Website Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW

The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC) is the vehicle through which a coalition of committed funders align their funding to urgently and sustainably reduce gun violence in Chicago.

Founded in 2016, PSPC began as five philanthropic funders committed to aligning investments to amplify impact. After researching best practices, the group agreed to fund a holistic portfolio of proven and promising strategies that could be implemented quickly. The Partnership has since grown to over 50 private funders, including large national funders, Chicago-based foundations, family offices, and corporations.

Over the past five years, Partnership members have invested more than $110M across a portfolio of strategies to address the crisis of gun violence in Chicago and built a solid base of evidence that can be used to give the public sector the confidence needed to continue to invest at the greater scale required for sustainable, community-level impact.

With support from PSPC, non-profit organizations working in neighborhoods experiencing the highest rates of violence are provided needed resources to implement innovative, proven, and promising interventions and strategies.

In 2021, PSPC members committed to sustaining their focus and increasing their investment in community- and evidence-informed approaches to reducing violence. The group accomplishes its mission through three levers:

o Collective Learning
 Forum to engage and educate funders and share learnings, resulting in a deeply knowledgeable and engaged funder community with expertise across the violence reduction landscape making informed funding decisions.

o Collective Action
 Aligning private investments across evidence-based priorities at the scale of the problem, led by self-managed groups of funders.

o Collective Voice
 Pursue policy, education, and public messaging with the goal of sufficient and sustained political will and public investment in evidence-based violence reduction strategies, facilitated by public-facing communications and a close working partnership with all levels of government.

PSPC operations will be sustained through the support of a broad set of funders. Operating funding has been guaranteed for a minimum of two years and is being provided by philanthropic leaders, including Chicago CRED, Crown Family Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, the MacArthur Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, and Polk Bros. Foundation. This will allow the Executive Director to advance and refine an organizational vision and strategy, build constructive partnerships within all relevant sectors, sustain and expand funding strategies, and more, all of which will provide PSPC with the ability to thrive in subsequent years.

THE POSITION

TITLE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

LOCATION CHICAGO, IL

RESPONSIBILITIES

PSPC’s new Executive Director will provide strategic leadership to the collaborative and effective coordination among its funders and programs, as well as day-to-day management of its activities. The Coordinating Committee, which includes a diverse set of philanthropic and business leaders committed to the Partnership’s goals, provides guidance and oversight to ensure that progress toward identified goals is sustained. As a partner and collaborator with the public, nonprofit, and corporate sectors, PSPC is committed to helping create and implement a comprehensive approach to reducing violence and building conditions for lasting peace in Chicago, and the new Executive Director will be critical to the success of this important effort.

Reporting to the two Co-Chairs of PSPC, the Executive Director will have overall strategic, operational, and managerial responsibility for the Partnership. The Executive Director will drive and refine the strategic direction for the Partnership. They will ensure appropriate resources are available to support its mission, working proactively with the Co-Chairs, the Coordinating Committee, and the funder leaders of the Partnership’s Action Groups. As a team, they will identify and expand funding streams; raise the Partnership’s visibility and represent it in all relevant discussions and collaborative efforts. It will be key for the Executive Director to cultivate and maintain constructive relationships with all relevant parties while ensuring operational excellence for the team regarding policies, procedures, and financial management.

The Executive Director will work to achieve the organization’s mission in many ways, including, but not limited to:

 Vision and Direction: Articulating and advancing the Partnership’s strategic vision and mission in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee; fostering a positive, results-oriented culture in order to achieve the Partnership’s vision and goals.

 Community Engagement: Effectively representing the Partnership in strategic discussions and collaborative efforts to reduce gun violence; actively participating in media events, community meetings, and planned outreach coordinated by the Partnership or by partner organizations; gaining the respect and trust of the diverse set of community, philanthropic, corporate, and governmental stakeholders committed to reducing gun violence and its harmful effects.

 Program Management: As a partner with the Chairs and Co-chairs of the Action Groups, ensuring that strategies support the Partnership’s mission; identifying conflicts and synergies and opportunities for greater impact; identifying and helping to secure additional resources for the work.

 Financial Management: Ensuring responsible and effective financial management; securing the resources for the Partnership’s operations; relationship-based fundraising, managing pooled funds, including tracking incoming grants, requesting and supporting the disbursement of outgoing grants; tracking resources invested directly and indirectly by PSPC members in supported programs and initiatives; achieving the annual budget and long-term financial goals.

 Staff Management: Recruiting and leading a team of colleague(s) and consultants; overseeing any required orientation, training and management; ensuring an inclusive, equitable, and effective work environment.

REPORTING STRUCTURE

This position will report to the Co-Chairs of PSPC.

THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE Ten years of experience leading diverse teams to drive community impact.

EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.

REQUIRED PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

The successful candidate will be a highly intelligent and self-confident leader with a proven track record of success in a collaborative, open, and participative management structure. The ideal candidate will have a diverse mix of experience working with philanthropy, community organizations, the public sector at the city, county, state and / or federal levels, researchers, and nonprofit and community-based violence prevention service providers. The Executive Director’s personal characteristics will include proven leadership skills; a focused and pragmatic, but open management style; and superior written and oral communication skills; demonstrated commitment to racial equity and justice; and a passion for community-based violence reduction. The Executive Director must also have the capacity to welcome and respond to constructive feedback.

The Executive Director must possess the sophistication, communication, and interpersonal relationship skills to make things happen through the power of influence and persuasion, often in the absence of direct authority. The successful candidate will have a track record of success, including:

 Unquestionable integrity, credibility, and character, having demonstrated high moral and ethical behavior.
 Experience as a liaison to or interacting with relevant stakeholders, including community organizations, residents, businesses, elected officials, and government bodies.
 Humility and openness to learn from the diverse wisdom, perspectives, and experiences of others.
 Experience mentoring and guiding staff professional development.

REQUIRED COMPETENCIES

 Alignment & Coordination: Proven ability to lead coalition building between the funders and the field. Applying lessons learned through working with the public sector, the city, the Department of Public Health, etc.

 Fundraising Expertise: Demonstrated ability to manage the fundraising process through relationships and membership engagement, including effective presentations and formal grant processes.

 Strategic / Senior Management Perspective: Proven competency in refining a growing organization’s strategic vision and goals, while identifying the financial and human resources required for effective execution.

 Executive Presence / Communication: Proven ability to engender confidence and trust internally and externally through clear communication, credibility, and leadership.

 Bias for Action: Demonstrated history of maintaining a sense of urgency and consistently driving progress to achievement of goals.

 Community Relations: Extensive experience working with local community and non-profit organizations in a large urban setting.

 Executive Leadership: Demonstrated history of integrity, professionalism, sound judgment, and independent thinking.
 Collaboration: Experience collaborating with senior executives, staff, and diverse groups / individuals to develop and implement shared strategies to achieve agreed-upon goals.

 Violence Prevention: Experience and passion for working with government or outreach organizations to lessen community-based violence (gun violence prevention experience and / or familiarity with Chicago and its unique history, political landscape, and diverse stakeholders is a plus).

 Culture Fit / Commitment to Racial Equity: Demonstrated commitment to racial equity by consistently applying core concepts of racial equity in practice, such as openness and humility in discussions about race, equity, and power; critically examining social issues and policies for systemic, institutional, and personal bias and inequities.

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