Executive Director Job Posting

Seeking a dynamic Executive Director to lead us into the future

NAMI Illinois is the State Organization for NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health.

NAMI Illinois currently represents the association of 20 large and small affiliate organizations in Illinois, under the direction of NAMI (the national organization) and speaks for the Affiliates and their members at the state level.  We refer to the combination of NAMI Illinois and the 20 Affiliates as NAMI in Illinois.  After several years of damaging cuts, the State legislature restored funding to NAMI Illinois ensuring the training program for the quality signature programs and other activities continue. The support and education programs delivered by the local Affiliates represent an important adjunct to state and federal Medicaid, Medicare and other public and private mental health services directed to individuals.

NAMI in Illinois offers information, advocacy and support statewide to families and communities impacted by mental illness. Last year 43,000 individuals participated in these programs.  The goal of the organization is to enable the community and family members to assist in supporting persons with mental illness as they adapt, integrate and live in regular community settings.  The education and support are provided at no charge to the participants, having been paid for by committed donors and grantees.  All “NAMI Signature” training programs are designed to be taught by persons impacted by mental illness, either directly or through a family member.  The volunteer teachers and evidence-based programs form the core of this effort.

The Role: The Executive Director will provide oversight of statewide NAMI in Illinois activities.  This will include statewide program management of the education, support and advocacy programs, with the expectation that access to residents across the state will increase.  This will be accomplished by working with the 20 individual NAMI Affiliates in the State, providing support and mentoring to them as appropriate.

  1. Resources to Build Upon: the Executive Director will inherit an organization in the capacity building phase, and lead the organization as its public face to the press, the public, NAMI (national), the Illinois Affiliates, the individual members of NAMI, the partnership organizations, government partners, and the Board. A draft strategic plan is available to be refined, completed and implemented.
  2. Management: the Executive Director will be expected to direct and manage the organization within the resources that are available and created as a result of the actions by the staff of the organization. The Executive Director should create an annual plan for the organization that will be evaluated, critiqued, and approved by the Board and will be the basis for evaluation by the Board and for the renewal of an annual contract for the position.
  3. Staff: the Executive Director will inherit two part-time staff with the capacity to maintain and operate the current day-to-day operations of the organization. Both have experience working with the NAMI brand, the NAMI organization, and the NAMI Signature Programs. The Executive Director will direct those staff, and increase staff resources as needed, as well as recruit volunteer support from the Board and other sources.
  4. Communications: the Executive Director is responsible for developing and managing a communications strategy to engage the public, partners and other parties in the mental health support system. One goal is to ensure families and persons living with a mental illness obtain the information they need to understand the system, treatment and resources available for them.  A second goal is to ensure partners in the mental health system understand the needs of families.  And a third goal is to ensure government is aware of and acts upon shortcomings of the system or lack of implementation or enforcement of the laws and regulations.  A contract is in place with a vendor to provide resources to support this communications effort.
  5. Administration: the Executive Director will inherit a base of operations in Oak Park, Illinois, and will maintain a presence for the organization. The current office’s location may relocate at the discretion of the Executive Director and staff with direction from the Board to best serve the needs of the current staff and the organization.
  6. Resources to Maintain and Grow:
    1. The Executive Director will be expected to administer and maintain the annual state grant for the organization, including coordinating and leading the efforts of the Board and the allies of NAMI Illinois to secure and retain the State grant.
    2. The Executive Director is expected to train and support Affiliates in meeting the goals of the state grant. This includes leading affiliate training in reporting outcomes as well as supporting Affiliates in volunteer training for all signature programs statewide.
    3. The Executive Director administers the Annual Appeal and other fundraising activities, including relationship building and solicitation process.
    4. The Executive Director is responsible for development of relationships with the goal of obtaining grants, sponsorships, foundation support and other charitable sources.
  7. Programming: the Executive Director will provide leadership and support for growing programs statewide. Board long term objectives for NAMI in Illinois include:
    1. Expanding the geographic reach of NAMI Illinois programs
    2. Creating new Affiliates or expanding the reach of existing Affiliates where there are none, with emphasis on downstate and central Illinois
    3. Increases in each of the Signature Programs and the number of people served.
    4. Increasing the effectiveness of NAMI’s statewide advocacy through the integration and marshalling affiliate membership and resources.
    5. Increasing the effectiveness of NAMI’s services to underserved communities.
  8. Legislative Advocacy & State Relationships: the Executive Director in conjunction with Board volunteers needs to be involved in the process of identifying needed legislation and promoting its passage and implementation. In addition, the Executive Director should maintain working relationships with various State organizations involved in the mental health system.

This job posting is not a complete job description. That description will be negotiated individually with an applicant based on their proposed plan and provided upon hire.

Applicants called to an interview will be expected to have studied the organization and be ready to provide a personalized plan for growth of the organization as part of the interview process. Applicants will have a chance to obtain background and to ask questions to assist in preparing and presenting their plan.

The salary range for the position is $40,000 – $45,000.  The position and the organization currently do not offer health benefits. Applicants may conceptualize and propose the implementation of an organizational growth plan as a full or a part-time position.

Relevant experience would include: experience with public speaking, experience with legislative advocacy, experience with community organizing, experience managing a membership organization, experience managing an association, experience in managing a not-for-profit organization, experience working with and interacting with persons with mental illness, lived experience with individuals impacted by mental illness, strong professional writing skills, strong fundraising skills, grant writing experience, experience with or managing NAMI Signature Programs, experience with NAMI Affiliates, professional clinical experience, ability to manage and develop social service programs within a system and to access and manage volunteer and paid staff in the most effective way possible.

If you are interested or know the right candidate, please have them email a resume and a cover letter expressing their interest to EDsearch@namiillinois.org