Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time




1415 N. Dayton
Suite 112
United States



Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based youth development program that inspires 3rd-8th grade girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, activity-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.



Girls on the Run-Chicago (GOTRC) is the largest independent chapter of Girls on the Run International. By participating in GOTRC, girls are empowered with greater self-confidence and other critical life skills, an appreciation for physical activity, a template for goal-setting and success. Plus, a foundation in team building that will serve them throughout their lives and empower them to unleash their limitless potential.  GOTRC also prepares girls to be self confident, capable women over time.  Ninety-five (95%!) of parents say the program improved their daughter’s self-confidence.


GOTRC began in 1999 with 3 teams and 60 girls and has grown to serve more than 11,000 girls each year in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, and Will counties in Illinois. More than 50% of girls served by Girls on the Run-Chicago are from low-income, under-resourced communities who otherwise might not have the opportunity to be a part of such a transformative experience. GOTRC is committed to serving all girls, providing financial assistance to girls who participate. To date, Girls on the Run-Chicago has never denied a girl access to our program because of her family’s inability to pay. GOTRC receives no city, state or federal funding. Our program is supported by sliding scale program fees, private and corporate foundations, corporations, individual contributions. Our operating budget in 2019 will be approximately $2.5M with a staff of 16 employees.


  • Join an organization with a proven track record in social-emotional learning and an exemplar in the field of positive youth development.
  • Oversee a program that is 100% committed to empowering young women and helping them find their voice, talent, and leadership skills.
  • Seize the opportunity to be a strong advocate for GOTRC in the community, contributing your leadership skills and fundraising accomplishments to a nonprofit with demonstrated impact.
  • Serve as the ‘face’ of GOTRC with a strong, external presence
  • Lead and collaborate with an amazing group of colleagues who are deeply committed to the mission of Girls on the Run-Chicago.
  • Experience the life-changing impact of our program through the joy of our participants as they cross their first 5K finish line and build confidence for life.
  • Work closely with a thoughtful, strategic, and enthusiastic Board of Directors to ensure continued success of the organization.

The Position:


The Executive Director (ED) empowers the team and provides visionary leadership to the Girls on the Run-Chicago staff including strategic leadership in overseeing the organization’s programs, financial health, fundraising initiatives, and volunteer leadership via the Board of Directors. The successful ED will be a goal and measurement-oriented leader who excels at developing individual leaders within the organization. Inclusive, dynamic, visionary and possessive of exceptional interpersonal skills; the ED has experience across all functional areas.


Who you are:


  • You think strategically and creatively in order to set the vision for the staff and organization.
  • You love to champion great causes and tell stories, inspiring others into action.
  • You are able to proactively identify untapped, potential funding avenues, evaluate and prioritize relative opportunities from a mix of sources across multiple streams of revenue including earned and contributed income and fundraising.
  • You believe in leading and mentoring people to help them achieve their best for themselves and the organization. You work with your team to create an efficient infrastructure to support scaling.
  • You have worked closely with a Board of Directors to set challenging but achievable strategies and both operating and goals while meaningfully measuring measure progress and success toward those goals.
  • You can quickly and deftly navigate between strategic, organizational thinking, and hands-on program delivery.
  • You are a critical thinker with intellectual curiosity. You are highly motivated and eager to learn in support of the organization’s success.
  • As a representative of the organization, and advocate for GOTRC in the community, you deliver clear, concise, highly professional, and inspiring communications and leadership ability.
  • You are comfortable engaging in speaking engagements, representing the mission in public venues and embodying the Girls on the Run brand in executive, academic and informational environments.

Key Areas of Responsibility:


Strategic Vision and Program Leadership-

  • Drive a collaborative process with the staff and Board of Directors to develop strategies, goals, objectives and operational plans for the organization.
  • Operationalize the organization’s vision anticipating the steps needed to efficiently achieving the organizations goals.
  • Cultivate and leverage relationships with Girls on the Run International and other local chapters
  • Develop a growth strategy to continue the expansion of GOTRC in reach, retention, and depth of impact.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development and external vendor teams regarding flawless execution of 5K event.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development to market and deliver a quality, effective, and efficient program through volunteer coaches.


Mentorship and Staff Engagement-

  • Lead, motivate and develop staff to create a culture of excellence that is committed to working towards continuous improvement
  • Ensure the organization has a diverse, skilled staff appropriate to each position through people management activities including hiring, separation of employment, ongoing staff development, performance management, and compensation and benefits
  • Keep professional development of self and staff as priority throughout the organization


Fundraising Leadership-

  • Sustain and continue to strategically grow a well-established fundraising platform
  • Support the Director of Development by participating in high-level aspects of fundraising activities including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual, corporate and foundation prospects and donors.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development on major gift and grant proposals, and special event sponsorship strategies.
  • Help identify and add additional grants, increase multi-year commitments and grow dollars contributed by current grants
  • Support the Development Team by actively communicating with funders and donors. Think BIG and participate in advancing the organization’s stewardship and donor cultivation efforts to significantly increase giving.
  • Stay ahead of nonprofit trends including but not limited to, fundraising, positive youth development, girls health and development, and region specific topics and concerns.


Finance and Technology-

  • Responsible for the financial health and integrity of GOTRC
  • Collaborate with the Director of Finance to create and revise budgets on a regular basis.
  • Proactively identify and evaluate investments in technology to streamline internal operations and support programs.
  • Support Director of Finance in all aspects of financial execution and reporting.
  • Provide financial information to external partners in a timely manner as required including requirements for GOTRI.
  • Review and evolve operating metrics and communications for the organization’s internal and external constituents.


Board Communication and Leadership-

  • Work collaboratively and communicate often with the Board of Directors. Proactively seek direction or input on organizational/environmental changes or other significant decisions.
  • Report results and progress towards goals to the Board of Directors, recommending alternatives/actions to close any budget shortfall.
  • Provide accurate and appropriately detailed information to the Board of Directors in a timely manner, enabling them as partners in the informed decision-making process.
  • Participate in identifying and recruiting new Governing Board members.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelors Degree required, Master's Degree preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years post-college professional experience including 5+ years in an executive management role; nonprofit experience a significant asset
  • Demonstrated track record of leadership, staff development and team building
  • Excellent verbal, written communications skills including formal presentation, development, and delivery.
  • Direct fund raising experience required; grant writing experience a plus
  • Event planning experience; athletic event planning experience a plus
  • Strong connection with the local community (Chicago and/or suburbs)
  • Ability to develop strong working relationships and partnerships with community leaders, corporate sponsors, private foundations, and individual donors is essential.
  • Experience working with budgets and finances


In addition, potential candidates should consider that the position requires an active, vibrant, hands-on worker and team player due to the nature of the mission and event-driven activities.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


To Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume to jobs@gotrchicago.org, with the subject line Executive Director. No phone calls will be accepted.