President & CEO: Urban League of Philadelphia

Posted June 29th, 2016 at 10:00 am.

The Urban League of Philadelphia was organized in 1907 as the Armstrong Association by a wealthy Quaker Philanthropist to improve the advancement for African Americans. The Urban League of Philadelphia is located in Center City Philadelphia, affectionately known as the “City of Brotherly Love“, with a staff of 40 persons and an anticipated current annual budget of approximately $40 Million. This affiliate offers services and programs in the areas of employment, housing, seniors, education, leadership, diversity initiative, childcare information and The Urban League Speaks—a monthly radio program addressing the concerns of the minority community. The Urban League of Philadelphia advocates and is dedicated to the economic growth, development, and strengthening of African Americans and the disadvantaged in the Philadelphia region, and works toward this goal through its strategic plans and directions.

This affiliate services the greater Delaware Valley area and works cooperatively with the counties that make up the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, which include Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, and Buck counties in Pennsylvania and Camden County in New Jersey. The Urban League of Philadelphia services a population of 1,526,006 (2010 census); 42% African American, 37% White, 12% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and 3% other. The median household income is $28,897.00; 11,000 minority-owned firms are located in the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is known for its numerous historic attractions such as the Athenaeum Library, Betsy Ross House, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the United States Mint. Philadelphia is serviced by five daily newspapers, two radio stations, eight television stations, the Philadelphia International Airport, and nine modes of ground transportation. Educational institutions servicing the Philadelphia area include Arcadia University, Bryn Mawr College, University of Pennsylvania, Chestnut Hill College, Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University, the Curtis Institute of Music, JNA Institute of Culinary Arts, LaSalle University, Philadelphia University, Temple University, Villanova University and Philadelphia College of Bible.

Major employers in the Philadelphia area include Jefferson Health System, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Bank of America, UPS, Prudential Financial Services, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast, Vanguard, Wells Fargo, Lincoln Financial Group, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Verizon Communications, Allegheny University Hospital, PECO Energy Company, and many others.

Position Summary

The President/CEO will report to and work collaboratively with the Board of Directors in leading and maintaining the Urban League of Philadelphia as a mature organization capable of delivering on its long term vision and mission. Specifically, the President/CEO will ensure that the organization’s fiscal, operations, fundraising, marketing, human resource, technology, and programmatic strategies are effectively implemented within the organization and adapted as needed to meet the changing needs of the organization and those served by its efforts.

Specific Accountabilities

1. Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Collaborate with the Board to refine and implement ULP strategies, while ensuring that the budget, staff and priorities are aligned with the Urban League of Philadelphia’s core mission.
  • Provide leadership and direction to all staff, and ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization; establish effective decision-making processes that will enable the Urban League of Philadelphia to achieve both its short and long- term goals and objectives.
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board, and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • Help build a diverse and inclusive Board that is representative of the community, highly engaged, and willing to leverage and secure resources to advance the mission of the organization.
  • Cultivate, establish and maintain working relationships with key stakeholders of the National Urban League and its affiliates in an effort to support the broader mission and objectives.
  • Conduct regular scans of the external environment and consider both present and future factors that will influence the direction and goals of the organization.

2. Business and Fund Development

  • Serve as the “Chief Fundraising Officer” of the Urban League of Philadelphia. Fundraising activities include but are not limited to such components as special events, major gifts, corporate donations, annual campaign/individual gifts, grant solicitation, planned giving, special gifts, and in-kind resources.
  • Ensure the flow of funds permits Urban League of Philadelphia to make continuous progress towards the achievement of its mission, and that those funds are allocated properly to reflect present needs and future potential.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to create an annual and long term fund development plan which increases revenues to support the operations and strategic direction of the organization.
  • Formulate and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and development strategies that will ensure consistency throughout the organization, and enhance revenue from major individual AND organizational donors, foundations, government agencies, and corporations.
  • Communicate the mission of the organization to potential donors clearly and with impact; work to ensure that the organization is viewed by potential donors as best in class and capable to provide the highest quality of services.

3. Strengthening Infrastructure and Operations

  • Ensure the delivery of high quality services while managing for future growth and strategic needs.
  • Lead, support and motivate the organization’s staff.
  • Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal communications with staff throughout the organization; create and promote a positive, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization’s strategy, operational methods, and data collection needs.
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization, including developing short and long range financial plans, monitoring the budget and ensuring sound financial controls are in place; set financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the needs of the program and staff. Recognizes both financial opportunities and threats, takes appropriate action to ensure the best financial, operations and reputational results are achieved.

4. Program Development

  • Rationalize the delivery of programs through new and existing offices and partnerships.
  • Increase efficiencies and consistency throughout the organization by developing and implementing standardized programs, services and program office marketing.
  • Develop new programs that meet the needs of those served and are in alignment with the mission.


Successful applicants for the position of President/CEO should:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) in business administration, social work, public administration or an appropriate discipline, with a proven track record of leadership and management in community-based organizations with at least five years of senior non-profit or for-profit management experience;
  • Have at least 15 years of overall professional experience, to include experience in the development and implementation of social service programs, program evaluation, advocacy, public education, fiscal management, strategic planning, resource development, board and volunteer relations, community mobilization and collaboration, and personnel management;
  • Be a financially savvy and politically astute leader with the ability to set clear priorities, delegate, and guide investment in people, financial matters and systems; keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills which support and enable sound decision making;
  • Demonstrate excellent coalition building skills with an ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders; be a persuasive negotiator who is able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions;
  • Demonstrate outstanding presentation and communication skills and the experience and proclivity to be an outgoing spokesperson, relationship builder, and fundraiser;
  • Possess excellent organizational, fundraising and communications skills, grant/proposal writing experience, and government/community relations’ experience.

Note: These are minimum requirements for the position of President/CEO.

Note: Prior leadership experience within another similar nonprofit organization or the Urban League is desirable.

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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