Executive Director: Families Forward Philadelphia

Posted October 29th, 2014 at 9:07 am.

Families Forward Philadelphia seeks an experienced and skilled professional to serve as its Executive Director.

About Families Forward Philadelphia

Families Forward Philadelphia (FFP) is a 113-year old social service organization, known prior to 2012 as Travelers Aid Family Services of Philadelphia. Since 2012 FFP has rebranded and refocused its work to serve its core constituent base of homeless families in Philadelphia. FFP operates the city’s largest privately run shelter for homeless families, as well as 75 transitional and permanent family residential units in West Philadelphia. Our mission is to help homeless families become healthy, productive, and self-reliant. We do this by working closely with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Supportive Housing to provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, intensive case management, and academic enrichment services for the children and young people that we serve. Our aim is to break the generational cycle of homelessness by enriching the lives of children and supporting their parents’ efforts at self-sufficiency. The agency has a staff of 62 individuals and an annual operating budget of about $4.5MM. The shelter and management offices are located in the Kirkbride Center in West Philadelphia. FFP has an active Board, comprised of 13 individuals, currently, who have expertise in healthcare, law, affordable housing, nonprofit development, real estate and social service operations/systems.

General Statement of Duties
FFP’s Executive Director:

  • Spearheads long-range strategic planning ensuring organization’s portfolio of programs most directly achieves FFP’s mission while remaining fiscally and operationally sustainable.
  • Provides primary leadership in program and resource development, including creating and maintaining relationships with existing and new public and private funding sources.
  • Supports and works closely with Board of Managers by communicating to the Board on a regular basis regarding FFP operations, interfacing between Board and staff, and productively engaging in the Board’s evaluation of the Executive Director.
  • Directs and supervises the day-to-day administration of FFP, including overseeing and supervising administrative staff, program management staff, human resources, facilities, housing and shelter operations.
  • Handles all aspects of fiscal management, with the assistance of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Board’s Finance Committee, including responsibility for the agency’s budget, and compliance with all funding contracts and obligations.
  • Serves as the chief public face of the agency, responsible for marketing the agency’s work and seeking support from a variety of funders, supporters, and partners.
  • Provides leadership to staff in carrying out services & policies as established by the Board.

Key areas of responsibility
Resource Development

  • Leads efforts to obtain new and increased funding from diverse sources.
  • Works with Board on fundraising efforts and planning.
  • Maintains strong relationships with all funding sources, including private foundations and City, State and Federal agencies.
  • Oversees grant-writing operations, working closely with Director of Fund Development.
  • Fiscal and Risk Management
  • Oversight of budget process, financial accounting and reporting.
  • Collaborates with Chief Financial Officer to maximize use of funds, minimize risk and strategically plan accordingly.
  • Reviews financial resources and assists in creating a resource development plan.
  • With Board assistance, develops and maintain an Enterprise Risk Management strategy identifying and establishing controls for managing risk related to operations and funder reporting and compliance.


Board Relations

  • Collaborates with and supports Board of Managers work plan and activities.
  • Meets and reports regularly with the President of the Board and the Board Committees.
  • Productively engages in Board’s evaluation of Executive Director, and proactively addresses areas for improvement.

Program Operations

  • Oversees all organizational operations, including management of a potential Chief Operating Officer or Deputy Director (position does not currently exist) to be explored alongside FFP’s continued growth. Provides general oversight and management of the Family Shelter, Transitional Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing, Traveler Assistance and other ancillary programs.
  • Assists in activities that help achieve program objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan.
  • Enhances professional growth and development of staff.
  • Manages the administrative office and oversees personnel function according to policies and procedures set by the Board of Managers.
  • Ensures agency remains in compliance with governmental and funding requirements for all programs.
  • Community Relations
  • Establishes and maintains close working relationships with key community and government officials.
  • Maintains active volunteer programs in all aspects of FFP operations.
  • Fosters positive media coverage of agency and issues of homelessness.
  • Expands and improves FFP profile in Philadelphia.
  • Directs lobbying and advocacy efforts on behalf of the homeless.
  • Other duties as assigned

Job Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or above strongly preferred, in social work, public administration or related field.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.


  • At least 7-10 years of advanced professional nonprofit management experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and secure funding from both governmental and non-governmental sources. Candidate must exhibit strong network and track record in the Philadelphia community including knowledge of key leaders and organizations.
  • Experience managing a range of housing and/or social work programs, including operation of shelters and transitional housing and property management.
  • Experience administering public contracts (e.g., contracts with Philadelphia Office of Supportive Housing and HUD).



  • Empathetic and caring toward the homeless.
  • Skilled at fundraising and promotional activities, ability to enhance FFP’s external profile.
  • Strategic thinker and ability to implement a long-range strategic plan.
  • Effective management skills and ability to oversee multiple departments in parallel.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with Board members, staff and community.
  • Positive leader and team player, including ability to supervise and train others.
  • Effective communicator, oral and written.
  • Creative problem solver.
  • Organized and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to manage time effectively.
  • Strong human relations skills.
  • Strong work ethic.


Salary commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions

Responsive applicants should send 1) Cover letter including your salary requirements, 2) CV, and 3) At least 5 relevant references, with contact information, to:
Sameer Khetan, Chair, Executive Search Committee

Please use as the email subject line: “FFP ED Application – [Last Name, First Name]”
No applications will be accepted after November 19, 2014 unless the Board amends this job posting to extend its duration.
FFP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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