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Executive Director, Full Time


The DANK Haus German American Culture Center is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1959. We are the leading German/German-American Center in the Midwest region and our mission is to preserve and promote German culture, heritage, and language through maintaining a center consisting of a museum, art gallery, library, and language school, and organizing educational and social programming focusing on and emphasizing the history, traditions, and contributions of Germans and German Americans. We are located in a historic 77,000 sq.ft building in Lincoln Square, one of the historically German neighborhoods of Chicago. Our homepage is 

Our vision is to meaningfully engage generations of friends, neighbors, and all those interested, to explore and experience the vibrant, multifaceted German American culture of our past and present, through our core values: Hospitality (Gastfreundschaft), Engagement (Austausch), and Authenticity (Authentizit√§t). 

The DANK Haus has experienced a recent period of growth and is seeking a passionate and motivated Executive Director, who shares our vision and can lead us into the next phase of our development. The Executive Director will work full-time establishing, guiding, and implementing strategies that align with the mission and vision of the organization. They will collaborate closely with the board, and manage the organization's day to day operations, finances, and staff. 


Strategic Leadership: 

  • Serve as the primary public spokesperson for the organization, initiating and fostering relationships within the German-American and wider community in Chicago and beyond
  • Represent and communicate DANK’s mission, vision, and strategic goals 
  • Create and implement strategies to achieve the DANK’s objectives, and monitor and evaluate the organization's overall performance and impact 
  • Make data-driven decisions to improve the organization's effectiveness with input from all departments 
  • Act as an industry thought leader and be on top of the trends and developments in the non-profit sector.

Financial Management: 

  • Manage all financial aspects of the organization including, budgeting, reporting and development planning 
  • Manage and develop plans for the monetization of our facility, including event rentals, business rentals, and liquor sales 
  • Ensure financial sustainability and accountability 

Fundraising and Development: 

  • In collaboration with Development Director, plan and execute fundraising campaigns and events 
  • Assist Development Director with securing funding through grants, donations, and other fundraising efforts 
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with donors and sponsors. 

Human Resources: 

  • Manage all HR responsibilities for the organization, including recruitment and hiring, training and supervising, creating management/staffing plans, and ensuring staff salaries and benefits are commensurate with our resources and the market 
  • Run weekly staff meetings, conduct yearly staff performance reviews, and implement staffing policies and procedures 
  • Identify and provide professional development opportunities for staff and yourself
  • Foster a positive and inclusive organizational culture 

Board Relations: 

  • Work with the board of directors to set strategic priorities and policies, and drive and support these through the organization and community 
  • Provide regular updates and reports to the board on DANK’s activities and financial health
  • Assist with board recruitment and attend all board meetings 

Day-to-Day Operations: 

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization 
  • Oversee and provide input to all departments and ensure they are on track with their budget and strategic priorities 
  • Ensure all staff members have the resources they need to effectively perform their roles and responsibilities
  • Manage and operate physical and technological resources effectively to support the organization's mission 
  • Develop, inform and enforce policies to ensure the most relevant and efficient use of organizational resources ensure successful execution of events (DANK and rentals) oversee scheduling, set-up, and overall satisfactory support service 
  • Ensure the organization complies with all relevant laws and regulations; manage ethical and legal issue as they arise 

Program Development and Management: 

  • Support Language School and Cultural Programming implementation and ensure that programs align with the organization's mission and goals 
  • Ensure that programs and services are culturally sensitive, inclusive, and authentic
  • Monitor program/project effectiveness and make improvements as needed 


  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (preferred) or equivalent work experience 
  • Previous leadership experience, preferably in a director-level position within a non-profit organization 
  • Passion for German language and culture 
  • Conversational German language required, German language fluency preferred 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and public speaking skills 
  • Proven ability to build consensus among stakeholder groups 
  • Demonstrated financial acumen 
  • Highly self-motivated, leads by example, and isn’t afraid to roll up your sleeves 
  • Proven management and business development skills 
  • Unwavering commitment to the highest ethical standards of non-profit leadership
  • Comfortable leading through transition 
  • Ability to work occasional evenings/weekends as needed 


  • $85,000 - $125,000, including performance based pay component 
  • Benefits package includes Medical/Dental/Vision Coverage, Life/Disability Insurance, PTO, and free language classes 
  • DANK Haus is committed to diversity and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply 

To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to

German American Cultural Center

4740 North Western Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60625

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center does not discriminate based on race, color, sexuality, national origin, sex, disability or age.

Connect with us

Office: +1 (773) 561-9181

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