Executive Director

Associated Colleges of Illnois


Chicago, IL/Hybrid Remote


Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) is a 70-year-old network of 26 independent liberal arts and sciences colleges and universities, serving more than 70,000 students. Its mission is to support member colleges and universities by advancing independent liberal arts and sciences education and helping underserved students succeed in college, career, and life. ACI achieves this by raising funds that are used to focus on preparing a diverse student body to earn degrees, excel in the workforce and invest in their communities. Students thrive in the supportive, small-class environment and develop the key skills that employers demand: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving and civic competencies.

ACI seeks an experienced and strategic Executive Director to plan, execute and lead the next phase of ACI’s growth. This position will report to and collaborate closely with the Board of Trustees, playing a critical role in ACI’s programs, capacity building and impact in the state of Illinois. The Executive Director will manage a staff of 5-7 individuals to include the Director of Programs, Director of Foundation Relations, Director of Communications, Director of Events & Scholarship, Staff Accountant, and a Finance Consultant. The ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of relevant experience with at least 5 years in a non-profit management role. Experience in Higher Education is preferred.

Graduates of ACI member colleges and universities are encouraged to apply

ACI is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Compensation Range

$110,000 - $125,000

To apply

To apply, please submit a resume & cover letter to Jami Perry, Evolve Giving Group:

Download Job Description

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and manage all aspects of ACI including planning, program management, human resources, board recruitment and development, and fundraising
  • Spearhead the creation of the annual business plan, fundraising plan, and strategic plan to direct ACI’s activities and ensure buy-in from key stakeholders
  • Fundraise and secure gifts of all sizes by identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding existing and prospective donors; identify opportunities for fundraising in new and creative ways
  • Design and implement a process to build a substantial endowment that will help support ACI’s mission for years to come
  • Recruit, hire, and retain ACI staff; work with the team to set expectations and goals within a positive work environment
  • Liaise between ACI and its stakeholders to include member institutions and the Board of Trustees
  • Ensure the financial health and sustainability of ACI by facilitating sound financial planning and management systems, including budget preparation and oversight of systems and controls
  • Determine key performance indicators and metrics for ACI to track performance; implement as appropriate
  • Build partnerships and effective working relationships necessary to compete in a multi-faceted environment
  • Protect and promote a culture of transparency, integrity, inclusivity and equity
  • Serve as the chief public advocate and spokesperson for ACI in order to actively and effectively represent its goals to supporters, generate enthusiasm and attract the widest interest and engagement

Qualifications & Skills

  • 10+ years of relevant experience with at least 5 years in a management role within a non-profit organization
  • Passion for embracing diverse cultures and backgrounds; appreciation for the ACI mission
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Strong track record of fundraising and soliciting gifts of $25,000+
  • Ability to create and manage a budget of $1M+
  • Demonstrated creativity in respect to programs and fundraising
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience working with a variety of stakeholders including Presidents of higher education institutions, board members, volunteers, funders, and association members
  • Expert problem solving, decision making and conflict resolution skills
  • Proficiency working with business technology, including the Microsoft Office Suite and CRM tools
  • Comfortable working occasional nights and weekends with light travel

Key Responsibilities

Qualifications & Skills

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