Position Profile

President and CEO

Position Filled

Raleigh, NC



The Organization

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Eastern North Carolina grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Wishes provide hope, strength and joy to children and families during one of the most difficult and frightening times of their lives. Children are empowered by a wish – by imagining it, describing it, planning, and anticipating it. A wish can encourage a child to have hope for the future and strength to take on incredible challenges.

The organization was originally founded in 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona by a group of caring volunteers who helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer. The Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world with 64 chapters in the United States and its territories. Since its founding the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 250,000 wishes world-wide to children between the ages of 2-l/2 and 18 years old. Today, the Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Eastern North Carolina was founded 24 years ago to serve the children who live in the 49 counties in North Carolina east of the Orange/Alamance county line.

Operating as an independent 501(c) tax exempt organization they finance their work through the generous contributions of individuals, corporate sponsorships, planned gifts and grants. They do not receive funding from federal, state or local government programs. In-kind donations of goods and services such as frequent flier miles and hotel loyalty points also help finance the Foundation’s mission.

Since 1986, over 2,100 children in eastern North Carolina have received an unforgettable wish experience. All members of the wish kid’s immediate family take part in the wish whenever possible, and all wish expenses are fully covered by the Foundation – giving the wish kids and family a respite from the stress of dealing with a life-threatening medical condition.

In the fiscal year which concluded August 31, 2010, the eastern North Carolina chapter granted 185 wishes, an increase of 14% over the prior year. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina estimates that nearly 400 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition annually that live within the 49 counties they serve. Thus, significant potential exists to expand and grow the mission and bring smiles to hundreds of children and their families.

The chapter was recently recognized by the national organization for significant achievement in fundraising and wish granting and as one of only four chapters in the country to achieve growth in both areas during FY10. Recognized for her role in the organization’s success, the current CEO has accepted a promotion to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America national organization. As such, the CEO position for the chapter is available for a dynamic individual to continue the growth and and take the chapter to the next level


The Triangle area of North Carolina includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Located within the area are the Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park, home to corporate giants and the destination for much corporate relocation.

Geographically, Raleigh is located in the center of North Carolina with only short drives to both the beaches and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The climate is mild with an average high of 88 degrees in mid-summer and 52 degrees in mid-winter. North Carolina is noted for its beautiful countryside, rivers, sounds and forests. Eastern North Carolina is populated by comfortably-sized communities where the cost of living is low, the lifestyle is relaxed, the winters are mild, the golf season stretches year-round, and the beaches are plentiful and varied.

The Triangle is an area of outstanding educational resources offering seventeen universities and colleges. For residents, tuition to the acclaimed UNC-affiliated universities, many of which are located in eastern North Carolina, is held to a minimum by the State’s Constitution.

The Triangle is an area of tremendous resources where cultural and performing arts organizations thrive. Major institutions include the North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of History, Marbles Kids Museum, Ackland Art Museum, Nasher Museum of Art, Museum of Natural Sciences, Morehead Planetarium, Carolina Ballet, the Opera Company of North Carolina, North Carolina Theatre and American Dance Festival.

For more information about the Triangle area visit http://triangle.citysearch.com/ and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitraleigh.com.


The CEO, reporting directly to the Board of Directors, is responsible for the financial development and effective implementation of the mission of the organization. Building on the successes reached in FY10, the incoming CEO will be challenged to continue to attain new goals and realize additional financial growth.

The successful individual must have a track record in leading a non profit through demonstrated growth in revenue and mission expansion. Fundraising know-how and personal success in growing major individual gifts, corporate gifts and sponsorships are essential. Solid business acumen in budgeting, financial planning/management, informational technology and operations are critical to achieve the growth objectives of the Foundation.

The work environment at Make-A-Wish Foundation is cultivated by the individuals who balance strong leadership, business skills, achievement of goals along with thoughtfulness and passion for the mission. A talented staff is currently in place, thus the leadership focus is to inspire achievement of results through effective delegation, coaching and recognition.

The CEO plays the key role in the organization and requires an individual with a confident, polished, professional approach and active management style. Exceptional interpersonal skills are required to interact with staff, board, clinicians, families, volunteers, legislators, funders and community members. The successful candidate will be smart and entrepreneurial, possess a strong sense of integrity, and have an approachable, personable and genuine style of interacting with others. The CEO must be visionary, energetic and creative. The process of creating magical wishes involves imagination, funding, inventive use of resources and inspiration of staff and volunteers.


The President and CEO is the chief staff officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina and directs the day-to-day activities of the foundation in order to achieve the mission, strategic goals as well as the annual operating plans agreed upon with the Board of Directors.

Essential duties and responsibilities of the position include the following.

Operational and Financial Leadership

  • Assist in the development of strategic and operating goals, plans and budgets
  • Develop annual operating budget and development plans converting goals and programs into actions that will achieve results
  • Monitor key indicators of performance (revenue, cash, wishes, etc.) on a monthly basis and initiate actions necessary to achieve annual goals
  • Inspect the execution of internal controls and Make-A-Wish Performance standards to ensure we are in compliance with foundation, chapter and IRS regulations
  • Be a change agent identifying opportunities for growth and improving our effectiveness as a chapter

Revenue Management

  • Participate in the creation of the annual Development Plan to ensure that renewal funding sources are optimized and resources are focused on the most significant opportunities to increase revenue growth
  • Take an active leadership role in soliciting funds from major donors, corporate donors, marketing external events and ensuring internal events are designed for maximum productivity
  • Create a visible and positive public image through media contact, speaking engagements and presence at appropriate public and community functions throughout eastern North Carolina
  • Ensure chapter management adapts to changing business conditions impacting fundraising and redirects their time and resources as necessary to achieve our fundraising goals.

Wish and Volunteer Oversight

  • Conduct regular review meetings with staff to evaluate how the wish and volunteer management process can be improved to deliver the mission more effectively
  • Ensure the right programs are in place to achieve wish growth goals and volunteer expansion
  • Evaluate the level of family wish satisfaction to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Analyze how our wish costs and length of time to grant a wish compare with national standards and the “best in class” chapters

Staff and Organization Development

  • Create an organization and staffing plan that supports the needs of the chapter
  • Recruit, hire, train and motivate a high talent staff that meets or exceeds goals
  • Develop individual goals and development plans to ensure that the staff evolves
  • Provide timely and helpful feedback regular status meetings and performance reviews
  • Address individual performance issues in a timely and effective manner
  • Ensure a high level of teamwork and communication among the staff
  • Create a positive work environment that encourages excellence and causes retention

Board Development and Support

  • Assist the Board Chair in preparing for meetings, retreats and other related matters
  • Assist in coordinating board meetings, executive committee meetings
  • Provide the board with helpful and competent staff support
  • Assist in attracting and recruiting board candidates
  • Conduct orientation sessions for all new board members
  • Take an active role in building Regional leadership to help grow the mission
  • Participate as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and Board Committees by contributing expertise and input
  • Supervise the implementation of all Board and National policies
  • Ensure board policies, practices and by-laws are kept current

Build Knowledge and Relationships

  • Develop and maintain favorable relationships with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America as well as other Chapter leaders to gain insights into how the chapter can be more effective
  • Maintain current knowledge of all national corporate partnerships so we can optimize
  • Build relationships with other important non profit leaders so we can take advantage of opportunities
  • Take an active role in national conferences and other learning experiences to increase capabilities


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to demonstrate competencies as well as the experiences that will result in leading the chapter to new levels of success. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Bachelor's degree in related field preferred.
  • 5+ years’ leadership experience in a nonprofit organization of comparable size or larger
  • Demonstrates strategic thinking and is a leader who translates strategy into action
  • Financial expertise including budget development, cash flow management and monitoring as well as the accountability to deliver financial results
  • A track record of success and expertise in principles of philanthropy and fundraising, including individual donor management, annual and special campaigns, and corporate and foundation cultivation and solicitations.
  • Capable of building powerful high impact boards and powerful board relationships.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills that builds relationships easily and is able to navigate and work with multiple stakeholder groups successfully. Proven written communication skills.
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to manage multiple competing tasks and demands.
  • Believes in working as a team and takes a collaborative approach in engaging and working with staff, volunteers and Board to achieve desired results.
  • Organizational leadership demonstrated by employee development, performance management skills along with the ability to mobilize others to achieve results.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Power Point and Raiser’s Edge.

To Apply

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina has retained Capability Company, an executive search firm serving nonprofits, to conduct the Chief Executive Officer search. Submit your cover letter, resume, list of three professional references and salary requirements to:

This position has been filled.  Thank you for your interest.

Submission of resumes by e-mail is requested. Please include only your last name in the subject line.

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