KEES Seeks Chief Development Officer for JCFS Chicago

June 3, 2019 – Executive search and non-profit consulting firm KEES (Kistner Eddy Executive Services) has been selected to find a new vice president/ chief development officer for JCFS (Jewish Child and Family Services) Chicago. Heather Eddy, CEO, and Laura Weinman, assistant vice president, are leading the assignment for the search firm.

JCFS Chicago wants a senior-level philanthropic professional for the role, which reports directly to president and CEO Howard Sitron, said KEES. The successful candidate will be dually focused on agency leadership and individual giving. The individual will be charged with leading a high-functioning team responsible for effective management of a comprehensive philanthropy program and managing a portfolio of high potential donors, including board and committee members for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

The CDO will drive the agency’s strategic sustainability goals and provide overall vision to annual giving, capital campaigns, event planning, grant development, endowment growth, and philanthropic engagement strategy more broadly, said KEES.

The role has three direct reports: director of strategy and planning, director of individual giving, and director of development operations. There are also 10 indirect reports. The CDO will be expected to work closely with the CEO and board to determine annual philanthropic goals, including a strategy and follow-through steps to achieve or exceed them.

Job Requirements

The successful candidate will collaborate with staff and leadership, peers in development and other departments, volunteers, funders and stakeholders, said KEES. A strategic, respectful and confident mindset is essential. The position will be based at the Joyce Faith Knapp Children’s Center in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood.

Performance objectives include strategic leadership, donor relations and portfolio management, administration and management, and external, community and partner relations.

JCFS Chicago wants an innovative, collaborative and self-motivated fundraising leader with a minimum of seven years of effective fundraising and leadership experience at a high-impact non-profit agency, said KEES, with three or more years managing a multi-functional team. Preference will be given to those who have served in a complex human service-focused agency with many stakeholders and who possess a strong working knowledge of the Jewish philanthropic community.

“It is imperative that the person who assumes this important role fully embrace, support and reflect JCFS Chicago’s mission and values,” said KEES. “Candidates who are passionate about the opportunity to effect meaningful change in the lives of thousands of children, adults and families are encouraged to apply.”

Key Skill-Sets

Candidates must have highly effective interpersonal, conversational and presentational skills, demonstrating emotional intelligence and situational awareness, said the search firm. They should also have past demonstration as a problem-solver and strategic thinker. Also required is a proven ability to solicit and secure six-figure gifts as well as experience working closely with the CEO, executive team and board leadership in a complex agency, training and assisting leadership in managing major donor relationships.

A bachelor’s degree is required. A master’s degree in philanthropy, social work, business, marketing or a related graduate degree is preferred.

The mission of JCFS Chicago is to provide help, healing and caring services infused with Jewish values to strengthen lives in the community. The non-profit offers individualized help to support people of all ages and abilities as they strive to live successfully in their community, while enhancing social-emotional well-being for adults, children, teens, families, and individuals with disabilities — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, ability, gender or sexual orientation.


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Of the agency’s $38 million total budget, $14 million is directly from philanthropic support; $10 million is an allocation by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago; $2.5 million comes from private grants from foundations; $1 million is from individual direct donor contributions; and $500,000 is from the auxiliary board and other sources.

Respected Recruiters

KEES, based in Naperville, IL, focuses on building transformative teams and leaders in the non-profit sector. The firm was founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search. It is woman-owned and operated and provides a wide variety of services, including executive search, specialty and interim staffing, HR consulting, leadership development and more.

Ms. Eddy has worked with non-profits and institutions to build capacity for more than 20 years. For the past 12 years, she has focused on strengthening executives, boards, managers and philanthropic leaders. She co-founded KEES and leads the organization’s team after serving for 17 years in multiple executive leadership roles with the Alford Group/Alford Group Executive Search, a national consulting firm that partners with non-profits and provides fundraising and organizational strategy consulting.

Ms. Weinman has more than 20 years of association/nonprofit leadership experience, including seven as a development/ marketing consultant for over 30 organizations. She has extensive experience with development, staff recruitment, staff management, career coaching, major gifts, planned giving, prospect research, strategic development planning, grant writing, event management, sponsorship, volunteer management and annual fund raising. Ms. Weinman has been a member of the KEES/Alford executive search team since 2012.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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