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Administration, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Program Leadership, Social Services

Vice President of Community and Government Engagement

  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Chicago, IL

This position has been filled.

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (“Catholic Charities” or “Charities”) serves anyone in need. Their mission is to hear and answer God’s call for charity for the vulnerable among us — regardless of their faith, gender, ethnic, or racial identity — by providing professional services that strengthen, nourish and support individuals, families and communities.

Their call is not simply to collect money to house and feed the poor, but to “practice mercy” in a spirit of “mutuality” — to transform the suffering of those in need and thereby transform hearts, both of those who receive and of those who give. Catholic Charities takes seriously — in this age of growing income inequality, economic uncertainty and social change — the need to both minister to their 500,000+ clients and educate and inspire their 25,000+ donors and volunteers to meet the needs of the city and broader region. With a staff of 1300, an annual budget of close to $200M, more than $35M in annual fundraising coupled with more than $100M in local, state and federal funding, Catholic Charities is among the largest human service providers in Illinois and the nation.

Catholic Charities’ broad spectrum of services include, but are not limited to:

  • Child, Youth and Family Services create and maintain strong families with a focus on the needs of young children and at-risk youth. Programs support children in some of their most difficult times after experiencing trauma such as abuse, neglect or witnessing violence at home or in their communities;
  • Community Development and Outreach Services locations are hubs to connect people to nutrition and health resources and education, health prevention and promotion services, educational programs, youth employment, tax preparation assistance and food;
  • Family and Parish Support Services provide emergency food and financial assistance, foreclosure prevention funds, mental health counseling, maternity and adoption services, immigration and refugee support including legal assistance and housing, all to help stabilize and strengthen individuals and families. In addition, they connect parish partners with resources for their parishioners and work to expand partnerships with more than 240 parish partners in the Archdiocese;
  • Housing Services provide affordable housing options for low-income seniors and veterans as well as assisted living facilities and nursing homes. In addition, it provides emergency shelters for families, long-term family housing to support families on their paths to self-sufficiency, and shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence; and
  • Senior Support Services help seniors remain living in their community as independently as possible, providing in-home and community-based services like home-delivered meals, homecare services, adult day services, and case management. Programs also include investigating and intervening in elder abuse cases and supporting low-income individuals as they transition out of hospital stays.

For more information on Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

Building on a foundation of faith, hope and charity laid more than a century ago, Catholic Charities has grown to be an anchor organization within the region’s human services ecosystem.

Confronting a once-in-generation time of need and under the leadership of a new President and CEO, Sally Blount, Catholic Charities is at an important and exciting inflection point. Charities is committed to moving into the future boldly. After making key leadership investments in 2021 and 2022 (including this hire), this year Blount will be leading a strategic planning process that will reimagine Charities’ role within the region and deepen its impact as the organization prepares to serve an increasingly polarized and economically unequal, post-pandemic world.

As part of this transformation, Charities seeks a Vice President of Community and Government Engagement- a strategic external leader who will partner with the CEO to:

  • Serve as the connecting hub for Catholic Charities as it reaches into and across the region – leveraging strategy, relationships, systems, and actions to establish Catholic Charities position and reputation — the aspiration is to become the region’s most trusted partner for mission-driven people and organizations seeking to serve those in need.

Leverage the vibrant Catholic Community

  • Build and expand vibrant partnerships with parishes, priests and other Catholic people and networks across Cook and Lake Counties to live out our shared faith in service of others and serve as a key convener in catalyzing the power of combining their voices
  • Collect and share the stories of hope and impact that cross all the charitable works of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese, as a public witness to the power of faith

Engage Local Communities and Peer Organizations

  • Grow and deepen connections across the region with local communities, peer organizations, and Charities own regional mission and operations teams to coordinate with excellence as they strive to effectively and compassionately meet the needs of the region’s most vulnerable

Effectively Partner with Governments

  • Lead the advocacy, government affairs, and public funding strategy to ensure that Catholic Charities has access to the right public resources for carrying out its mission and engaging actively in the region’s human services ecosystem
  • Build and sustain relationships with key government elected and administrative officials at the local, county, state and federal levels – partnering when needed with the Cardinal’s office to coordinate outreach

Lead best in class grant writing and management team

  • Oversee teams that identify and evaluate relevant funding opportunities across government, foundation and corporate sectors
  • Work with Chief Programs Officer to select funding opportunities that are most aligned with Catholic Charities mission and
  • Oversee team that prepares funding submissions and follows through to completion
  • Grow outreach and partnerships with foundations and corporations

To meet this goal, it is Charities’ intention to make parish, community, and government engagement a source of distinction regionally and nationally. Catholic Charities has a unique advantage given the relationship with the Catholic Church and the scale, scope, and history of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Effectively drawing on that source of strength, Charities will be able to serve more people, more effectively and ensure that more residents of the Chicagoland area have the tools, resources and supports they need to thrive.

The Vice President of Community and Government Engagement will be a key member of Catholic Charities’ four-person external relations leadership team, which also includes the VP for Communications, the VP for Institutional Advancement and VP for Principal Giving. All members of this team will report directly to the President and CEO both individually and collectively. It is assumed that the group will meet frequently and collaborate closely so that Charities speaks with a cohesive and compelling voice across all external stakeholders. The Vice President of Community and Government Engagement will also be an integral member of Charities’ 12-person Senior Leadership Team, reporting to the President and CEO. They will be expected to partner closely with all members of the team throughout the year on various internal and external outreach projects and in pursuit of foundation, government, and corporate funding.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Grow partnerships across parishes to increase presence and impact across all regions of the Archdiocese of Chicago by leading team to…
    • Increase number of parish communities actively served by and alongside Catholic Charities programs
    • Increase number of parish partners who engage actively in Charities’ mission, through service and volunteerism.
  • Grow partnerships with aligned nonprofit and mission-driven organizations to increase presence across all regions in Archdiocese of Chicago by leading a team to…
    • Strengthen existing partnerships for the benefits of clients
    • Build new relationships with organizations which provide complimentary services or who serve similar client populations
  • Amplify Catholic Charities as a leading voice for government policies which serve the vulnerable, the suffering, and the overlooked and strengthen and empower people, families, and communities. Lead a team to…
    • Establish Charities’ presence as a thought and policy leader among human services organizations
    • Engage as a good-faith partner and leader in advocacy coalitions
    • Activate the network of regional mission boards, engaged parishes, and community organizations in advocacy efforts.
  • Drive government affairs strategy to maintain and expand government grants
    • Effectively maintain and grow existing $124 million in annual government contracts from local, state, and federal sources – including applicable reporting and compliance functions.
    • Build strategy for effective federal government engagement.
    • Partner with program, finance, legal and regional teams to strategically identify and secure mission-critical and high-impact new public funding to support the mission of Charities.
  • Effectively communicate the work and impact of Catholic Charities to external stakeholders
    • Collaborate with communications team to share messages with parish, community organization and government stakeholders to increase awareness and ultimately partnership with Catholic Charities.
Candidate Profile

The Vice President of Community and Government Engagement will possess the following attributes and competencies:

A Strategic Leader

The VP will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who will be consistently focused on how to best adapt and assure the continued success of the Community and Government Engagement division of Catholic Charities. This leader will instinctively ‘get ahead of the curve’ by anticipating needs and threats, and will collaboratively craft a strategy to address those while achieving Catholic Charities’ mission. Passionate and informed, the ideal candidate will have the skills to be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus and the recognition of teamwork. This leader will be an innovative and energetic individual who functions well in a fast-paced environment, they will empower their teams to lead and manage and coach to high performance. A diplomatic and supportive professional, the VP will enhance the organization’s culture of collaboration.

A Relationship Builder

The VP will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies including the Catholic Charities Board, Leadership Team, community leaders and government officials. The VP will be comfortable in a role expanding and enhancing the credibility, visibility and reach of the organization. This leader will be skilled at actively and strategically seeking partnerships and building coalitions with other organizations to leverage expertise and expand reach and visibility. The VP will be an even-tempered and humble leader who build partnerships with community organizations to ensure vulnerable residents can access their programming as well as services delivered by Catholic Charities. This leader will work proactively to connect parishioners and community members to opportunities to serve, engage, and live their faith through partnership with Catholic Charities. The VP will ensure that all policy-related work is consistent and aligned with Charities’ strategic outcomes and executed in a professional and collaborative manner.

An Ambassador for the Catholic Charities

The VP will work tirelessly as one of the key ‘Ambassadors’ for the Catholic Charities mission. Partnering closely with leadership across the organization the VP will steward relationships with elected leaders, community leaders, and social service peers to advance mission-aligned advocacy at the local, state and federal level. This leader will articulate, extend and heighten the mission of Catholic Charities to a broad range of constituents. The VP must be a confident public speaker and have a solid understanding of the complex population the Charities serves. They will stay current on relevant events, including federal, state and local legislation that impacts low-income families and individuals, social services, and the charitable sector. A thought leader in the community, the VP will participate in community and policy-related meetings, events and conferences. This leader will also hold responsibility for maintaining and strategically growing grant funding in service of Charities’ mission and vision.

A Faith-Based Leader with a Passion for Charities’ Mission of Mercy

The VP will have a vibrant passion for the unifying role that faith can play in a highly diverse (ethnically, racially, socio-economically, and religiously) workplace. The VP will be passionate about Charities’ mission and, accordingly, be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation. The VP will have a strong work ethic, emotional and social intelligence, an ability to bring compassion to the table in tough situations, as well as a natural joy and foundational understanding of our shared humanity. Above all, this leader will bring a personal passion and commitment to Catholic Charities’ mission as well as an appreciation and understanding of the organization’s vision, methods, and impact.

Contact

Marissa Delgado and George Theotokatos of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search.  To express your interest in this role, please email VPCGE@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients.  Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

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