Executive Director Position Profile


When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The mission of the Compassionate Friends is to provide 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 Compassionate Friends movement was founded 50 years ago when a chaplain at the Warwickshire Hospital in England brought together two sets of grieving parents and realized that the support they gave each other was better than anything he, as a chaplain, could ever say or provide. Meeting around a kitchen table, the Lawleys and the Henderson’s were joined by a bereaved mother and the chaplain, Simon Stephens, and The Society of the Compassionate Friends was born. The Compassionate Friends jumped across the ocean and was established in the United States and incorporated in 1978 in Illinois.

Today TCF USA has over 600 local chapters that meet monthly in communities in all 50 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. There are over 20 Facebook support groups, and over 10 online chat rooms that offer friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents during the natural grieving process after a child has died.

In addition to support provided both in-person and online, TCF holds an annual conference and regional conferences each year as a place for bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents to come together. These gatherings offer a time of compassion and healing where hope grows and friendships are made with others who truly understand with inspirational keynote speakers, abundant workshops for everyone’s wants and needs, and a remembrance candle lighting program culminating with the annual Walk to Remember.

Each chapter, Facebook and online group, along with the supporting National Staff, is committed to helping every bereaved parent, sibling, or grandparent who may walk through our doors or contact us. The Compassionate Friends is in the process of transitioning from a physical office to a virtual one, with staff working remotely across the United States.


Under the general direction of TCF Board of Directors, the Executive Director oversees and directs all operational aspects of TCF ensuring that the delivery of services is consistent with the mission and strategic vision of TCF. The Executive Director is expected to enable and ensure the success, viability, and relevance of the organization through developing excellent working relationships with all stakeholders (Board of Directors, program and service providers, staff, and allied organizations), implementing successful development activities, and instituting strong budgetary and financial controls.


Position Responsibilities


  • Partner with the Board to develop and implement short- and long-term strategic plans
  • Recommend programs that embrace the evolving landscape of grief support services
  • Utilize advances in technology to provide for more efficient delivery of services
  • Oversee and manage all aspects of operations to effectively meet the mission and vision.
  • Serve as a non-voting member of TCF Board of Directors and TCF Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • Provide regular, comprehensive, and accurate reporting of TCF organizational status to the Board of Directors.
  • Oversee and provide leadership to the planning and management of the annual conference while providing advisory guidance on Regional Conferences.
  • Oversee and recommend TCF staff to collaborate with TCF program volunteers (Chapter Leaders, Facebook Moderators, and Online Chat Facilitators) to ensure they have the resources, training, and support needed to successfully carry out the TCF mission and vision.
  • Collaborate with chapter leadership, regional coordinators and the online bereavement support community teams to address their needs.
  • Establish and adhere to necessary operational policies and procedures to successfully manage a national virtual office where staff work remotely across the United States.
  • Partner with the Board of Directors and Fundraising Work Group to develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising and outreach plan and strategy that is national in scope and provides for the wide-reaching needs of TCF programs and services.
  • Nurture and maintain good working relationships with current and new funding sources to ensure financial stability and growth.
  • Identify and secure new sources of funding commensurate with the strategic needs of the organization.
  • Identify and build relationships with like-minded organizations across the end of life and bereavement support field.
  • Identify and build strategic relationships with national leaders of other non-profit service oriented national non-profits.
  • Represent TCF at other national gatherings, conferences, and events to ensure that TCF has a presence and is known throughout the United States and U.S. Territories as the referral for bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings.
  • Develop and oversee the annual operating budget in close coordination with the Board Treasurer and Finance Committee.
  • Provide monthly status reports including a detailed income statement, balance sheet, cash flows, and performance to the budget.
  • Partner with the Finance Committee to review and update financial policies and procedures as needed to ensure proper checks and balances and financial management of TCF funds.
  • Maintain adequate operational financial reserves at all times.
  • Develop overall staffing plan commensurate with organizational needs, mission, and vision and consistent with revenues.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership of a culture of accountability, results orientation, and operational efficiency
  • Evaluate and update staff job descriptions as needed to ensure that the needs of TCF programs and operations are met.
  • Set personal employee goals and conduct regular staff performance appraisals with a focus on employee growth and development.
  • Make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding new staff positions as needed
    Recruit, interview and select candidates as needed.
  • Partner with the Board of Directors and Marketing/Outreach Work Group to develop and implement a national comprehensive marketing, communications, and outreach plan and strategy for The Compassionate Friends.
  • Develop and manage message content and dissemination using various communication channels including electronic and traditional media.
  • Foster open, transparent communications with TCF program and service volunteers.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization, representing the programs and point of view of the organization with media, allied agencies, and the general public.

Minimum Qualifications


  • 5 years in a national non-profit Executive leadership role or similar position
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Strong, proven track record in successful financial management and results
  • Strong general business acumen
  • Strong communications skills
  • Demonstrated track record in securing major funding, implementing a successful fundraising program, and leading high-level development activities
  • Experience leading a decentralized, virtual office staff operation
  • Master’s degree
  • Bereaved parent/sibling/grandparent or comprehensive understanding and experience with providing grief support
  • Ability to hold self and others accountable
  • Ability to view issues from multiple perspectives
  • Ability to maintain professionalism in all communications by applying experience in navigating difficult interpersonal communications in a calm, measured manner
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice
  • Collaborative
  • Diplomacy and political judiciousness
  • A healthy sense of humor
  • Impeccable integrity
  • A sense of humility
  • Problem solving skills
  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Ability to effectively multitask
  • Ability to inspire a team of people to work together toward a common goal
  • Trustworthy, measured, respectful, tactful, and empathetic
  • Business Acumen – Possesses a high-level of broad business and management skills and is effective at managing the financial resources of the organization
  • Results-Driven – Dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good; creating, resourcing, scaling, and leveraging strategies and innovations for broad investment and impact
  • Mission-Focused – Committed to create organizational change that supports the mission and puts the organizational mission above all else
  • Visionary – Confronts the complex realities of the environment and simultaneously maintains faith in a different and better future, providing purpose, direction and motivation
  • Team Builder – Ensures that the right people are in the right roles at the right times; fostering commitment, trust, and collaboration among multi-cultural leaders and stakeholders
  • Commitment to Diversity – Experience working with and respect for people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  • Resource Development – Provides the leadership necessary in identifying and maximizing financial support from all sources, traditional and non-traditional, that can be mobilized for organizational impact
  • Collaborator – Understands the roles and contributions of all sectors of the community and can mobilize resources (financial and human) through meaningful engagement
  • Relationship-Oriented – Understands that people come before process and is astute in cultivating and managing relationships toward a common goal
  • Network Oriented – Values the power of networks; serving to leverage the organization’s breadth of community presence, relationship, and strategy
  • Outward-Facing – Understands the dynamics of local, regional, and national environments, and works on an agenda rooted in the community’s own perception of its needs and aspirations
  • Governance and Volunteerism – Values the roles that volunteers play in the organization in its operations, governance and fiduciary responsibilities
  • Brand-Steward – Is a steward of the brand and understands his/her role in growing and protecting the reputation of the organization
Applicants should submit their resume, cover letter and three professional references to:




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