“I Have a Dream” Foundation

Executive Director

To Apply

“I Have A Dream” Foundation – New York has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Debbie Farrell, Senior Director of Leadership and Development
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168


Please put “IHDF-NY” in the subject line of your emailed application.

Background: “I Have A Dream” Foundation (IHDF) is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to motivate and empower children living in low-income communities to reach their educational and career potential. The IHDF model offers mentoring, tutoring, cultural enrichment and support to “Dreamers’’ from early elementary school through the first years of college along with guaranteed college tuition assistance.

“I Have A Dream” Foundation – New York was established as a 501(c)(3) in 1987 and has implemented 35 successful cohort programs that have dramatically changed the lives of more than 2,500 children, their families and communities in low-income neighborhoods. Nearly 90% of IHDF-NY students graduate high school – a remarkable success rate that is 30% higher than the New York City average. The organization seeks an Executive Director who is committed to the mission and capable of growing revenue so that, in turn, IHDF-NY can assist more Dreamers.

The Position: The Executive Director is responsible for providing leadership, vision and day to day management of operations and fundraising for “I Have A Dream” Foundation – New York (IHDF-NY). Within this context she or he will provide supervision and mentoring of staff, act as the chief fundraiser and ambassador for IHDF-NY, raise community awareness of IHDF-NY’s mission, goals and accomplishments, and act as the spokesperson for the organization in its efforts to attract and retain donors, funders, and partners.

Specific responsibilities include:

Fundraising and Partnership Development
Collaborate with the Board of Directors to:

  • Design and implement a comprehensive fundraising and external communications program that increases visibility, impact and financial resources to support IHDF-NY’s short and long-term strategic goals
  • Supervise and provide guidance to the Director of Development
  • Identify and personally cultivate new funding streams and new Sponsors (individuals, corporate, foundations and grants)
  • Develop and oversee all major grant proposals; coordinate grant reporting requirements
  • Plan, market, coordinate and execute all fundraisers and special events
  • Represent IHDF-NY effectively with donors, partners and other stakeholders across a wide variety of settings

Management and Operations

  • Create and implement the organization’s vision, strategic plan and fundraising efforts
  • Build and maintain a strong partnership with the board by clearly communicating organization initiatives, successes and opportunities. Achieve consensus; build and cultivate the board including recommendations for new directors
  • Supervise operations, budget, education and professional development, performance metrics for staff and programs, data management, and personnel
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with local community-based organizations, corporations, foundations and individual funders
  • Continue developing partnership with National IHDF, so that IHDF-NY serves as a showcase affiliate model for the organization

Marketing and Communications

  • Advocate for and represent the organization at various speaking engagements, graduate schools, philanthropic and educational conferences and in the media
  • Facilitate the development and distribution of promotional materials (bi-annual newsletter, Impact Report, etc.)
  • Ensure the efficient management of the IHDF-NY website

Program Support

  • Collaborate with Director of Program Management (currently vacant position) to provide oversight to all programs
  • Attract, retain and develop a high performing team of Program Directors
  • Research and develop partnerships with other youth serving and education organizations and non-profits in the NYC Metro Area to maximize resources for Dreamers and assist Program Directors in accessing these services
  • Create program-wide goals with well-defined objectives and meet them through strong leadership and management
  • Develop, implement and refine programming that addresses students’ individual and collective needs
  • Evaluate effectiveness and best practices of programs


  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum of 8-10 years of proven leadership, fundraising and management experience
  • Demonstrated organizational leadership ability, which includes effectively managing and motivating a team to achieve program goals
  • Outstanding organizational skills; capacity to prioritize multiple, varied responsibilities
  • Able to work both independently with minimal supervision as well as in collaboration with staff and board
  • Strong strategic thinking, problem solving and implementation skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as strong interpersonal, relationship-building and networking skills.
  • Ability to source, attract and retain institutional and individual donors
  • Thrives in an achievement-oriented, entrepreneurial and fast-paced environment.
  • Commitment to IHDF NY’s mission and vision
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168