CEO - Make A Wish - Alabama

Sterling Search Inc. - Birmingham, AL

Position Overview

Any child between the ages of 2½ and 18 who has a critical illness may be eligible for a wish, with a local Make-A-Wish® chapter serving every US community. Each year, approximately 27,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with a condition that potentially qualifies them for a wish. In the United States and its territories, Make-A-Wish America fulfills its mission through 62 separately incorporated chapters. Make-A-Wish America was one of the nation’s first recipients of the Council of Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Seal, signifying adherence to charitable accountability, and was honored in a recent edition of “America’s Greatest Brands.”

Make-A-Wish Alabama (MAW-AL) is its own 501c3 and governed by its local volunteer Board of Directors. MAW-AL, with headquarters in Birmingham and a staff member based in Mobile, is both an established organization with decades of history and a dynamic startup. Created in 2012 as the result of a strategic decision made with the full support of the national office to separate what had been a single Chapter serving both Alabama and Georgia into two distinct 501(c)(3) organizations, MAW-AL provides the transformational power of a Wish to children throughout the state who have critical illnesses. MAW-AL has a goal of reaching 150 children annually by FY2019.

The Board of Directors is seeking an innovative and accomplished visionary leader to inspire staff, board and volunteers for even greater impact. The new CEO will be charged with building on MAW-AL’s track record of success by further developing the organization’s vision, and achieving its goals for continued financial stability, community engagement and enhancing the impact of its program. The CEO must bring an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for MAW-AL’s mission, leadership capabilities for staff, board and volunteers, a demonstrated track record of managing successful outcomes for programs, and the capability to increase fundraising revenues with a heavy emphasis on individual and major gifts. MAW-AL’s growth is limited only by its ability to lead a high-performing team, engage more community volunteers and raise more fundraising dollars. With such a cherished brand and mission this is a phenomenal nonprofit CEO leadership opportunity.

This individual must possess intellectual horsepower and be naturally persuasive and fair, and value accountability for themselves and others. The new CEO will lead based on the core ethics of collaboration, self-improvement, and the drive for excellence, ensuring that the best services are being delivered to the children MAW-AL serves.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

The CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors. The CEO is the chief spokesperson representing the organization to constituencies, both internal and external. In addition to operational, financial, and administrative duties, the scope of responsibility includes overseeing program management, fund development, marketing, community relations, and strategic thinking and planning. The CEO will build, foster, and maintain a balanced organizational culture that combines the richness and relevance of programs with the efficacy of best business practices, fiscal accountability, and institutional impact.

The Chief Executive Officer will:

  • Report to a governing Board of Directors, executing decisions effectively and ensuring that the Board of Directors are informed of critical developments in a timely and effective manner
  • Collaborate closely with the Board of Directors and staff to create vision as well as execute and develop a strategic plan and budget
  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors, develop and cultivate a Board that is representative of the diverse community
  • Work collaboratively with Make-A-Wish America, other Make-A-Wish chapters and major donors, volunteer leadership, community organizations, and businesses in the region
  • Manage and direct a comprehensive fund development plan that identifies major gift prospects and donors and enhances the short and long-term diversified funding base
  • Excel at initiating and fostering relationships with corporations, individuals, and foundations as potential partners and donors to Make-A-Wish
  • Continue to raise the public profile of MAW-AL by serving as the spokesperson and advocate for the chapter, as well as being a visible, visionary and influential leader and fundraiser in the community
  • Define and execute the strategy of effectively mobilizing volunteers in support of its programs
  • Direct personnel to ensure that the organization is effectively structured and staffed with competent employees to manage the work across the region
  • Lead, motivate, manage and develop staff to invoke passion about the mission of MAW-AL, and foster an environment committed to continuous improvement
  • Manage and implement an effective performance management system for all employees which will include setting objectives and evaluation on an annual basis
  • Guide the increased awareness and impact of the organization, clearly articulating its mission, vision, programs, and strategic direction
  • Continuously assess community needs, evaluating partnership opportunities to promote programs uniquely suited to the mission
  • Oversee and execute programmatic excellence by establishing operational benchmarks and setting timelines to achieve strategic goals. Continually review and evaluate programs and report findings to the Board of Directors accordingly
  • Ensure fiduciary responsibility, sound financial management, and financial accountability for contributions, income, and all other Make-A-Wish assets. Ensure public accountability consistent with Make-A-Wish America policies
  • Oversee facilities, risk management and operational management
  • Ensure the Chapter is meeting the standards and performance measures established by Make-A-Wish America
  • Execute all other reasonable duties as assigned by the Board of Directors

We are seeking candidates offering the following qualifications:

  • Passion for MAW-AL’s mission
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, imagination, vision, leadership, and integrity
  • A minimum of 5 years of major gift fundraising with individuals/corporations in a professional capacity with demonstrated results
  • A minimum of 5 years of senior management experience, with increasing levels of responsibility and management of staff, preferably with direct collaboration with Boards of Directors
  • Proven track record of management success with comparable P&L, planning, and operations responsibilities
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies, including key community leaders and organizations
  • A demonstrated ability to plan and operate strategically, to build public support, to strengthen infrastructure, to inspire staff and the Board of Directors, and to develop effective programs
  • Exceptional financial, organizational, and administrative skills
  • Excellent knowledge of fiscal management, budgeting, and cash flow management
  • The ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize and follow through
  • A strong communication skill set, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of varied and changing constituencies, including staff, board members, potential donors, volunteers, and others
  • A team builder with a track record of effective staff management, including hiring, rewarding, developing, and retaining talented managers and administrative staff members
  • Ability to juggle many responsibilities at once and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team
  • Computer literate: Knowledge of Word and Excel and ability to learn database software; experience with Raiser’s Edge a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • Commitment to the mission and work of the chapter with the credibility and persuasiveness to secure support from others
  • A manager who leads by example and exemplifies the values and ethics of the organization
  • An organized individual with strong creative and conceptual skills
  • A doer who functions effectively without being autocratic or political; must be a team player who is inclusive, flexible, creative, energetic and fair minded
  • A decisive and resourceful individual who will accept responsibility and take charge of results, as well as work successfully with limited resources
  • A self-starter who is confident enough to express opinions, to forge ahead when appropriate and hold back when necessary, with a sensitivity to the feelings and opinions of others
  • An energetic person who is emotionally mature and dependable; a collegial individual


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.




Posted On: Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Position Contact
Sarah Agee
(714) 433-7040
Costa Mesa, CA
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