Executive Director

College Mentoring Experience


Chicago, IL


About College Mentoring Experience (CME)

At CME, we believe that access to a college education can change the lives of youth, their families and their communities. Founded by a longtime resident of Austin, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side with high rates of violence, joblessness and poverty, CME is firmly rooted in Austin and deeply familiar with the communities we serve.

Through one-on-one mentoring, school-based programs, college tours, and more, CME is helping hundreds of students unlock their potential, with 100% of our mentees going on to college. By investing in these chronically underserved neighborhoods and showing teens they have the power to achieve more, our goal is to break the cycle of poverty and drive positive change across these communities – one student at a time.

About the Role

CME is seeking an experienced Executive Director to thoughtfully lead the organization. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have the overall responsibility for the implementation of all programs, operations and the growth of CME. The Executive Director drives organizational growth and is responsible for overseeing CME’s development, operations and finance functions. The ideal candidate will have exceptional leadership qualities and previous non-profit management experience. The Executive Director will demonstrate a diplomatic and motivational management style and collaborative approach. This individual should have prior fundraising experience and the ability to build and maintain donor relationships, identify prospects and solicit support.

CME, like many organizations, has had to adapt in recent months to accommodate virtual learning and community-wide changes. We are looking for a forward-thinking positive leader who is excited about empowering the organization to evolve as needed.

Compensation Range

To apply

Please send your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to

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Key Responsibilities

Fundraising and Fiscal Oversight

  • Oversee the preparation of the annual operating budget and monitor monthly performance versus budgeted targets.
  • Ensure fiscal solvency, compliance and accountability to board and funders.
  • Provide leadership and participation in fundraising and other resource development activities; cultivate, build and maintain enduring relations and partnerships with current and potential public, private, individual, corporate, foundation and other funding sources.
  • Serve as a key advisor and partner to Board members to assure effectiveness in their resource development roles.
  • Manage a portfolio of top donors and prospects.
  • Expand and diversify revenue.

Strategy and Program Development

  • Create, implement, monitor and update program goals to ensure long-term mission sustainability, innovation, and growth in programs and services.
  • Enable staff to develop, organize, and conduct comprehensive, quality programs utilizing the highest standards of professional practice. Engage industry professionals to develop curriculum and in other ways, as appropriate.
  • Ensure the quality of services offered through evaluating programs, services, and policies; monitor participation and seek input from key staff, thought-leaders, families, mentors and program participants.
  • Determine key performance indicators (KPIs) to track; implement a system to begin tracking and reporting out on this data.
  • Oversee the negotiation of contracts with program partners.

Community Relations

  • Serve as the chief public advocate and spokesperson for CME in order to actively and effectively represent its goals to supporters, families, government leaders, individuals, and foundations in order to generate enthusiasm and attract the widest interest and support.
  • Raise the visibility and public awareness of the organization through the development and oversight of a sustainable marketing and public relations plan targeting key constituencies and community partners.

Governance and Human Resource Development

  • Effectively oversee all human resource functions, ensuring that policies and procedures fully conform to current laws and regulations.
  • Attract and retain top talent; maintain a viable, creative and productive team via mentoring, leadership development, and delegation in a team-oriented culture.
  • Provide direct supervision of key staff as appropriate.
  • Oversee the hiring and continued employment of all staff; provide clarity to assignments and set the tone for all professional practice and behavior; facilitate communication amongst the team.
  • Ensure maintenance of all agency required licensing, certifications and accreditations.
  • Create, implement, and monitor agency risk management plan, including interfacing with legal representation as necessary.
  • Engage the board of directors in critical thinking, strategic planning, and resource/financial positioning as it relates to furthering CME’s mission.
  • Serve as a liaison between staff and board members; update the board on the organization’s needs and current trends in the mentoring/education space.
  • Work closely with leadership to recruit, train, and maintain a strong, balanced board of directors; support and encourage all volunteer programs.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Passion for CME’s mission and the ability to promote and communicate the mission, core values, and organizational impact to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ten or more years of nonprofit experience with increasing responsibility.
  • Strong understanding of the communities CME serves and a passion for helping youth successfully reach and complete college.
  • Expertise in employment practices, fundraising and financial management.
  • Excellent written, verbal and listening skills; strong presentation and public speaking abilities.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and networking skills; demonstrated success interfacing with a wide variety of organizational constituents, community groups, political leaders, and families.
  • Experience and comfort working with high-level donors and philanthropists.
  • The temperament and skills necessary to mentor and develop staff; a demonstrated ability to bring passion, vision, direction, business discipline and inspiration to the team.
  • Excellent problem-solving and team building skills coupled with strong leadership, coordination, and analytic capabilities; ability to be nimble and respond appropriately in varied situations.
  • Highly organized and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • High level of comfort working with business technology.

Key Responsibilities

Qualifications & Skills

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