Executive Director

The Organization

Sarah’s Inn is a community-driven non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of those affected by domestic violence and to break the cycle of violence for future generations. Founded in 1981 by Oak Park residents, Sarah’s Inn works throughout the socioeconomically diverse region of Chicago’s west side neighborhoods and western suburbs providing crisis intervention, community education, and violence prevention programs. In one year, Sarah’s Inn:

•Provides safety planning, emotional support and resources to 4,500 callers on our 24-hour crisis line.

•Helps over 1,600 survivors of domestic violence increase their self-sufficiency and safety.

•Helps over 800 survivors of domestic violence obtain legal protection.

•Helps over 200 child and teen witnesses of domestic violence identify abusive behavior as unacceptable and learn skills for expressing emotions in healthy ways.

•Teaches healthy relationship skills, violence prevention, and self-defense to high school students through our Step Back program.

•Teaches anti-bullying and cyber-safety skills to seventh and eighth grade students at seven area middle schools.

•Provides over 2,000 hours of community education and training

The Position

The Board of Directors is seeking a new Executive Director who will provide leadership for continued growth and recognition of the agency as a leader for community based solutions that will end relationship violence. The successful candidate will be a forward thinking and dynamic leader with superior management skills to lead and direct the activities of the agency. Reporting to the Board, s/he will provide direction and oversight to a leadership team of five individuals and be able to skillfully manage, develop and motivate staff and volunteers. The successful candidate will bring financial competencies that include budgeting and forecasting and will possess outstanding speaking and writing skills, able to communicate successfully and persuasively to board members, funders, partners, government agencies and the community at large. Finally, the successful candidate will play a leadership role in representing Sarah’s Inn and broader domestic violence advocacy, serving as a spokesperson to external audiences in order to increase the agency’s reputation and visibility.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Strategic Planning

  • Ensure that the agency has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress
  • Provide adequate opportunity to the Board and staff to participate in setting strategic goals
  • Communicate clearly and on a regular basis the progress toward strategic goals
  • Provide a clear sense of direction to the agency that aligns with the strategic plan

Program Development and Delivery

  • Provide leadership in developing program and organizational plans with the Board and staff that support the agencies vision, mission and values
  • Measure and evaluate how well goals and objectives have been met
  • Ensure successful program initiation, planning, implementation and evaluation

Administration and Human Resource Management

  • Hire, coach, develop, train and motivate staff; Maintain a climate which attracts, retains and motivates a skilled, diverse staff
  • Articulate the agencies vision to staff and link vision and strategic goals to individual performance
  • Ensure a timely performance review process for all staff
  • Maintain appropriate balance between administration and programs
  • Ensure the development and compliance with personnel policies and compliance with federal and state regulations

Community Relations

  • Serve as an effective spokesperson for the agency and broader domestic violence advocacy; represent the programs and point of view of the agency to funders, partners, governmental agencies and the general public
  • Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with funders, partners, governmental agencies and community groups and organizations

Financial Management and Legal Compliance

  • Assure adequate control and accounting of all funds, including developing and maintaining sound financial practices
  • Work with the staff, Finance Committee, and the Board to prepare a budget and ensure that the agency operates within the budget guidelines
  • Maintain official records and documents and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations and reporting requirements
  • Assure that funds are disbursed in accordance with contract requirements and donor designations
  • Identify opportunities and develop strategies to reduce costs and improve resource utilization


  • Oversee the development of realistic, ambitious and innovative fundraising plans
  • Meet or exceed revenue goals, ensuring that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work
  • Successfully involve others in fundraising
  • Establish positive relationships with government, foundation, corporate and individual funders

Maintaining/Building a Strong Board

  • Develop strong, productive relationships with Board members
  • Provide appropriate, adequate, and timely information to the Board, keeping them informed on the condition of the organization and all important factors influencing it
  • Provide support to Board committees
  • Assist in recruiting new Board members to strengthen skill/background/perspective/diversity of Board

Education and/or Experience

  • BS in related field, Masters Degree preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years non-profit or business operational and financial management experience; experience in social services agency preferred

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong organizational, planning, problem solving and project management skills.
  • High degree of flexibility in order to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Demonstrated success building and leading collaborative, high-performing teams.
  • Excellent judgment, an ability to exercise discretion and tact in difficult or confidential situations and an ability to project a positive, professional image to the public.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills; ability to communicate articulately and interact comfortably and effectively with staff, funders, board, partners, governmental agencies, the media and the community.
  • Strong financial budgeting and forecasting skills.
  • Strong writing skills. Grant writing experiences and knowledge of government/foundation grant application processes a plus.
  • Knowledge of Domestic Violence landscape a plus.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite preferred: MS Access, MS Project, Excel, Word, andOutlook.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume toedsearch@sarahsinn.org

Oak Park,, Illinois
Sarah's Inn

309 Harrison Street, Oak Park, Illinois, 60304, United States