enCourage Kids Foundation seeks a President, CEO experienced in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and organizational planning to further the Foundation’s impact
Since 1985, enCourage Kids Foundation (EKF) has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. The organization envisions a world where every child – regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey – experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing. By working directly with child life specialists, doctors, nurses, and other clinicians, enCourage Kids can offer critical support to pediatric healthcare facilities. The Foundation does not tell hospitals what they need – they ask them what they need.
EKF assesses the needs of sick kids and families in an out of the hospital environment and then develops programming which aligns with those needs. This unique partnership with the child life community allows enCourage Kids to gain firsthand knowledge of the challenges sick children face during their medical journey. enCourage Kids is proud to have awarded $15.1 million to date to support 850 hospital projects that benefit pediatric patients. They have also sponsored 48,500 hospital happenings, distributed 34,000 cuddly teddy bears to hospitalized kids, held 4,200 escapes for over 4,000 kids and family members, and continue to serve over 400,000 children annually.
Whether it’s ensuring a sick child’s birthday is properly celebrated or providing diapers and formula overnight during the COVID-19 lockdown, the enCourage Kids team stands ready and able to meet the needs of young patients and their families during a sensitive, stressful time in their lives. This allows the hospital and child life community to focus on its important work with greater ease and effectiveness.
Hospital budgets typically focus on direct patient care matters, capital improvements, technology upgrades, specialized medical and diagnostic equipment, and staffing. However, there are the emotional aspects of pediatric patient care that are not covered by hospital budgets or insurance. enCourage Kids fills these critical gaps every day. The Foundation’s donors make a positive impact on the lives of hospitalized children across the country, providing comforting toys and games, cutting-edge therapy, engaging and uplifting programs, and creating healing spaces.
enCourage Kids supports hospitalized children along four program pillars: joy, hope, resilience, and healing. They offer a variety of programs that aim to bring meaningful, positive projects to hospital settings to make the stay and journey through illness less lonely and frightening for children. These programs play a pivotal role in easing the anxiety children and their family members may experience.
Hospital Happenings brings an array of entertainers – from clowns and musicians to caricature artists and magicians – into the hospital setting. Their interactive performances help to lift the much-needed spirits of patients during their procedures & treatments and fills in the long gaps where they may be feeling lonely, tired, or afraid.
enCourage Kids funds artist-in-residence programs and supports music therapy, art therapy, and horticulture therapy initiatives. Such tactile therapy programs are proven to help kids release anxiety and stress, and increase cooperation with medical procedures, foster mindfulness, and help kids explore their creative side.
enCourage Kids provides inpatient entertainment systems and loaded tablets with games and educational apps which help kids and their families. Some of the technological support that is provided includes intra-hospital patient-to-patient TV programing and mobile treatment units as well as additional AV equipment when needed.
By giving hospitalized kids a warm, cuddly companion to help them through their stay, enCourage Kids Bears promote comfort in an otherwise clinical setting. Children find friendship in these smiling faces and medical practitioners utilize the bears as a tool for building trust and comfortability with the patient to ease their nerves and when demonstrating otherwise scary or confusing procedures.
Equipment & Supplies
Responding to hospital requests, the items we provide make it easier for hospital staff to do their jobs. Examples include sourcing and providing child-friendly exam tables and infant scales to enhance care, onesies that help raise awareness for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and adaptive sports equipment for children with significant physical limitations.
Every year, enCourage Kids hosts engaging events to help further the organization’s mission and ensure that they can deliver on the myriad of ways they support their partners at pediatric programs across the nation. After a two-year hiatus, enCourage Kids staff, Board of Trustees, partners, and friends of the Foundation gathered in May of 2022, for the 37th EKF gala. They honored Jay Anderson and renamed his favorite program The Jay Anderson Pediatric Hospital Support Fund in his memory. Mr. Anderson’s family was in attendance and the Foundation raised one-million dollars in unrestricted funds that night.
enCourage Kids also hosts an annual golf tournament and most recently, in mid-October 2022, they hosted their signature program, Serving up Smiles (SUS) for the ninth year in a row. Serving Up Smiles (SUS) has been enCourage Kids Foundation’s premier tasting event with food, wine, and spirits. Raising over $200,000, the event has included signature plates from the hottest chefs and top name restaurants in New York City, refreshing cocktails, delicious wines, incredible auction items, and world class entertainment.
enCourage Kids aims to be an organization that is a model of diversity and inclusion by embracing differences in race, religion, gender, disability, nationality, age, sexual orientation, and ethnic background. enCourage Kids values diversity and realizes that it is a critical component of its successes and the changing needs of the children, families, and health care partners they serve.
The Foundation aspires to ensure that all volunteers and staff broadly reflect the diversity of their constituents. enCourage Kids is an equal opportunity employer who strives to recruit the best staff and volunteers we can based on skills, experience, and level of commitment to organizational goals.
Like so many nonprofits, enCourage Kids was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite having to cancel the annual gala the day before New York City was shut down, enCourage Kids was able to pivot to meet the urgent needs of our hospitals and pediatric patients, through limited but critical support. Hundreds of hospitals nationwide continue to rely on the partnerships and resources that enCourage Kids provides them. enCourage Kids is also committed to health equity and taking action to address health disparities by investing in hospitals with fewer resources and ensuring they and their patients have access to high-quality resources and tools. However, gaps still exist, and the Foundation recognizes the need to be able to do more for our healthcare heroes and their patients.
The incoming President, CEO, will report directly to the Board of Directors, and join a very special organization that has had a longstanding impact on improving the lives and experiences of pediatric patients and their families through deep connections with hospitals and pediatrics across the nation. The new President, CEO, will supervise three staff members and strategically grow the enCourage Kids team.
Strengthening philanthropic revenue will be a primary role of the new President, CEO. enCourage Kids has been the beneficiary of a highly successful gala that exceeds $1 million in revenue annually (pre-pandemic and the most recent gala). The annual golf outing, select institutional grants and some individual gifts make up the rest of the organization’s philanthropic support. enCourage Kids receives no government funding.
The President, CEO, will be the lead ambassador for the organization, building and deepening engagement with donors and driving broader awareness and philanthropic support for the organization. enCourage Kids has established very strong ties to the New York area real estate community and is looking to strengthen its relationships in other professional sectors going forward. Additionally, the new President, CEO, will work with the Board in developing a strategic plan for the organization.
Fundraising and External Relations
Annual Compensation: $170,000 – 220,000, depending upon experience.
enCourage Kids Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. enCourage Kids is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, partnership status, domestic violence victim status, sexual orientation, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, veteran or military status, disability, medical condition, genetic information, caregiver status, unemployment status or any other characteristic prohibited by federal, state and/or local laws.
Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
Senior Vice President, Principal
Development Guild DDI