About Solidago Foundation:
Founded in 1996, Solidago supports social justice organizations, working as an active partner as well as a grant-maker, awarding grants through its own program and on behalf of hosted Area of Interest Funds. Solidago focuses on building broad social movements for systemic electoral, environmental, and economic change, through grantmaking and strategic engagement in the field. It actively engages the field of philanthropy and hosts funder initiatives and collaborative pooled funds to build strategic impact. The Foundation has a core operations budget of $3.5M, which increases to $5.5M when hosted fund activity is included. Of this amount, total grantmaking is $3.1M.
Solidago is the botanical Latin term for the goldenrod plant, whose name means, “to strengthen or make whole.” Inspired by this widespread and strong-rooted plant, the Foundation seeks non-traditional and creative approaches to deep-rooted social problems that address the institutionalized disparities of wealth, resources, power, and opportunity. Solidago supports building strong progressive organizations and alliances to go beyond short-term wins to lasting structural change of unjust systems.
Solidago generates significant organizing, networking, collaboration, and funding for powerful social justice infrastructures to build an effective and winning progressive movement. Our mission is to promote justice, equity, sustainability, and enfranchisement for all through charitable grantmaking to, and work with, progressive, empowering, community based organizations and collaborations. We believe in the power of collaborative partnerships to achieve deeper impact and effective change.
We are a learning organization led by shared vision where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured. We value innovative, interactive, and dynamic processes to foster change and new ideas. We listen, reflect, analyze, and evaluate in order to increase our capacity to be more strategic in a changing political and movement landscape. We collaborate with others to work together toward shared larger goals. For more information on Solidago Foundation, visit www.solidago.org.
The See Forward Fund is an independent 501(C4) organization that is managed by the Solidago staff. See Forward supports independent political organizations at the grassroots level in building leaders, fostering, electoral capacity, and shifting political power to grassroots social movements linked to marginalized communities. See Forward supports a new progressive electoral strategy to harness the potential of the new Rising Electorate. See Forward and its hosted projects award $925K in annual (C4) grants, with $360K coming from the See Forward Fund and $565K from other funds. It works with other funders to support new community based, political leaders and organizations.
See Forward Fund hosts three (C4) funder collaborations and initiatives.
For more information on See Forward Fund, visit www.seeforward.org. Solidago hosts six other philanthropic collaborations and initiatives that are listed on the Solidago website.
Solidago Foundation is seeking a talented, passionate, and committed Executive Director to lead the organization, ensuring that the Foundation is achieving its goals and living its values as well as working closely with the Board of Directors to complete and execute a strategic plan for growth and increased impact through a period of significant and innovative transformation.
The Solidago Foundation Board and staff have developed a vision for moving the organization away from a traditional, spend-down grantmaking institution toward a self-sustaining organization that promotes collaboration within philanthropy toward more effective and strategic grantmaking.
The Executive Director will lead the implementation of this vision, with a focus on several key elements, including:
- Developing collaborative funds through partnership building and both C3 and C4 fund development
- Promoting Solidago’s theory of change and inspiring others to fund collaborative work
- Developing and advocating for new, collaborative programs and initiatives
- Maintaining key relationships with core partners in collaborative funds
- Ensuring effective measurement of the impact that Solidago and its related funds, including See Forward, are able to achieve
- Building and leading a highly skilled and effective team that helps move the organization more fully toward its goal of a democratically governed public foundation that moves the needle on key issues through collaborative funding
The Executive Director will be responsible for:
Direct day-to-day operations of the Foundation
- Organize staff structure and supervise management team to develop and implement strategies, policies, and practices that successfully meet the long-term and short-term objectives of the Foundation
- Operationalize the goals, philosophy, and program interests of the Foundation
- Ensure a healthy, collaborative workplace and organizational culture
- Work with Program Director and Program staff to meet the Foundation’s shared programmatic goals
- With the CFO and investment committee, ensure the organization’s fiscal health, including overseeing the annual budget as well as longer-term financial strategies
- Serve as the primary link between Board and staff in ensuring that each has the support and information necessary to perform its function in the organization
Drive strategic vision and growth
- In partnership with the Board, develop and execute plans for new initiatives and future growth for both the C3 and C4 organizations
- Set forth key objectives and articulate tactics to meet organizational goals
- Measure and monitor progress in implementation to ensure that all funds are effectively and consistently achieving impact
- Develop and advance Solidago’s collaborative funding portfolio through the creation of new programs, partnerships, and initiatives
- Grow and lead skilled, capable staff in successfully reaching organizational goals and being on the cutting edge of collaborative programs and initiatives
- Encourage the funding of more collaborative work within the philanthropic landscape and promote Solidago’s theory of change
Serve as compelling external spokesperson and relationship builder
- Strategically develop Solidago’s robust and high potential relationships and contacts, and foster new relationships that lead to increased collaborative impact and long-term financial and programmatic sustainability
- Actively engage with individual funders, other foundations, philanthropy, and the media and general public to increase the Foundation’s visibility and capacity to further its mission
- Increase the strength of relationships within its hosted funds among field and philanthropic partners
- Drive the creation of a comprehensive communications strategy for the Foundation and its programs
- Ensure that all public representations of the organization’s work and public use of the organization’s name are aligned with Solidago’s mission and communications strategy
Increase financial capacity through collaborative fund development and partnership building
- Develop and grow funding collaboratives, fiscal partnerships, and other innovative funding vehicles
- Engage in cultivation and stewardship strategies with high net worth donors and aligned foundations
- Ensure that internal teams and systems effectively support fundraising initiatives
- Ensure that internal teams provide appropriate and excellent administrative services to hosted collaboratives
The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:
Collaborative and empowering leadership style
- Genuine belief in the power of collaboration and shared impact
- Strategic, creative, and independent thinker with the ability to motivate and provide leadership with a diverse set of stakeholders and circumstances
- The ability to translate an organizational vision into clear, measurable objectives for the Board, staff, and external partners
- Democratic, facilitative, and flexible approach to working with staff, Board, and partners
- The capacity to listen actively, to give and accept feedback, and to recognize the importance of stretching oneself and learning and growing while also promoting these values with internal staff
Strong organizational management skills
- Previous experience leading a similarly-sized organization or initiative, including staff, operational, and financial management experience
- An understanding of how to strengthen and grow an organizational culture that reflects the overall mission and key values
- Ability to develop organizational structures required to meet broader vision and goals
- Experience leading organizations through times of change and growth
- Experience working with funding collaboratives from a programmatic, administrative, and fundraising perspective
Deep personal and professional commitment to social justice
- An understanding of movement building and the role of foundations in supporting historic and current movements for change
- Commitment to increasing the inclusiveness and impact of the philanthropic sector
- Knowledge of the social justice funding and grassroots landscape and key players
- Experience working productively and respectfully with diverse communities and populations to build capacity to effect structural change
- A commitment to growing and supporting younger leaders, both in the field and the broader movement
Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
- The ability to engage and inspire a wide range of stakeholders and partners
- Excellent networking and relationship building skills
- Track record of success engaging with donors, including soliciting funds, building innovative and effective collaborations and partnerships, and effectively representing programs and initiatives to potential donors
- Experience in public speaking and the ability to communicate difficult, complex issues to various audiences
- An ability to demonstrate organizational impact through both storytelling and more formal measurement and documentation
Solidago Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan here.
Solidago Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.
About Koya Leadership Partners:
Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.