| April 12, 2021
  • Executive and Professional
  • Rockford, IL



For 100 years, the United Way of Rock River Valley has been active in our community, identifying the issues holding us back and helping find solutions to move us forward.  In the past, our organization has accomplished this goal through others, as a pass-through organization for funding.  Today’s United Way of Rock River Valley is making its mark by becoming an impact organization with a mission of its own – Moving the Middle.  Every 26 seconds a student in the U.S. drops out of school and that disenfranchisement starts in middle school.  This is a bold new initiative to ensure that every middle schooler is on track to graduate.  We are excited about the progress that we’ve already made.  In one school year we have:

  • Implemented MOVE THE MIDDLE at Lincoln Middle School
  • Hired United Way Achievement Advocates to work with middle school students, parents, teachers and United Way partners
  • Launched an Early Warning and Response System to identify struggling students and provide intervention and support
  • Funded social-emotional intervention programming including individual trauma counseling, an out of school suspension program and social-emotional group therapy

YES…we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and early indicators show that we’re succeeding, but there’s more work to be done and how we position ourselves going forward will be critical to our success in continuing this work.  Are you ready to join us?


This is your chance to lead in one of the most recognized non-profit organization at perhaps one of the most exciting times in our history.  You’ll be responsible for the overall impact of United Way of Rock River Valley on our community, with particular emphasis on increasing our capacity to drive our evolution and our impact agenda.  You will accomplish this through:

  • A commitment to MISSION FOCUS: catalyzing others and driving their performance and professional motivations
  • Your ability to be RELATIONSHIP-ORIENTED: understanding that people come before process and you’re astute in cultivating and managing relationships toward a common goal
  • Your ability to COLLABORATE: understanding the roles and contributions of all sectors in the community and mobilize resources through meaningful engagement
  • Your focus on RESULTS: Dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good; creating, resourcing, scaling, and leveraging strategies and innovations for broad investment and impact
  • Your commitment to being a BRAND STEWARD: Growing and protecting reputation and results of the greater network
  • Your ability to be a TEAM BUILDER: ensuring that the right people are in the right roles at the right time.  Fostering commitment, trust, and collaboration among multi-cultural leaders/stakeholders
  • Your ability to be OUTWARD TURNING: understanding the dynamics of local, regional, and national environments, and works on an agenda rooted in the community’s own perception of needs and aspirations.
  • Your demonstrated BUSINESS ACUMEN: possessing a high-level of broad business and management skills and is effective at generating financial support of the organization
  • Your skilled NETWORKING ability: valuing the power of networks and leveraging United Way’s breadth of community presence, relationships, and strategy


ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY (Position Description):

 Overview of Responsibilities:

Our President/CEO is the leader of the organization, establishing a vision for Community Impact that is achieved through the efforts of a diverse team of high-performing leaders, staff, and volunteers alike.  Our President/CEO is the Chief Mobilizer; s/he leverages the power of relationships and networks, and works across private, public and corporate sectors to improve conditions in the community and drive our impact agenda.

Our President/CEO possesses a high level of broad business and management skills and is effective at generating resources and financial support for the organization.  This role is dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good – creating, resourcing, scaling and leveraging strategies for broad investment and impact.

The President/CEO is the steward of our brand and understands his/her role in growing and protecting the reputation of United Way.  S/he is responsible for building trust in United Way and its relevance in the community.  S/he values network and strives to leverage United Way’s breadth of community presence, relationships, and strategy.

Key Responsibilities/Essential Functions:

The major responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Community ImpactThe President / CEO is responsible for the overall impact of United Way of Rock River Valley on the community, with particular emphasis on increasing its capacity to drive the impact agenda. The President works closely with the Board to craft and adapt the strategy to achieve this increased impact, including raising the funds to support it. S/he will establish and build relationships with top leaders in the community, including those representing the highest levels in business, government and non-profit
  • Resource Developmentcharged to drive key results in fundraising; to identify, cultivate and solicit prospective donors and key leaders of prospective new corporate partners; to leverage personal and professional contacts and relationships into fundraising opportunities; and to promote a culture of fundraising within the organization, both at the staff and board level and expand donor options through a digital giving platform.
  • Strategic Managementserves as the principal resource to the Board of Directors and its key committees and gives strong direction in policy formulation and interpretation. S/he partners with the Board of Directors and the United Way of Rock River Valley Senior Leadership team to craft organizational goals and develops strategies to ensure that they are achieved. S/he ensures coordination and alignment of all United Way activities to strategic direction in the areas of community impact, resource development, and staff
  • Organization Managementaccountable for building and leading high-performing teams, ensuring all teams are aligned and collaborating to achieve organizational S/he maintains accountability for the operational and fiscal integrity of the organization within policies set by the Board of Directors. The President/CEO assesses organizational capacity to implement strategies and identify gaps in systems and staffing; directly supervises Senior Leadership positions and establishes individual goals; works with the Chief Financial Officer to manage organizational spending, monitor budget compliance, and mitigate financial risks; and ensures that United Way of Rock River Valley goals of inclusiveness and diversity among staff and volunteers are met.

Experience/Position Requirements

  • Substantial experience working in the nonprofit sector (United Way experience is desirable), and interacting with volunteers and diverse boards. Alternatively, extensive experience in the leadership and management of organizations of comparable size and mission
  • Experience on issues relevant to the organization
  • Ability to command the confidence and respect of stakeholders
  • A demonstrated track record of promoting diversity and an ability to build collaboration with the community at large
  • Experience in or across multiple sectors, including nonprofit, public and corporate environments
  • Experience in building revenue and increasing philanthropic support
  • Must demonstrate a high level of intelligence and intellectual curiosity and a desire to explore new ideas and innovative approaches to solving problems

S/he has unquestioned integrity; a long-term perspective; a strong sense of accountability; a practical ability to get things done; wisdom and good judgment; a fair and thoughtful approach to management, combined with the flexibility and courage to shift direction and experiment with new initiatives; excellent verbal and written communication skills; a high energy level and sense of humor

Educational Background

  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree would enhance qualifications
  • Past experience as CEO, Executive Director or interim CEO/ED or equivalent is preferred
  • Minimum of six (6) years experience with diverse business management functions such as marketing, stakeholder relationship building, public relations, corporate governance, budgeting, finance & general management best practices, etc.
  • Experience in managing and developing teams to motivate performance
  • Experience with fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to nonprofit sector: Candidates should demonstrate quantifiable success in fundraising with a proven track record in donor stewardship
  • Experience with Federal Grants is preferred
  • Past experience with United Way and its partner agencies is preferred


Take a Step Forward, Opportunity Thrives Here

The path to prosperity is attainable in Winnebago County, where you won’t get lost in the shuffle. There’s a place at the table for anyone who wants to get involved and make a difference in the community. Here is where children grow up in a community that loves them back. There’s a sense of community, ownership and responsibility that animates all residents who want to be a part of the solution –and it’s contagious. Visit Transform Rockford to learn of a region-wide initiative to become a Top 25 community

Diverse Entertainment Options

From the Rock River, to an award-winning parks system, new sports facilities, professional sports, diverse restaurants, craft breweries, festivals, live music, museums, symphony, theater and dance, there’s no shortage of offerings in Winnebago County. The region hums with

activity, continually adding more recreational options. Visit Go Rockford to learn more about things to see and do in Winnebago County 

Affordable Living

In Winnebago County, life is affordable and convenient. Our low cost of living makes creating a life here the easy choice. Reclaim your day by trading windshield time for activities with friends and family. Nearly everything you need is here –and for anything more, Chicago and O’Hare International Airport are just 90 miles away, serving as the jumping off point to anywhere in the world.  Visit Rockford Area Realtors to find solutions to your housing needs

Education Opportunities for All

Our pre-K through 12 schools and students are the pride of our community and are recognized for excellence. Our community overcomes barriers to learning by aligning support for the benefit of every student.  Our business and civic organizations engage in partnerships with our schools for the success of all.  Students, educators, and families are ready to fulfill their responsibilities.  Higher education institutions in the region include:  Rock Valley College, Rockford University, Northern Illinois University, Beloit College, Rasmussen College, Upper Iowa University, Rockford Career College, and University of Illinois School of Medicine.

For a relocation guide, visit


For a complete Position Profile OR to apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter and career narrative to:


Cheryl Church, SHRM-SCP

4701 East State Street

Rockford, IL 61108


Office: 815-961-0400

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