Executive Director (FOTC)


Friends of the Children knows what it takes to change lives: a long-term approach and a no-matter-what attitude. Twenty-six years ago, Friends of the Children took mentoring out of the volunteer realm, and it has changed thousands of lives. Our mentors are professional, full-time, salaried employees who work one-to-one with our community's highest-priority youth from kindergarten through graduation—12+ years, no matter what. Today, we are a national organization with 21 locations and envision a world where all youth are empowered to dream big and build bright futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Friends of the Children Portland is at an exciting point in our trajectory. We are the largest and founding chapter and serve as model for the national network. With the committed work of 90 employees, over 500 youth across 150 schools in the Portland/SW Washington area currently receive intentional, long-term mentorship through Friends of the Children. Last year, mentors provided over 75,000 hours of enriching interactions and goal-oriented skill building guaranteed to establish a foundation for lifelong success.

We select the children facing the highest risks and once selected, Friends of the Children pairs them with a professional Friend and they continue to be mentored through their high school graduation. Each week, mentors spend three to four hours one-on-one with each youth in their caseload, helping with homework and life skills, setting and working toward personal goals, and doing fun activities. We commit to every child for the long term, from kindergarten through graduation. 12+ years. No matter what.


Friends of the Children Portland’s Board of Directors is looking for an extraordinary leader to take the helm of our already successful organization and lead us to the next level. The Executive Director is fiercely committed to equity and will ensure that every aspect of the organization’s mission is executed with the full engagement of communities impacted by our work.

With the recent launch of our five-year strategic plan, the Executive Director leads annual planning and prioritizes work that ensures alignment around critical priority areas and continues to sharpen our programmatic focus. The Director drives organizational effectiveness and efficiency and continuously looks for opportunities to maintain a stable and sustainable organization. Above all, the Director ensures that our youth are receiving the highest quality of services and we are meeting the needs of the children we serve.

The ideal candidate has a smart head for business and a soft heart for kids. The Executive Director relentlessly pursues strategies that maximize impact for the youth, families, and communities we serve. Recognized as a thought leader, the successful candidate sees the possibilities and develops a supporting vision. Known for their success in fundraising, the Director embraces their role as lead fundraising champion and cultivates financial support to ensure long-term sustainability.

The Executive Director develops close working relationships with the Board of Directors and works collectively to further the mission of Friends of the Children. The Director is an active spokesperson and passionately represents our organization while building meaningful relationships and partnerships. In addition, the Executive Director works closely with the Friends of the Children National CEO and their staff, ensuring Portland and National collaborate effectively.

Importantly, the Executive Director is an effective leader and maximizes the organization’s investment in staff. With a focus on creating a fair and inclusive work environment, the Director drives a culture that results in positive morale and employee retention.


A combination of professional skills and education that enable success as the Executive Director, such as a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Nonprofit Management, or closely related field, and ten years’ experience in nonprofit or similar management in progressively responsible roles.

Exceptional experience as a fundraiser with success across all markets is essential, as is a demonstrated track record of exceeding fundraising goals and producing results. Working knowledge and experience in philanthropic and business communities with proven ability to cultivate and sustain relationships at all levels is required; as is excellent Board management and proactive Board communication.

Success leading an organization and motivating others within a fast-paced, constantly changing work environment is desired. A demonstrated commitment to removing systemic barriers and advancing equity is ideal. Above all, a passion for children, families, and communities is essential.


At Friends of the Children Portland, you get to think globally and act locally. We are committed to our community, to equal employment opportunity, and to diversity in our workplace.

To achieve our mission, we require the full and active participation of talented and committed individuals. We are a stronger organization by fostering an atmosphere of inclusion and support. We value and incorporate the strengths afforded by the differences, styles, ideas, and organizational contributions of people of every gender, gender identity, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, religious affiliation, socio-economic status and sexual orientation. We will continually work to enhance our ability to recruit, retain, develop, and engage the full potential of employees at all levels.

Cover letters expressing your interest in Friends of the Children Portland and how you would succeed in the role of Executive Director should be addressed to Heather Gantz. Please submit your resume and cover letter no later than February 2, 2020.


Apply here: https://waldronhr.com/searches/friends-of-the-children-portland





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