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President & CEO
Ms. Foundation for Women
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE POSITION The position of President & CEO offers a significant platform for a visionary and strategic leader and feminist to build on the Ms. Foundation's extraordinary record of accomplishment and further advance the Ms. Foundation's leading edge work to secure and sustain gender equity. The President & CEO will be a leader, manager, and spokesperson with outstanding strategic, communication, collaboration, and fundraising skills. The President will be finely attuned to the current political and cultural moment in the United States, hold a clear vision for effecting progressive change in the current context and be persuasive, persistent, and creative in the pursuit of the Ms. Foundation's goals.
In light of evolving strategic, financial, personnel, and programmatic conditions, the Ms. Foundation is eager to recruit a President & CEO with a successful track record leading and managing organizational transformation that is responsive to persistent internal challenges and rapidly changing external realities. In light of the shifting philanthropic landscape, the new President & CEO must be familiar with the U.S.-based philanthropic sector, understand the challenges facing public charities specifically, and have good ideas for accessing and securing funds and resources.
FIRST YEAR’S PRIORITIES During the first year of employment, the President & CEO will be expected to:
• Become thoroughly immersed in the Ms. Foundation – its history, mission, programs, people, structure and operations, finances, constituencies, organizational culture and values, and potential;
• Develop and nurture solid working partnerships with the Board of Directors, the executive team, other members of Ms. Foundation’s staff, and its grantees in order to bring forth their best ideas and efforts; and enhance overall organizational cohesion, collaboration and stability;
• Work closely with board and staff to assess the Ms. Foundation’s current strategic plan and implementation strategies, ensuring alignment with organizational capabilities to advance the mission; and
• Become an effective and visible spokesperson for the Ms. Foundation, increasing awareness of the Foundation’s work and visibility among potential donors.
ONGOING RESPONSIBILITIES The President & CEO will be expected to:
Provide Strategic, Visionary, and Decisive Leadership
• Working with the Board and staff, lead the Ms. Foundation in setting overall direction and priorities and developing and implementing programmatic and organizational strategies and goals;
• In partnership with the executive team, lead the organization’s programmatic work, fundraising, financial management, administration, operations, and human resources; ensure sound financial, operational, and administrative policies and controls are in place and in practice; develop and administer budgets; ensure that funds are invested and spent wisely;
• Develop and sustain a collaborative and equitable workplace culture that reflects the Ms. Foundation’s values; ensure open and clear channels of communication; employ transparent decision making;
• Ensure strong internal communication among staff; work closely with the executive team to ensure the flow of relevant information and encourage effective collaboration and coordination between and among teams;
• Hire new staff as appropriate, and regularly evaluate performance; enhance opportunities across the organization for personal and professional leadership development; directly supervise the executive team;
• Regularly brief the Board on the status of the organization; remain actively in touch with and well-informed about the Board’s activities;
Raise the Visibility of the Ms. Foundation
• Serve as the Foundation’s chief public spokesperson, representing the organization to all Foundation stakeholders, including donors and grantees, other organizations and media, locally to internationally;
• Actively promote the expertise and voice of the Foundation; work to establish its voice as a “go-to” source of information on issues of gender equity and inclusion;
• Ensure that the Foundation consistently utilizes social media, social networking and other emerging communications technologies and practices to help the Ms. Foundation reaches diverse audiences, including young people;
Increase and Diversify Funding
• In partnership with Board and staff, establish and implement fundraising goals and lead the Ms. Foundation’s fundraising; use staff and board members’ talents, resources, and ideas to enhance fundraising activities; enhance board members’ ability to identify fundraising opportunities and encourage their ongoing participation as donors and solicitors;
• Effectively steward the Ms. Foundation’s traditional base of supporters while also reaching out to new and more diverse supporters;
• As the financial model of support for public charities changes, ensure that the Ms. Foundation clearly articulates its value proposition; lead the work to develop new revenue sources beyond traditional philanthropic channels;
Build Effective Partnerships and Strategic Alliances
• Reinforce and strengthen longstanding relationships that the Ms. Foundation maintains with hundreds of social justice and policy reform organizations in order to facilitate sharing of knowledge, strategies for action and best practices;
• Regularly pursue relationships with new partners and undertake collaborative projects when appropriate.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS Ideally, the President and CEO will have the following skills and qualities:
• Strong passion for the Ms. Foundation’s mission and a demonstrated commitment to social change; experience as a successful advocate for social justice is required;
• Strong intellectual and strategic abilities combined with a well-informed understanding of the political, economic, social, and cultural issues facing women and girls in the United States; solid understanding of the history and context of women’s struggle for equity with well-developed ideas for advancing the movement for equity;
• Significant experience as an inspirational public presence, with excellent oral and written communication skills; experience communicating through traditional and new media and an appreciation of their value for leveraging social justice is essential;
• Credibility and experience to connect the Ms. Foundation to a range of resources and opportunities outside the organization; a successful track record of enthusiastically raising money from a variety of sources, including major donors, is highly desirable; familiarity with the changes taking place in U.S.-based philanthropy, along with ideas for responding to these changes, is also desirable;
• Proven senior-level managerial, financial, problem solving, and organizational development experience gained ideally in a sizeable, mission-driven organization; experience leading and managing an organization through a significant transition or organizational turnaround is especially desirable;
• A successful track record as a unifying team builder who inspires collaboration and functions decisively while building consensus; capable of connecting with staff, both on an individual level and in groups; able to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, and lead from the top down;
• Proven successful experience working in a variety of diverse contexts and communities with the ability to interact professionally and thoughtfully with a wide array of people; cross-cultural competence; a strong track record of working across the lines of gender, race, class, and culture;
• Demonstrated expertise as a relationship builder with existing ties to a broad and diverse range of communities; strong interest in engaging young, diverse stakeholders and helping the Ms. Foundation strengthen and expand its relationships and networks; proven and successful track record creating effective partnerships and collaborations, with a reputation as a good strategic partner;
• Outgoing, open, trustworthy, and straightforward; manner; proven ability as an active, keen listener;
• Maturity and self-confidence, with a sense of humor and a warm, creative spirit;
• Ability to travel throughout the United States as much as 20-30% of the time;
• A Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement; a graduate or professional degree in a relevant field is desirable.
How TO APPLY:
To learn more about the Ms. Foundation for Women, please visit: www.forwomen.org
To apply for the position, please submit a substantive cover letter and current resume to: Lauren I. Gumbs Senior Partner Gumbs + Partners firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ms. Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, socio-economic status, marital or veteran status, or sexual orientation.
MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY Founded in 1973, the Ms. Foundation for Women was the first women's philanthropic fund in the world. During its 40-year history, the Ms. Foundation has played an important role in building women’s power in the United States and has exerted an influence on progressive change disproportionate to its size. The Ms. Foundation is a respected social justice foundation and now seeks an exceptional President & CEO to build on its legacy; leverage its full potential to achieve broad, progressive social change; and secure the full and equal status of women.
Since its founding, the Ms. Foundation for Women has granted more than $60 million to thousands of leading edge grassroots, Tribal, state and national organizations that are advancing strategies and solutions for social change across the United States. The Foundation's current grantmaking areas include: Economic Justice, Safety, and Women’s Health. With a deep and abiding commitment to the collective wisdom and power of all women, the Ms. Foundation works to elevate women’s voices by providing support for: leadership development; capacity and skills building; networking; relationship development; and serving as a national, progressive voice applying a gender lens to today’s issues.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, the Ms. Foundation has a staff of 25 and is governed by a board of 14. As a public charity, the Ms. Foundation for Women is both a grantseeker and a grantmaker. It derives its support primarily from individuals, private foundations, and corporations and, in turn, provides leadership, expertise, and financial support to organizations that champion an equitable society and advocate for policy and culture change.
The Ms. Foundation maintains an endowment to support its work in perpetuity. Established in 1986, the endowment currently stands at nearly $34 million. In fiscal year 2013, (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013), the Ms. Foundation made 83 grants averaging $22,000 and totaling approximately $1.8 million. In addition to grantmaking, The Foundation utilizes its resources for other programmatic activities that complement grantmaking, including convening, policy advocacy and communications. The Foundation’s operating budget for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) is approximately $8 million.