Chicago Artists Coalition helps people connect with opportunities including calls for artists, jobs, grants, and art advising


Full-time ,
submitted by
Chinyere Farr Douglas

Executive Director


826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. More information can be found at


826CHI is a creative organization that highly values collaboration, creative, and strategic thinking. Our work is grounded in goals set by our strategic plan and put into motion through collaboration. At 826CHI, we take both pride and joy in our work and operate with a high degree of professionalism. Staff members work both independently and as part of a team. Our model is inherently community-based and responds to the history, dynamics, and culture of Chicago.

Commitment to Inclusion

As an organization committed to encouraging youth in their creative expression, personal growth, and academic success, 826CHI recognizes the importance of diversity at all levels and in all aspects of our work. In order to build and maintain the safe, supportive 826 environment in which great leaps in learning occur, we commit to inclusion: We will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, English fluency, parental status, military service or disability. We strive to put our values into action through planning, decision making, and community building.


826CHI is seeking an inspired leader who embodies 826CHI’s values and motivates the larger community to execute the mission. The Executive Director (ED) has overall strategic and operational responsibility for 826CHI’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its organizational goals. The ED leads 826CHI’s Leadership and Operations Teams. Responsibilities include:

Leadership & Strategy (approximately 30% of the position)

  • Continues to realize 826CHI’s mission and vision and works to achieve strategic goals by leading the board in developing and maintaining a strategic planning process with long-range and short-range objectives. Ensures that the strategic plan aligns with the overall mission;
  • Works with management team to operationalize organizational priorities and goals;
  • Builds and maintains community partnerships in order to amplify the impact of 826CHI’s programs; and
  • Leads 826CHI’s work in advancing racial equity, inclusion, and diversity;
  • Oversees the implementation of day-to-day programs.

Fundraising & Communications (approximately 25% of the position)

  • Oversees the team (Director of Development, Board of Directors, and staff) in meeting all fundraising goals, including corporate, foundation, and government support, special events fundraisers, individual, major donor, and board giving, and in-kind contributions;
  • Ensures that income is comprehensive and diversified. Actively seeks new opportunities for funding.
  • Works with the Director of Development and Board of Directors to identify, cultivate, and solicit donors and funders. Increases number of donors and size of gifts;
  • Oversees communications initiatives and serves as agency contact for press coverage;
  • Oversees all external relations, including communications, website, newsletters, annual appeals, and PR;
  • Serves as the public face and voice for 826CHI; and
  • Seeks out nonprofit, government, and corporate partners and raises the visibility of 826CHI in the community.

Financial Management (approximately 10% of the position)

  • Ensures sound fiscal management ensuring agency is financially viable and sustainable with the resources to meet current and projected program growth;
  • Ensures financial protocols are followed;
  • Ensures expenses are in line with revenue and reports regularly to the Board on the budget and cash flow;
  • Responsible for all budgeting, cash flow and financial reporting, in collaboration with Treasurer of the Board;
  • Oversees annual financial audit and the publication of 826CHI’s Annual Report;
  • Works to ensure compliance with the terms of the 826 National chapter agreement;
  • Works to ensure compliance with city, state, and federal policies; and
  • Reports to 826 National on a regular basis and serves as a non-voting chapter representative to the 826 National Advisory Board.

HR & Personnel Management (approximately 15% of the position)

  • Actively models and reinforces organizational culture and values;
  • Ensures that HR policies are updated, reviewed, and followed as appropriate. Ensures that legal HR requirements are followed including compliance and compensation, benefits administration;
  • Develops and reviews staffing plan. Builds strong, collaborative relationships with staff and develops staff, ensures that talent is identified, coached, and made ready for leadership and opportunities;
  • Sets high expectations for an inclusive environment where staff, volunteers, stakeholders and students from all backgrounds thrive;
  • Hires, supervises, and mentors direct reports, prepares evaluations, conducts necessary disciplinary, terminations, and other personnel actions in accordance with personnel policies;
  • Conducts staff meetings to enhance internal communication, leveraging collaborations among staff, and staff development; and
  • Works with staff to recruit, screen, train, and manage volunteer corps.

Operations & Facilities Management (approximately 5% of the position)

  • Responsible for rental contracts and partner agreements for all 826CHI’s facilities and sites;
  • Oversees operation of 826CHI’s retail storefront, the Secret Agent Supply Co;
  • Ensures the safety and emergency preparedness of all 826CHI staff, students, and volunteers; and
  • Manages contracts and MOUs with key organizational partners/agencies.

Board of Directors (approximately 10% of the position)

  • Serves as primary organizational liaison to the Board of Directors, including building relationships with new and prospective members. Assists in board development, including board succession planning;
  • Facilitates the board’s decision-making by providing accurate and timely information, recommending appropriate action and ensuring policy and program implementation;
  • Works closely with Chair to prepare quarterly board meetings and produce regular financial statements
  • Ensures adequate staff support for board committees; and
  • Ensures stewardship of official documents and records.

Program Development & Evaluation (approximately 10% of the position)

  • Oversees all educational programs, ensuring the mission is carried out effectively;
  • Works with the Director of Programs and program staff to operate high-quality programs reaching an underserved student population; and
  • Ensures the regular evaluation of programs and the effective incorporation of results to inform future program delivery.


  • Protects 826CHI by keeping information confidential; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Board.

Work Environment

  • This position operates primarily in an open office environment that is accessible;
  • This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, fax, copiers, scanners, filing cabinets;
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The employee frequently uses hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms;
  • The employee must frequently lift and/or move objects up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move objects up to 40 pounds;
  • Flexible schedule, occasional nights and weekends required;
  • Local travel required. Must possess a valid driver’s license and have access to a car or reliable transportation a must;
  • National travel required. Attends two 826 National Board of Directors meetings in 826 chapter cities (May and November) and an annual four-day Staff Development Conference;
  • Workplace is a smoke- and drug-free environment; and
  • 826CHI is an equal opportunity employer. 826CHI is committed to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic team. 826CHI does not discriminate in hiring. We encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this and all posted positions. We strongly encourage applicants who have graduated from Chicago Public Schools and from underrepresented communities in the education and nonprofit sectors to apply.

The successful executive director candidate must be able to demonstrate they can:

  • Set organizational priorities and goals;
  • Lead with transparency and integrity;
  • Create a vision and then motivate and inspire people to action;
  • Manage the team and hold direct reports accountable for their functional areas;
  • Solve problems efficiently and creatively;
  • Multi-task with ease;
  • Engage in public speaking effectively and persuasively;
  • Write and communicate effectively;
  • Work independently to meet tight deadlines; and
  • Collaborate effectively with staff, Board, nonprofits, community partners, schools, foundations, and corporations; and
  • Serve as a strong advocate and leader in the field of writing and arts education.

Qualifications and skills

  • Enthusiastic belief in the mission of 826CHI and commitment to youth development;
  • Minimum five years senior non-profit management experience (literary education or youth development field strongly preferred);
  • Previous experience supervising and managing staff;
  • An understanding of the grantmaking process and proven fundraising success, including individual donor cultivation and increasing income;
  • Prior experience managing a board of directors and/or a volunteer-led organization;
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making and reporting;
  • Strong community outreach and collaboration and networking skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • PC literate with strong skills in experience in MS Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and Google Suite;
  • Proficiency desired in all social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, etc.; and
  • Spanish proficiency is a plus.


  • We offer a compensation package that includes 99% employer paid health premiums and 75% employer paid vision and dental premiums, employer-matched 401(k) retirement account, and generous paid time off; and
  • Salary range for this position is $75,000 to $90,000 depending on experience and qualifications.

How to Apply

  • To apply, please submit your letter of interest, resume, where you learned of the open position, and desired salary range to: with the subject line "your last name, your first name;"
  • Accepting resumes until February 13. Position expected to begin in late March/early April; and
  • No phone calls, please.
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL