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Executive Director, Compass Center

Compass Center for Women and Families
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Up to $80,000 plus benefits
Closing date
Dec 11, 2021
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Executive Director

Compass Center for Women and Families

Chapel Hill, NC


Applications will be accepted until position is filled

Executive Summary

Compass Center seeks a compassionate and thoughtful new Executive Director, a skilled organizational builder who will lead with creative vision, solid financial and management skills, and a deep commitment to equity and anti-racism. Proven fundraising experience is essential and familiarity with issues of domestic or gender violence, youth and women’s empowerment, and self-sufficiency education is helpful.

Located in Chapel Hill, NC, and serving Orange County, Compass Center provides services including career and financial education, domestic violence crisis and prevention programs, assistance with legal resources, and youth sexual health education programs. The successful candidate will possess the energy and expertise to support an experienced staff and strong volunteer culture centered on providing services that uplift marginalized populations and a mission to help all people navigate their journeys to self-sufficiency, safety, and health.

About Compass Center

Compass Center was created by the 2012 merger of The Women’s Center and the Family Violence Prevention Center to promote gender equity through a blend of empowerment resources and services.  We offer services to all people in a welcoming, safe and confidential environment.

Our core services are community and adolescent education to prevent violence, self-sufficiency services to support people who are working to achieve stability, and domestic violence crisis services to ensure access to safety. Our education programs include but are not limited to comprehensive sexuality education for youth and community education for adults as a strategy for domestic violence prevention.  Domestic violence services include a 24-hour Hotline, crisis counseling and safety planning, short-term emergency housing, help with Domestic Violence Protective Orders, civil and criminal court accompaniment and advocacy and support groups with childcare. Self Sufficiency services include career and financial counseling and workshops, legal information, and referral services that provide support and information to empower those accessing them. 

The Executive Director reports directly to the Compass Center Board and leads a team of 5 direct reports (Associate Director, Crisis Programs; Associate Director, Stability Programs; Director of Development; Director of Finance and HR; and Grants Director) who manage 25 staff members. The assistance of more than 200 volunteers is pivotal to Compass Center’s ability to serve more than 6,000 clients each year. Volunteers help teach self-sufficiency and financial literacy courses, provide support for legal and court issues, and ensure that the Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day.

The 2021 annual budget is $2 million, representing 39.52% in government grants, 22.98% in corporate and foundation grants, 8.51% in private grants, 3.82% in individual philanthropic giving, and 25.71% from other sources. In June 2021 Compass Center successfully completed a $1 million Safe Homes, New Lives Campaign to provide scattered-site emergency housing for survivors of domestic violence and their children.  

The Opportunity

Compass Center’s new Executive Director will join a team of passionate professionals and volunteers. The next leader will bring to the team a spirit of inclusion, integrity and transparency; proven fundraising expertise; a strategic and collaborative management style; and a drive to understand the needs of the individuals and communities that Compass Center serves.

More specifically, the Executive Director will:

  • Lead for sustainability and impact

Compass Center continues to evolve after several years of significant growth and a recent change in its operation to a model of staff working both in-office and from home. The Center’s support for emergency housing, increasing demand for programs despite pandemic limitations, and a substantive DEI focus by staff and board, create opportunities for an Executive Director who is skilled at bringing stakeholders together to build a strong path for organizational growth and maximum service impact.

  • Diversify and expand financial support

Compass Center has had to pivot from its traditional fundraising strategy due to the pandemic. The capital campaign provided an influx of new donors and support, while annual giving and program income were challenged to maintain pre-pandemic levels in the absence of high-profile events. The capital campaign has shown that there is significant opportunity within the community for supporting programs. The Executive Director will play a key role in expanding fundraising efforts.

  • Ensure diversity, equity and inclusion as living values

Helping marginalized populations achieve safe, stable, equitable lives is the core of Compass Center’s work. The staff and board recently engaged DEI counsel to operationalize values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and to help the organization conduct its work internally and externally with an anti-racist lens. The next Executive Director should have experience helping an organization address these values.

  • Be an effective community collaborator, leader and advocate

Compass Center’s next leader has the opportunity to help the Orange County public, policymakers, funders and business leaders understand the impact of the important

prevention, education and support roles that Compass Center plays. Racial/cultural/gender and economic justice inequities in addition to domestic violence are not subjects that the greater community often seeks to understand or act to improve. The Executive Director should be comfortable and persuasive in the role of public speaker and be an experienced networker who can advocate for Compass Center’s mission among diverse audiences.



  • Provide visionary and strategic leadership while embracing Compass Center’s mission and values.
  • Identify and ensure implementation of best practices throughout the organization.
  • Work with Board and staff to update Compass Center’s strategic plan.
  • Create a healthy work environment for staff and volunteers.
  • Model and develop strategies that ensure the organization is constantly integrating diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion as organizational values.
  • Serve as Compass Center’s lead spokesperson and advocate in the Orange County community and with government agencies and state and national organizations.
  • Strengthen and expand relationships with government agencies and other local service providers to increase collaboration towards common service goals.
  • Keep informed of national, state, and local trends and policies.

Fundraising and Communications

  • Actively support the Development Director in creating a diversified fundraising and communications plan.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of key donors and prospects.
  • Encourage and support fundraising activities by the Board.
  • Develop a thorough knowledge of Compass Center’s history, major accomplishments and challenges, community impact, key leaders and funders, and its role within the Orange County, state and national domestic violence and sexual assault communities and coalitions.
  • Communicate authoritatively and confidently with media of all types.

Finance and Operations

  • Develop a thorough knowledge of the organization’s finances, maintain sound financial management practices with effective internal controls, and lead the preparation of an annual organizational budget.
  • Monitor grants and contracts to ensure fulfillment of agreement terms.
  • Maintain official records and documents that ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations and funders’ reporting requirements.
  • Manage human resources functions.

Board of Directors

  • Keep the Board fully informed on the condition of the organization and important factors influencing it.
  • Actively support the recruitment and development of new Board members.
  • Assist in growing a Board culture of philanthropy through individual giving and participation in fundraising and awareness activities.
  • Advise the Board on governance best practices.

Preferred Qualifications and Qualities

  • At least five years of successful leadership experience in nonprofit, business or government.
  • Familiarity with the crisis response field is a plus.
  • A leadership style that encourages collaboration, transparency, integrity, professionalism, problem-solving, accountability, open communication and self-care.
  • Creative thinker who is adaptable, reflective and thoughtful.
  • Knows how to scale ideas and programs to increase mission impact.
  • Experience raising funds from individuals, businesses, and foundations.
  • A reputation for integrity.
  • A demonstrated track record of creating healthy, productive, and collaborative work environments.
  • A history of working effectively with all people regardless of their background, economic status, ability, race, gender identity, education level or sexual orientation and ensuring organizations are diverse, equitable, accessible, anti-racist and inclusive.
  • Has the ability to make difficult decisions.
  • Politically savvy and will advocate with elected officials and government staff.
  • A capacity to establish, build and manage diverse alliances and partnerships.
  • An excellent listener and exceptional communicator.
  • A networker who inspires, educates and moves people to act.

To apply:  In one document please submit a cover letter (including how you learned about this opportunity) and resume and send via email to:

Ms. Gillian Hare

Chair, Board of Directors and Search Committee

Compass Center

Salary range: Up to $80,000 plus benefits, commensurate with experience and abilities.


Five references will be required of finalists. A short presentation and writing samples may also be required from semi-finalists or finalists.  Academic, credit, and criminal checks will be conducted before a final offer is made. 

The consulting firm of moss+ross has been retained to assist with the search.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Compass Center actively encourages diversity in all of its hiring decisions. It provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard for race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, genetic information or veteran status.  

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