to 3% of salary, life insurance, employee funded pre-tax health and child care spending accounts.
  • Generous flex paid time off with paid sick and holiday leave.

Application Requirements:

  • A cover letter detailing your interest in Playworks and relevant experience.
  • Your resume.
  • References upon request.

ABOUT US, at Playworks we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. We are changing the school climate by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills by partnering with schools, districts, and after-school programs through services including digital engagement, on-site coaches, professional training for school staff who support play, and consultative partnerships.

We are committed to racial equity, and we make a particular effort to recruit people of color, indigenous people, gender non-binary people, and people with historically more marginalized identities to apply for open positions. Our core values of cultivate play, center equity, continue learning and collaborate within communities are the foundation of our organization and are infused in all aspects of our work.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If that is you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself!

As an equal opportunity program, Playworks encourages applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, gender identity/expression, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, faith, marital status, physical ability, or any other legally protected basis. Playworks evaluates all candidates for employment, volunteering opportunities or board service on a merit basis.