Executive Director Opportunity


Executive Director, The Compassionate Friends

Posted by:          The Compassionate Friends, Inc.
Post Date:          May 2017
Location:            Oak Brook Illinois



When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated.  The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.



The Society of The Compassionate Friends was founded in England in 1969 by Rev. Simon Stephens whom as a young man suffered the loss of his entire family in an automobile accident.  Rev. Stephens, while serving in the Royal Navy as a hospital chaplain brought together two sets of grieving parents, discovering that the parents communicating with each other provided far greater healing than either he or the hospital staff had accomplished.  The Compassionate Friends was established in the United States in 1972.

Now, 45 years later The Compassionate Friends, Inc. (TCF) has over 4000 volunteers who operate more than 650 individual chapters across the United States, including chapters in Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, and Washington DC.  TCF’s volunteers assist the bereaved who have suffered the death of one or more children, grandchildren and/or siblings, offering friendship, understanding and hope.  TCF has a presence in over 30 countries across the globe.

The home office of TCF is Oak Brook, Illinois which houses offices for four full-time employees.  Two additional employees work remotely from their homes.   A part-time employee works from her home.  A 13-member all volunteer Board of Directors oversees the organization.  Volunteers include more than 650 Chapter Leadership teams and 64 Regional Coordinators.



TCF is seeking a highly skilled, nonprofit professional to serve as their EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (ED), providing leadership, direction, and guidance of the organization, coordinating major activities in concert with staff and volunteers.  The ED leads the leadership team responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its philosophy, mission, strategic plan, vision and goals.  Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the ED works to maximize the performance of the organization.

This position represents TCF to the media and outside organizations, and writes columns and/or articles for TCF’s We Need Not Walk Alone magazine and other grief related publications to promote and insure TCF’s point of view is part of the national dialogue.  The ED works on various projects, including the development of both a one and three year plan for the organization with a goal to make TCF a known grief-related organization throughout the country, an annual conference and Walk-To-Remember, and the development of a diverse funding base with an emphasis on corporate and foundation grants.  The ED will also oversee the organization’s volunteer training efforts.  Salary to be commensurate with qualifications and experience.



  • Partner with the Board of Directors to ensure effectiveness in meeting the mission and vision of The Compassionate Friends (TCF)
  • Attend board meetings, as required, and provide comprehensive, accurate information to be used in decision making and policy matters.
  • With the Board, develop short and long term strategic plans, objectives and policies.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with other organizations
  • Establish and maintain liaisons and working relationships with existing and potential funding sources.
  • Serve as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends Foundation (TCF Foundation) and act as the liaison between the TCF Foundation and TCF.
  • Plan and manage annual TCF National Conferences. This includes oversite of conference facility selection, workshop and speaker selection, and conference implementation support.
  • Negotiate and oversee development and management of grants, contracts and leases.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization, representing the programs and point of view of the organization with agencies, media, and the general public.
  • Manage media and public relations in Radio, TV, traditional media, electronic media, social media. Write, edit and manage all content for public relations.
  • Oversee the annual budgeting process and provide regular and timely financial reporting.
  • Maintain adequate financial reserves in coordination with Board and strategic planning targets.
  • Monitor and manage overall operations including the establishment of ongoing review of written operational policies.
  • Evaluate and update staff job descriptions and work standards.
  • Recruit, interview and select candidates for positions supervised.


  • Senior executive management experience, in nonprofit organization preferred. Experience in strategic planning, marketing, and advertising in a non-profit marketplace.
  • Ability to create and sustain an organizational culture that promotes teamwork and a common mission & vision. Experience in effectively leading employees in achieving a non-profit organizations goals and initiatives.
  • Experience in developing and sustaining a diverse base of fundraising sources comprised of private, business, corporate, and foundation level donors & sponsors. Ability to develop networks and alliances and to position the organization for future success. Ability to develop strategies and plans for major fundraising events in collaboration with the board of directors.
  • Experience in developing marketing campaigns geared towards achieving measurable financial results that meet or exceed the organizations financial goals.
  • Financial business acumen to include the preparation and management of an annual operating budget. Knowledge in the applications and use of automated financial reporting and management systems and tools.
  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral to include presentation skills. Knowledge and experience in the use of social media applications. Ability to serve as the organizations primary point of contact and interface with the news media, major donors & sponsors, community groups, and organizations .
  • Conflict resolution and decision making skills and the ability to identify adverse performance trends and deploy risk mitigation plans in a timely manner is essential.. Ability to create and use metrics as a management tool is required.
  • Experience in developing organizational, operational and regulatory policies, procedures, and plans.

Search Criteria:


  • Must be a bereaved parent, sibling or grandparent
  • Bachelor’s degree


  • Masters or other post graduate degree
  • 7 years nonprofit leadership experience
  • ASAE certified professional or other certification in related professional field

All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. The Compassionate Friends is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria.


How To Apply

Glen Lord, President of TCF, Inc. Board of Directors is managing the search. To apply, candidates should submit their cover letter and resume to the attention of Glen Lord at or mail to The Compassionate Friends, P.O. Box 3696, Oak Brook, IL  60522-3696. Deadline for resume submission is June 8, 2017.

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