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Executive Director

Executive Director


MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is the unifying champion for expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the United States. For more than 25 years, MENTOR has served the mentoring field by providing a public voice; developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide; and promoting quality for mentoring through evidence-based standards, innovative research and essential tools. MENTOR works with a national network of twenty-four affiliates, the federal government, national foundations, researchers, the private sector, and the media to enhance the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for young people nationwide to provide pathways to successful adulthood.

Together with the Board of Directors, MENTOR Illinois is thrilled to launch a search for its next Executive Director.  MENTOR Illinois elevates the impact of mentoring today so more kids reach their potential tomorrow. The organization serves a unique role as a clearinghouse for training, resources, public awareness and advocacy, providing the critical link between MENTOR’s national efforts and local organizations and programs that foster and support quality mentoring relationships.

MENTOR Illinois is a champion for quality youth mentoring across Illinois, with a focus on metro Chicago. Expert staff provide resources, training and advocacy for a diverse network of 400 youth mentoring programs that serve approximately 55,000 youth from ages 5 to 24, including youth who are:

  • facing risk factors, such as poverty and violence
  • children of incarcerated or absentee parents
  • in the foster care system
  • gang affiliated
  • juvenile justice involved
  • facing disabilities
  • immigrants and refugees

MENTOR Illinois works to help existing and emerging youth mentoring organizations ensure that their programming meets national best practice standards. In addition, MENTOR Illinois assists these organizations to secure resources and volunteer mentors to improve outcomes for children.

MENTOR Illinois seeks a visionary leader who understands greater Chicago’s youth mentoring landscape to lead as the Executive Director.  The Executive Director will play a critical role in continuing to build a sustainable, effective organization, including building and strengthening networks and partnerships, developing capacity building services, leading fundraising efforts, managing a small staff, and expand on financial and operational efficiencies. Successful candidates will balance “big picture” strategic thinking with the administrative know-how of a results-oriented manager and a track record of building partnerships and community collaborations.

We work in a fast-paced environment that values learning and an entrepreneurial approach. Knowing its importance to the success of our work, MENTOR Illinois is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we aspire to build a diverse team across our network. Please be sure to submit your resume and a thoughtful cover letter that explains your interest in the role and our organization. We appreciate your time and will review and respond to all applications received.


Strategy and Leadership

  • Spearhead the strategic planning and growth efforts of MENTOR Illinois in partnership with local stakeholders including philanthropy, non-profit organizations, corporate executives and government agencies to guide the organizational plan, benchmarks, and outcomes
  • Support and expand a strong Board of Directors
  • Develop, support and grow the Gold Star Council – a representative group of leaders from best-practice programs that address shared challenges with collective solutions and promote the broader work of MENTOR Illinois.
  • Implement initiatives and projects that galvanize key stakeholders including mentoring program providers, corporations, government agencies, schools, institutions of higher education, and faith-based organization and develop the appropriate services, trainings, or technical assistance needed by various sectors

 Fundraising, Advocacy, and Communications

  • Develop and implement a fundraising strategy that builds on existing relationships with philanthropy, supports the implementation of the strategic plan, and leads to organizational sustainability
  • Build the brand of Mentor Illinois across all stakeholders to elevate issues of youth mentoring, drive mentor recruitment, and position MENTOR Illinois as a key community resource
  • Advocate and build public awareness, both individually and with partners, to mobilize leaders for support of youth mentoring at the local and state levels with MENTOR Illinois and with MENTOR at the federal level 

Programmatic and Operational Management

  • Develop an annual budget for approval by the Board; oversee the management of all funds
  • Provide funders and partners with data, reports, and information so that they are confident their contributions are being deployed in a cost-effective and results-driven manner
  • Hire, supervise, and support staff to deliver on strategic outcomes and maintain a positive climate that attracts and motivates a diverse staff
  • Oversee and manage all aspects of day to day operations, including financial management, office administration, facilities management, human resources, compliance, and insurance
  • Actively participate in MENTOR’s Affiliate Network and engage in building competencies related to core functions of a MENTOR Affiliate


There are innumerable ways to learn, grow and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below:

  • Entrepreneurial self-starter; capable of self-management in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders
  • Proven fundraising experience that can be leveraged to raise monies from corporations, foundations and individual contributors
  • Knowledge of the greater Chicago philanthropic community as demonstrated by a well-developed professional network that stretches into community-based organizations and the youth development space
  • Progressive leadership experience; at least ten years of managing a team to reach challenging objectives.  Experience working with or within the private sector a plus.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with a board of directors and volunteer committees
  • Excellent presentation/public speaking, verbal and written communication skills that can be adapted based on audience
  • Strong strategic thinking and organizational development skills with an ability to use data to make decisions and to translate strategy to action
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution required; relevant advanced degree preferred


MENTOR Illinois offers a comprehensive compensation package. 


MENTOR’S vision is that every young person has the supportive relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive and engaged adults.  Together, we engage with the private, public and nonprofit sectors to ensure that all youth have the support they need through mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school and, ultimately, work.

MENTOR Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, cultural heritage, ancestry, political belief, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability or veteran status. MENTOR Illinois is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and we are committed to making special accommodations for your interview or work as a member of our team. If specific accommodations are needed, please notify afarber@positivelypartners.org and will work to accommodate your needs.

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our philosophy

We believe in the power of positivity, and that people deserve to be happy both at home and at work.  That's why we focus on three key components to find the right match for each of our current openings: aligning your individual strengths with the requirements of the role, finding work you feel passionate about, and ensuring your values match those of the organization.


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