Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



2231 Lakeside Dr
United States



Willow House is a nonprofit, social service organization whose sole mission is to support children, families, schools, and communities who are coping with grief and the death of a loved one. Founded in 1998, Willow House is the only independent organization in the state of Illinois solely dedicated to supporting this population. We are recognized as a leader in the field of children’s grief locally and nationally. Our mission is based on the proposition that no child or family should ever grieve alone. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Willow House services are provided at no cost to families.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Willow House staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will be responsible for the management of the organization, with a focus on fundraising, organizational development, and community outreach. S/he will be accountable for and evaluated upon meeting organizational goals and the annual budget. 


Fundraising & Fiscal Management

  • Ensures that Willow House is fiscally sound. 
  • Develops and sustains a diverse funding base of individuals, businesses, and foundations.
  • Expands and diversifies revenue to support existing programs, operations, and expansion.
  • Secures corporate sponsorships and foundation grant opportunities.
  • Ensures fiscal compliance & accountability to Board and funders.

Marketing & Community Outreach 

  • Serves as the face of Willow House, proactively seeking community outreach & media opportunities.
  • Raises the visibility of the organization through the development and implementation of a sustainable marketing plan targeting various constituencies.
  • Implements creative strategies to increase funders and expand public awareness of Willow House's work and program value.

Governance & Human Resources Management 

  • Works closely with the Willow House Board of Directors and leadership to recruit, train, and maintain a strong, balanced Board of Directors.
  • Engages the Board of Directors in critical thinking, strategic planning, resource/financial positioning as it relates to furthering the Willow House mission.
  • Recruits, manages, inspires, motivates, and empowers a strong staff team.
  • Leads the anticipated growth of the organization. 


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Passion for the mission of Willow House.
  • Minimum of a Bachelors’ Degree in a field that supports the position (Nonprofit Leadership, PR, Marketing, Public Administration, Fund Development, etc.).
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a senior leadership role, with strong fundraising experience and past success working with a Board of Directors.
  • Proven success in fund development, especially in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts, as well as in securing corporate support and foundation grants.
  • Track record of effectively leading and scaling a performance- and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage and develop high-performing teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a complex budget.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills (including computer literacy), persuasive and passionate storyteller with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • A deep understanding of nonprofits, marketing, public relations, and the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders in collaborative efforts.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning, with an unwavering commitment to quality programs.
  • Passion, vision, integrity, idealism, and energy to lead and grow the organization.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply



To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and 3 professional references.