Executive Director



Care for Real provides food, clothing, and referral services to neighbors in the Edgewater, Uptown and Rogers Park communities.   Through on-site food distribution, a free clothes closet, a pet pantry and special distributions, more than 1,060 neighbors are served each week.   During our last fiscal year, we distributed more than 1.51 million pounds of food.  To learn more about who we are and how we serve please, see our website:  https://careforreal.org


Care for Real (CfR) seeks an Executive Director who embodies our values and mission of service.  As the  public representative of the organization, this motivated leader will provide inspiration and direction to our staff, volunteers and  the larger community as we support those who need our help. In an ever-changing environment, the Executive Director is responsible for providing strategic direction, leading fundraising efforts and overseeing the general operations of the organization while always being mindful of the financial stability of CfR. The Executive Director will collaborate with and lead a hard-working team of employees, more than 200 volunteers, an active Board of Directors and other stakeholders in program development and delivery, expansion and the successful execution of annual goals.


Organizational and Staff Management (An estimated 30% of the position)

  • Actively collaborate with the Board to develop and implement multi-year and annual strategic goals; provide regular reporting on goal progress and achievements
  • Continually work to build and maintain a sound operational structure seeking ways to improve organization effectiveness, management continuity, and accountability
  • Be aware, ready to act and effectively communicate when corrections need to be made to maintain solid organizational operations and effective community relations
  • Build, grow and maintain strong partnerships that enhance the impact of CfR’s programs
  • Develop policies and practices that comply with relevant regulations while also maintaining CFR’s commitment to service and the respect of all people
  • Proactively stay current on hunger, poverty, and food delivery issues and look for ways to improve services to the communities CfR serves; regularly share this information with stakeholders and the broader community
  • Interact with Board members to discuss and develop new policies that allow CfR to achieve and broaden its mission and operations; actively participate in Board meetings to keep Board members informed
  • Actively model and reinforce the values and culture of CfR; provide leadership to staff, volunteers and visitors, and create a culture where all people believe they can thrive
  • Regularly review staffing and organizational needs; recruit and hire candidates who enhance the team
  • Build strong, collaborative relationships with staff; identify talent, coach individuals and seek to provide opportunities for development
  • Regularly communicate with staff, conduct performance reviews and ensure employee files are current and accurate  

Development (​An estimated 35% of the position)

  • Serve as the chief development officer of CfR with overall responsibility for all fundraising, marketing and communications activities
  • Act as the chief spokesperson for the organization
  • Ensure there is an active, effective marketing and communications program
  • Actively participate in setting fundraising goals and developing an annual fundraising plan; provide monthly plan reports
  • Enthusiastically seek and cultivate new opportunities for funding from all sources
  • Increase revenue through a broad range of fundraising tactics
  • Develop innovative ways to publicize the activities and accomplishments of the organization, its programs and goals
  • Lead and/or participate in coalition meetings, networks and professional associations that will assist CfR in fulfilling its mission

Finance (​An estimated 15% of the position) 

  • Develop and maintain sound financial practices. Ensure appropriate accounting practices are followed and that financial and budget records are properly maintained.  Work closely with the bookkeeper and Treasurer to safeguard the fiduciary responsibility of the organization
  • Work with appropriate stakeholders to prepare annual budgets and regularly forecast variances to budget with ideas for corrections to ensure adequate funds are available
  • Review and analyze financial reports regularly and provide clear and concise reports and projections to the Finance Committee and Board.
  • Working together with the bookkeeper and Treasurer, oversee the annual financial audit; participate in the annual audit report to the Board

Program and Client Services (​An estimated 15% of the position)

  • Through data-driven research and outreach to clients; maintain a deep knowledge of client needs; develop, promote and implement new programs
  • Regularly evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of CfR’s current programs and services; provide ideas for continual improvements and implementations
  • Maintain an environment where all clients are treated with dignity and respect; ensure there is no discrimination because of race, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification or other characteristics
  • Oversee service delivery; provide a presence and leadership and troubleshoot challenging situations when necessary.


  • A high-energy, strong social service leader with a minimum of seven years experience in a senior management or director level position who knows when to step in and take action
  • A development professional with a proven record of building donor relationships and increasing an organization’s revenues significantly.
  • Strong general business acumen, knowledge and experience; an ability to manage and annually grow a non-profit organization’s finances, programs, and services
  • Strong personal interest in advocacy for and dedication to efforts that meet basic needs, especially hunger, in vulnerable populations
  • An engaging public speaker who is effective in promoting the mission and operations of an organization to diverse audiences
  • Proven experience working with non-profit staff, volunteers, Board members and members of a diverse community
  • Working knowledge and comfort with MS Office 365 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), social media platforms and communications and marketing strategies
  • Bachelor’s degree required: Master’s degree in business or non-profit management preferred


  • Base salary range is mid $80s to low $90s, commensurate with experience
  • The benefit package includes a healthcare reimbursement account; paid time off for vacations, sick, holidays and personal days

Care for Real’s Work Environment:

The Executive Director will primarily work in a professional office environment that is accessible.  This person will use standard office equipment such as computers, phones and copiers.  The ED will regularly be required to speak and listen and will often move throughout the office to supervise staff, interact with clients and perform other duties. In the course of duties, the ED may be required to lift and/or move objects weighting 25 pounds.  They may be required to work evenings and weekends.

Care for Real is a smoke, drug and gun-free environment.  We are proudly an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment decisions are made in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to race, ethnicity, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship status, military service, marital status, orders of protection, handicap, disability or any other factor determined to be unlawful by federal, state, or local statutes.


  • Submit cover letter, resume, and salary range requirement to: search@careforreal.org. Please write your name (Last, First) in the subject line of your e-mail. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. No phone calls   Deadline is June 25. The position begins in August.