Noetic Search Seeking New Leader for Children First Fund

June 17, 2024 – Chicago-headquartered executive search firm Noetic Search has been retained by the Children First Fund (CFF) in Chicago to lead in its search for a new executive director. Reporting to the board of directors, the executive director will lead the evolution of CFF’s organizational model, including collaboration with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) leadership, serving as a representative voice on behalf of CPS’s vision in the civic, business, and philanthropic communities. The executive director will manage and grow a team to support the foundation’s goals and will be a lead fundraiser on behalf of CPS’s priorities.

The executive director will be the public face of CFF and in partnership with the fundraising team, will actively engage potential individual, foundation and corporate donors, while building, expanding, and cultivating CPS/CFF existing relationships. The results-oriented leader will be responsible for the Children First Fund’s annual fundraising strategy.  The executive director will set industry leading key performance indicators and will manage the team’s progress to goals. Working with a high-performing team, the leader will manage the growth and upskilling of all staff ensuring that they are even more motivated to achieve ambitious goals.

The board seeks to hire a dynamic, externally facing leader with strength in growing philanthropic support. The ideal candidate is an accomplished fundraiser who will serve as the leading philanthropy expert. The executive director will represent the foundation at all levels of engagement with donors, strategic partners and within CPS leadership. Skilled in building and executing fundraising strategies, Noetic Search notes that the executive director will develop a new business plan and subsequent fundraising targets to enable the financial and operational sustainability of CFF.  Those applying will have passion for CFFs mission, experience navigating complex systems, and will be an accomplished leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success. The ideal candidate has demonstrated grit and proven experience as a leader, fundraiser, relationship builder and collaborator.

The successful candidate will have the ability to develop and leverage key relationships and build credibility among stakeholders is key. Noetic Search explains that this leader will have outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with a broad array of partners. This person will create strategies for leveraging philanthropy and private partnerships at all giving levels to increase Chicagoans’ connection to the city’s schools and youth, to build public trust and investment in Chicago’s future and CPS’ continued success.

Related: Noetic Search Recruits CEO for the Hawaiian Humane Society

Qualified candidates will bring a passion for the mission and commitment to elevating the needs of CPS schools, educators and families. The ideal leader will provide the staff with both autonomy and accountability by leading by example, providing professional development, career pathing and empowering the team to take fundraising to the next level. They will be a collaborative, warm, humble and inclusive leader with the ability to inspire the team to reach new fundraising heights, according to Noetic Search.

Promote Growth and Success Through Philanthropy

The mission of the Children First Fund is to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools through philanthropy and partnerships. It serves as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, and individuals. By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, Children First Fund maximizes the impact of CPS’ partnerships and advances the CPS Vision. Established in July of 1996 as the independent 501(c)(3) foundation for CPS, Children First Fund identifies and communicates CPS’ most urgent needs to partners.

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Noetic Search specializes in finding leaders in the non-profit sector. Its clients include animal welfare organizations, cultural institutions, foundations, and human service groups, among others.

Throughout her 30-year career, Rhyan Zweifler has focused on the charity sector through her work in executive recruitment, museum management and development. She launched Noetic Search in 2010. Specializing in CEO and senior management searches, she has placed more than 170 national leaders for cultural, human service, educational and grant-making organizations. Ms. Zweifler has overseen all aspects of the search process, including marketing and sales, client management, candidate development and closing.

Related: Noetic Search Assists After School Matters in Finding New CFO

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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