The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) is the leading national organization created to exclusively fund research into congenital heart defects (CHD), the most common birth defect in America. Since it was founded in 1996, CHF has supported more than 100 research projects with over $11 million in funding for basic science, translational and clinical CHD research projects at leading research centers across the US, Canada, and Europe. As the country's leading organization solely committed to CHD research funding, CHF dedicates itself to advancing the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects.
CHF was founded by Betsy and Steve Peterson following the death of their eight year old son, Sam, from complications as a result of complex heart defects. In recognition of the research that helped Sam survive as long as he did, Betsy and Steve recruited friends, colleagues, and leading medical professionals to start CHF to fund CHD research and to serve as a resource to families facing a CHD diagnosis with a child.
In addition to the scientific research, CHF has published and distributed nearly 40,000 copies of It’s My Heart, a resource book for patients and parents. The organization also collaborated on production of the first comprehensive documentary about congenital heart defects, The Heart of the Matter, examining all aspects of CHD.
CHF is headquartered in metro Chicago, and is supported by a network of 11 volunteer-led chapters across the country that actively fundraise, increase awareness, and advocate on behalf of CHD research. CHF also partners with other CHD organizations in order to have more impact in achieving their collective mission to improve and prolong the lives of CHD survivors and to work to prevent congenital heart defects.
The Executive Director leads the national headquarters for The Children’s Heart Foundation, reporting to the Board of Directors, with direct oversight by the Executive Committee. The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic and operational direction of CHF, ensuring consistent national programmatic excellence and financial sustainability for a growing organization. As CHF implements a merger of all chapters into one centralized legal entity, the Executive Director will develop and implement policies and procedures to support the new structure. Additionally, they will be responsible for cultivating high level donors, sponsors, and partners for CHF to generate private support to further the mission.
This Executive Director will lead a national staff of five and work closely with a passionate and dedicated corps of national volunteers, including the National Board as well as chapter leadership. Candidates must bring experience and familiarity working with a board and a large volunteer base; strong staff leadership and development skills; a high level of comfort with fundraising and the development of partnerships and sponsorships; and a strong financial acumen. The Executive Director will be responsible for establishing and reinforcing programmatic priorities, as well as implementing policies, procedures, and systems that align with best practices in nonprofit management. The ideal leader will bring prior experience building and growing a nonprofit organization, preferably one with a large volunteer structure and/or in a health-related field.
The Executive Director will have the following responsibilities:
Ensure ongoing national programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, governance, and systems.
Lead the staff and National Board in the establishment of new and sustainable sources of revenue for the organization, with a particular focus on developing strategic partnerships nationally.
Guide the growth and sustainability of CHF’s centralized organizational structure, and oversee the development of systems and policies to support this structure.
Lead all high-level fundraising for CHF, cultivating and stewarding individual, corporate, and foundation donors and sponsors.
Develop, maintain, and support a strong National Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of the board and its committees; seek and build board engagement with strategic direction.
Grow and develop a strong staff team, providing oversight, management, and professional development opportunities.
Ensure the fiscal integrity of CHF, including annual budgeting and regular financial reporting to the National Board that accurately reflects the financial condition of the organization; lead quarterly assessments of CHF’s financial performance against budgetary, financial, operational, and strategic goals.
Promote and enhance CHF’s brand by serving as an active and visible representative in the community, and by working closely with other professional, civic, and private organizations.
Establish protocols and procedures for identifying and funding research projects, with a goal of increasing project funding year over year.
Ten or more years of senior nonprofit management experience, ideally within a chapter, volunteer-driven and/or health-related organization.
An understanding of CHF’s mission and desire to further research into the treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects; the ability to expand the mission to a broader population and donor base.
Proven ability to lead, motivate, inspire, and communicate a shared vision to all staff and volunteers.
Strong knowledge of and ability to develop and implement multi-faceted development, fundraising, and communication strategies.
The ability to balance big-picture strategic thinking with a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic; skilled in both building consensus and being decisive.
Demonstrated success in developing and implementing strategic plans, and in tracking to both short- and long-term goals.
The ability to effectively interact with diverse communities including healthcare professionals, individuals and families with chronic / life-threatening disease, strategic partners, and high level donors.
Proven experience engaging, developing, and guiding a National Board of Directors, and the ability to advise on best governance practices for a growing organization.
Strong financial acumen, with the ability to provide effective fiscal stewardship and oversight fora $2.5 million operating budget; prior experience guiding sustainable fiscal growth.
Solid understanding of best practices for nonprofit business protocols.
A commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
Excellent communication skills both verbal and written, the desire and presence to serve as a key external face for CHF nationally.
Excellent interpersonal skills, positive attitude, and a collaborative leadership style with both staff and volunteers.
Demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and a diverse workplace.
A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, nonprofit management, or related fields is required; an advanced degree or other professional certification would be an advantage.
To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to:
The Children’s Heart Foundation will operate without discrimination as to age, race, color, religion, sex and national origin, and be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in the selection of board and committee members, the employment and promotion of staff, the delivery of services and the approval of individuals for membership.
About The Children's Heart Foundation
The Children's Heart Foundation (CHF) is the country's leading organization solely dedicated to funding Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) research.