Chief Executive Officer

  • Job posted by Rainbow Days

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



United States


The Position: CEO

Rainbow Days seeks a seasoned, innovative executive to serve as its CEO succeeding its founder and leader of 36 years, Cathey Brown. Rainbow Days has a proven track record of supporting vulnerable children and youth ages 4-17 who have experienced multiple adversities. Rainbow Days’ evidence based prevention program brings children and trained facilitators together in small groups to learn and experience healthy approaches to self-management, relationships, decision making, and coping skills to help them strengthen their resiliency, overcome adversity, stay in school, develop positive character traits, and stay drug-free. 

Effective September 1, 2018, Cathey will transition to the role of half-time Director of Rainbow Days’ training division, the Trans4m Center and fulfill a planned sabbatical from that date through December 31, 2018. It’s expected that the new CEO will start in August 2018.


The Organization

Rainbow Days is a nonprofit organization based in Dallas, Texas that was created in 1982 as a result of founder Cathey Brown’s desire to break family cycles of addiction and dysfunction (both her own as well as others). She realized that there were groups and services offered for adults, but there was nowhere that children impacted by alcoholism and addiction could go for support. Rainbow Days was born, and it offered support group sessions about how to manage feelings, cope with problems, and make healthy choices.

As demand grew, Rainbow Days began implementing support groups in schools, shelters, and other community locations throughout the Dallas area. Now, 36 years later, Rainbow Days has served over 210,000 children in the Dallas area through a comprehensive array of prevention programs. In addition, Rainbow Days’ Trans4m Center reaches thousands more children throughout Texas, the United States, and internationally, through training other youth-serving professionals to use Rainbow’s programs with children they serve. To date, Rainbow Days has trained over 50,000 adults in how to implement the Curriculum Based Support Group (CBSG® Program), other accredited prevention programs, and workforce and nonprofit development.

Presently, a volunteer 18-member Board of Directors governs Rainbow Days, with its day-to-day business operations managed by a team of 19 staff. The organization’s annual operating budget is about $2 million with net assets of nearly $1 million.

When children experience adversity, whether abuse, dysfunction, homelessness, or poverty there are life-long effects for themselves, their families, and communities. By learning essential coping skills and resilience, even the most vulnerable children can rise above life’s challenges to create promising futures. Rainbow Days’ overarching goal is to prevent and/or reduce the self-defeating and dangerous attitudes and behaviors associated with children and youth living in adverse, high risk situations, which are known to lead to substance abuse, school drop-out, delinquency, and crime. By being equipped with better coping abilities and resilience, they can rise above life’s challenges and create promising futures. Rainbow Days accomplishes this goal by focusing on three specific objectives:

  1. To increase their non-use attitude toward alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) 
  2. To decrease rebelliousness and conduct problems
  3. To improve their coping, decision making, and social skills

Rainbow Days achieves its program goals and objectives through these key programs:

  • Community Connection: Through Community Connection, Rainbow Days’ staff travels on site to provide over 9,000 children and youth ages 4-17 with a comprehensive array of prevention programs. The organization partners with 60 different schools, recreation centers, and programs to serve vulnerable children and youth who are “at risk” for engaging in self-defeating behavior and are least likely to have the skills, experiences, and support to succeed.
  • Family Connection: Through Family Connection, Rainbow Days travels on site to serve 1,000 homeless children, ages 4-12, and their parents who are residing in homeless shelters, transitional living, domestic violence centers, or low budget motels in the city of Dallas. It partners with 28+ different sites including shelters and schools to offer an array of educational and supportive services and resources to children and families experiencing homelessness.
  • The Trans4m Center: Through The Trans4m Center, Rainbow Days expands the scope and impact of its Dallas-area prevention services by training over 600 youth-serving professionals each year throughout Texas, the United States and internationally in how to implement our Curriculum-Based Support Group (CBSG®) Program. In addition, training is offered to more than 2,000 individuals each year in how to implement other evidence-based prevention programs and a variety of topics related to prevention workforce development.

Rainbow Days is proud to have the recognition of its programs’ significance and effectiveness by several major supporters, including:

  • The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) recognizes Rainbow Days’ CBSG Program as an evidence based, effective prevention program.
  • The Center for Nonprofit Management “Excellence in Mission Achievement Award” for its Family Connection program. 
  • Mutual of America Foundation’s “Community Partnership Award” for its Family Connection program.
  • The Betty Ford Center’s Visionary Award.
  • The Caring Institute’s 2010 National Caring Award was presented to Cathey Brown for her leadership.

More information on Rainbow Days may be found at

Strategic Thinking

Rainbow Days’ accomplishments have not come without some challenges over the years, the most significant of which are:

  • Personnel turnover in its Resource Development Division and Family Connection program.
  • Loss of HUD funding (2014) for Family Connection and loss of CJD Funding (2017) for training services, thus increasing the level of private funds required to sustain services.
  • Constant shifts in organization and requirements of the state granting agency, creating increased workload and uncertainties. (HHSC provides funding for Community Connection and represents approximately a quarter of the annual budget.)

While Rainbow Days does not have a current strategic plan, the organization has defined goals and objectives through its annual Operational Plan, which outlines the current priorities:

  • Increase implementation of effective prevention programs, services, and activities in order to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors in children and youth.
  • Expand quality education, training, and consultation services in order to build the capacity of the workforce in human services, education, and criminal justice sectors.
  • Maintain and enhance effective and efficient organization structure and processes.
  • Increase contributed and earned revenue and resources required for current operations and planned expansion. Increase public awareness and knowledge about Rainbow Days.
  • Continue to develop and strengthen the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Auxiliary Board.
  • Strengthen marketing strategies for the CBSG® Program and increase the CBSG® Program trainings and other Trans4m Center sponsored offerings.

The development of a new strategic plan will be a top priority for Rainbow Days’ new CEO in his/her first year. To support that path forward, the current operational plan has led to:

  • Increase in significant community based funding including Preston Hollow Women’s Club, The Crystal Charity Ball, and Attorneys Serving the Community.
  • Creating The Trans4m Center (formerly the Training Division) with its own branding and website.
  • Refreshing the CBSG® Program curricula and training.
  • Rebranding including updated logo, mission statement, manifesto, and website.
  • Conducted first international trainings in the CBSG® Program (England and Ecuador).
  • Sustaining Family Connection services despite the loss of a significant grant and the services of Community Connection despite significant upheaval in the local school district.

The Leadership Opportunity

Rainbow Days is on solid footing as an organization and is poised for a new generation of executive leadership. It seeks a chief executive who will sustain the organization’s operations and strengthen the vision and strategy developed by founder, staff, and board.

A new leader will work in this larger context to update and refine Rainbow Days’ strategic position and priorities, outline new partners and collaborators, ensure financial sustainability, and coordinate the efforts of staff and board to execute on its vision and strategy.

There is broad consensus within the organization that Rainbow Days is in an ideal position to grow its impact and expand its leadership in the sector. This has been built through a thoughtful succession and sustainability planning process completed over the last seven years, including both board and staff, in partnership with a consulting firm specializing in founder-led nonprofit organizations.

The Position

The CEO leads all business administrative functions and oversees the programs and operations. Additionally s/he is the principal relationship manager for all stakeholders. As Rainbow Days’ chief “pied piper,” s/he will serve as the face of the organization to all constituents (clients, funders, community leaders, partners, etc.) and the key relationship builder, securing diversified and increased financial resources, articulating the institution’s mission, and building awareness for the organization across the Dallas region.

This individual is entering the life of Rainbow Days at a time of significant transition (with the founder stepping down as CEO) and great opportunity. The successful candidate will exhibit a strategic and visionary mindset and drive, outstanding communication skills, enthusiasm, perseverance, and diplomacy.

Near-Term Priorities

Reporting to the board of directors, the CEO’s priorities for the next 12–18 months include (not necessarily in priority order):

  • Quickly comprehend the current business model and approach of Rainbow Days, learning the structure of the organization including an understanding of programs, vital partners, and the landscape particular to Rainbow Days.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the organization’s financial structure and complexities, and develop projections, metrics, and reporting to monitor and ensure financial stability.
  • Ensure a cohesive, high functioning team, giving attention to and investing continued resources in team building, staff training, and leader development.
  • Establish strong working relationships with the Board of Directors, staff, funders, partners, and volunteers.
  • Leverage the Board’s influence and connections to build relationships and cultivate critical resources.
  • Engage the Board of Directors and its committees in the stewardship of financial, operational, and resource generation initiatives.
  • Set near-term strategic goals and objectives to address the most pressing priorities. Longer term, lead Rainbow Days’ Board and staff in the development of a new strategic plan that clearly defines its vision, mission, and goals.
  • Successfully compete in the Health and Human Services 2019 RFP process and expand Community Connection services.

Key Responsibilities

The CEO is the internal driver and external face of the organization, providing leadership of Rainbow Days and overseeing its day-to-day affairs. Specific responsibilities include:

·        Provide visionary and strategic leadership to Rainbow and translate that vision into measurable strategies and concrete actions that advance the mission.

·        Sustain Rainbow’s strong and respected presence and become the face of the organization to the local community and to key audiences at the state and national levels.

·        Oversee the business operations of the organization and the leadership team responsible for the day-to-day operations.

·        Ensure that appropriate programs and services are provided that are consistent with priority needs and organization mission.

·        Oversee the finances and ensure fiscal responsibility and security.

·        Work with the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers to ensure that Rainbow sets and achieves its contributed and earned revenue goals.

·        Lead organization fundraising activities including annual and major gift development, grant writing, and special events.

·        Develop, augment, and expand key relationships with stakeholders, supporters (current and prospective), key referral sources, and partner organizations.

·        Promote competency, quality, and the highest ethical industry standards throughout the organization.

·        Provide motivation and support to the Board of Directors and its committees, as well as report to the Board of Directors on the progress of the organization.

·        Ensure that proper policies and infrastructure are in place to promote best practices for the mission, clients, and volunteers.

·        Direct human resources activities to accomplish organization goals and objectives through effective recruiting, hiring, evaluation, training, development, and retention strategies. Ensure that employee performance is in accordance with organization policies and procedures.

·        Participate in professional activities in community, state, and national associations.

Experience and Attributes

Ideal candidates for this position will share Rainbow’s core beliefs as well as a commitment to and passion for children and encouraging and supporting them to become whole, healthy adults. Qualified candidates must possess an undergraduate degree (graduate degree preferred), demonstrate a commitment to continued learning for both self and team, and bring a variety of experiences and attributes to Rainbow Days, including:

·        At least 5 years of progressively increasing senior organizational leadership experience in the nonprofit behavioral healthcare industry, preferably in the service area of children at risk.

·        A strong financial understanding and management or oversight of a comparably sized budget and staff.

·        A natural propensity toward strategically developing and growing an organization (versus sustaining), with a demonstrated track record of growth.

·        Effectively leading and managing change, presenting the ability to set direction, gain alignment, and secure commitment of staff, board, and key stakeholders.

·        Relationship developer and sustainer – one who is able to quickly build rapport and trust, and maximizes relationships to continue and grow the leadership and influence for which the organization is known.

·        A team-building, empowering leadership style with a track record of building and maintaining strong working relationships with internal (staff and Board) and external stakeholders, donors, and community leaders.

·        Demonstrated experience in generating contributed revenue – including individual, foundation, and corporate giving, as well as special events.

·        Creative and innovative problem solving skills.

·        Comprehensive knowledge of regulatory requirements for maintenance of all applicable licenses, accreditation, grant requirements, and other certifications as appropriate.

·        High self-initiative with an ability to exercise prudent, independent decision-making and produce results.

·        An understanding of image building, marketing, and external relations.

·        Exceptional written and oral communication skills.

·        An ability to recognize industry trends and keep the organization flexible and responsive to new ideas and opportunities.

·        A consummate professional who is approachable and possesses a spirit of warmth, humility, and sincerity.

·        An appreciation for and cultural fit with a vibrant Texas community.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. To apply, send an email with a cover letter detailing qualifications, vitae/resume, and compensation requirements to (email applications are required). For questions, contact Jeanie Duncan, lead consultant, at Communications will be treated with confidence and resumes will be accepted until position is filled; however, the active application period is now through April 30, 2018.

Rainbow Days is an equal opportunity employer.