February 27, 2018 – Chicago-based recruitment firm Kittleman & Associates is conducting the search for a new chief of philanthropy for the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). The non-profit group, headquartered in Oak Brook, IL, is the official charitable organization for Lions Club International.
The chief of philanthropy role is a critical one for the organization, which provides millions of dollars in grant funding for both local and international humanitarian work. Reporting to LCIF’s executive administrator, the individual who is selected will be the No.2 staff person within the foundation and will be charged with providing leadership in planning, directing and implementing fundraising and gift programs, said the search firm.
The chief of philanthropy’s responsibilities call for providing direction and oversight for development efforts, which will include operational plans, evaluation of programs and opportunities to attract financial resources, said Kittleman & Associates. The chief of philanthropy is expected to confer with the executive administrator and the board of trustees to direct and execute LCIF development and marketing activities and projects. Additionally, the person will present proposals to prospective donors, corporations and foundations.
Over $1 Billion in Grants
The foundation’s development department is comprised of six regional managers and 13 regional/gift specialists and has a current budget of close to $3.5 million with expected increases in the near future.
Since its founding in 1968, LCIF has awarded more than 13,000 grants totaling over $1 billion. In recent years, the foundation has averaged $40 million annually in donations. In fiscal year 2015-16, the group bestowed 453 grants totaling more than $45.2 million. The goal for the current fiscal year is $50 million, of which $23.4 million had been raised by the end of last year.
In July, in celebration of the foundation’s 50th anniversary, LCIF is launching a three-year, $300 million capital campaign. The purpose is to support the group’s comprehensive service framework around the five major service initiatives (diabetes, vision, hunger relief, pediatric cancer and the environment) and the core competencies of the foundation.
A Critical Role
The chief of philanthropy will be responsible for leading the staff and working with fundraising consultants, while articulating a vision and creating a road map for how to successfully achieve that strategic vision, said the search firm. Other areas for long-term development growth are planned giving, major gifts and individual giving to the foundation.
LCIF is looking for a proven philanthropic leader whose career in an international or national organization has demonstrated a proven track record in multi-discipline development areas inclusive of major capital campaigns, said Kittleman & Associates. The person is expected to be an exceptional communicator with the ability to comfortably speak publicly but just as nimbly meet one-on-one with stakeholders.
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This individual will also have had experience working alongside volunteer leadership and must understand the unique dynamics of that relationship, said the search firm. Embracing a servant leadership approach, the chief of philanthropy is expected to have the ability to be collegial and collaborative not only within the development department but within the overall organization, with all departments and volunteer leadership.
A Strong Leader
The successful candidate must have a demonstrated track record of strong management and leadership abilities and experience, said the recruitment firm. The individual is expected to have experience in building a development department. The chief of philanthropy will be the lead champion for the capital campaign in the short term and for the overall fundraising efforts in the long term.
Among the requirements for the role is an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, and an advanced degree is preferred, said Kittleman & Associates. Experience in development and fundraising in an international environment is also desired.
LCIF plays an integral role in helping Lions Clubs carry out its efforts to improve lives around the world, from combating vision problems to responding to major catastrophes to providing valuable life skills to youth. LCIF’s grant programs allow Lions Clubs to take on large-scale projects, increasing their impact in their local and global communities and serving even more people in need.
Donations from more than 1.4 million Lions in 210 countries and geographic areas provide the vast majority of the revenue received by LCIF, making the foundation a leading humanitarian organization. LCIF leverages the donations received through effective partnerships with other foundations, corporations and governments on the local, national and international level. LCIF was named the No.1 non-governmental organization worldwide with which to partner, according to a 2007 Financial Times independent survey.
Kittleman & Associates, which was established in 1963, is one of the nation’s oldest executive recruitment firms exclusively serving non-profit organizations. Search services include recruitment counsel, organizational assessment, development of position specifications, prospect research, source identification, candidate development, background assessment & verification, reference checking, offer preparation and transition assistance.
The firm has led searches for executive directors for PEER Services, People’s Resource Center, Moore Farms Botanical Garden Foundation, South Suburban PADS and Boys & Girls Country, among many others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media