Executive Director

End Date
Dec 17, 2021


The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for leading Chicago Dancemakers Forum to ensure the
fullest expression of its mission and the consistent achievement of its financial objectives. The ED
is responsible for all organizational strategy and planning (Strategic, Programming, Fundraising,
Financial, and Marketing), as well as oversight of all day-to-day business in development,
operations, program expansion, human resources, administration, fundraising, finances, board
governance, public relations, and artistic programs. The ED reports to the board of directors,
oversees all staff, and works in partnership with all key stakeholders.

Fundraising (40%): Assures the successful execution of fundraising efforts by developing,
coordinating and implementing a comprehensive strategy to sufficiently fund existing and new
programs, as special initiatives and to support a healthy reserve to maintain organizational
responsiveness and flexibility.
1. Individual giving: develop the strategies for and oversee all individual giving initiatives,
including the cultivation and solicitation of major donors.
2. Institutional giving: develop and oversee all institutional giving initiatives (government,
foundation, corporate), including grant research, writing, submission, reporting, and
3. Events: plan and direct all fundraising events including sponsorships and assuring cohesion
with CDF programs and mission.
4. Gift tracking and acknowledgement: oversee the implementation and maintenance of an
accurate data system for gift tracking, pledge management, gift receipts and

Board/Governance Relations (15%): Maintains strong relationship with the board of directors;
serves on each committee, seeks and builds board involvement with strategic direction for ongoing
programs as well as new initiatives and partners.
1. Assist with the selection, recruitment, onboarding and evaluation of board members.
2. Organize materials for all board meetings, including committee and financial reports.
3. Communicate with the board in a manner that keeps them inspired as well and as fully
informed about the condition of the organization and all-important factors influencing it.
4. Assist Board committees as needed.

Finance & Compliance (20%): Ensures consistent quality and communication of financial
management and administration.
1. Create annual budget for Board approval with oversight from Board.
2. Coordinate the annual operations plan and budget, ensuring ample funds are available to
empower the organization to carry out its work.
3. In partnership with the Board Treasurer and professional consultant, manage all financial and
physical resources, including banking and bookkeeping.
4. Oversee, with the Board Treasurer, all Payroll and Benefits administration management.
5. Work with the Finance Committee and outside accountants to prepare timely financial reports
for board review, year-end reports and annual financial audits.
6. Maintain official records and documents to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal
regulations. Maintain up-to-date employee procedures and policies, including Ethics and
Conflict of Interest.
7. Legal oversight and management of all letters of agreement, contracts and negotiations with
partners involving financial commitments.

Organizational Management (15%): Create and promote an organizational culture and environment
that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff and volunteer core of top highly qualified
1. Leadership expertise: maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in
the field.
2. Staff support management: provide all staff support and key volunteer stakeholders a strong
day-to-day leadership presence.
3. Human resource management: oversee hiring and firing, orientation, training, mentorship, and
performance evaluation.

Program Management (10%): In collaboration with the programming evaluation committee of the
board and the program director, ensure excellence and relevance.
1. Partnership development: strategically use public presence and relationships to garner new
opportunities, build local and national partnerships, and establish relationships with the
funders, venues, institutions, and other potential partners to expand opportunities for CDF
2. Program oversight: regularly evaluate programs, initiatives and special projects to measure
effectiveness and relevance. Communicate regularly both internally and externally regarding
program strategy, health and direction.
3. Communications and marketing: oversee all aspects of organizational communications with
the goal of creating and conveying a clear public identity and brand for CDF. Serve as the
public face of the organization and primary community representative for CDF for the field as
well as for media and/or public relations initiatives.
4. Information management: oversee the creation and maintenance of systems necessary to
best support CDF artists with program information and resources.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, or commensurate experience


  • A minimum of seven years of work experience in arts management
  • Proven track record of accomplishment in solicitation and cultivation of prospective
  • donors
  • Substantial experience managing organizational finances
  • Networks of relationships with a diversity of local and national dance communities
  • Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the life of the individual, unincorporated artist in Chicago
  • Substantial experience in antiracism work


  • Excellent organizational and staff management skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills
  • Knowledge of financial management systems
  • Knowledge of fundraising databases
  • Knowledge of DEI strategies
  • Strong leadership qualities, including the ability to both delegate and execute
  • Ability to work collegially and collaboratively as part of a team and with a diversity
  • of stakeholders
  • Ability to manage and support staff in professional development
  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends required

$75K-80K with maximum allowable HSA contribution

To Apply
Send cover letter and résumé to the Search Committee at apply@chicagodancemakers.org. The
Search will remain open until the position is filled.