Deputy Director

Deputy Director

Groundswell Fund

Flexible Location, US   |   October 9, 2019

About Groundswell Fund

Groundswell Fund is the largest funder of the US Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement and a leading funder of grassroots organizing efforts led by women of color (WOC) and Transgender people of color across the US. For more than a decade, Groundswell has enabled foundations and individual donors to increase the impact of their giving by offering a different kind of philanthropic model.

Different in who they are: A program staff of WOC and TGNC (Transgender and gender non-conforming) people of color who come directly out of community and labor organizing and have a combined 200 years of grassroots organizing and civic engagement experience within communities of color; a Board comprised of grassroots leaders shaping strategy alongside funders and donors.

Different in who they support: Groundswell Fund strengthens US movements for reproductive and social justice by resourcing intersectional grassroots organizing and centering the leadership of WOC – particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and Transgender.

Different in how they support the field: Through grants and capacity-building resources focused on boosting grassroots power, and funder organizing that lifts up grantees with a larger audience of funders and donors who can move resources to their work, whether or not these resources come through Groundswell’s doors.

Since 2003, Groundswell has moved more than $50M to the field, with 90% going to WOC-led organizations. Groundswell has been a leading force in increasing the number of dollars moving to WOC-led organizing in the US from a wide community of foundations and individual donors.

The grantees at Groundswell have moved from trepidation about participating in the political process to mobilizing thousands of voters and even seeing their own members run for office. They have been instrumental in the passage of more than 250 pro-RJ policies at the state and local level and in blocking many regressive policies, and they have built a growing grassroots base of support for reproductive and social justice across the US. In 2017, Groundswell launched a 501c4, Groundswell Action Fund, now the largest c4 fund in the country centering WOC-led c4 work.

To learn more about Groundswell Fund, please visit

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Deputy Director will play a key role in supporting the ongoing growth and infrastructure-building of this high-impact, $16M organization.

As a member of the Guidance Team (Groundswell’s executive leadership), the Deputy Director will be instrumental in overseeing day to day internal operations, including coordinating the activities of the Guidance Team and ensuring strong alignment, communication, and cohesion across the organization toward effective and timely implementation of the five-year Strategic Blueprint and Annual Operating Plan.

The Deputy Director will be responsible for designing and implementing a range of organizational strengthening initiatives to support staff morale, retention, and efficient systems. These efforts include, but are not limited to, activities in the following areas: staff leadership development, team building, effective cross-team planning and coordination, organizational culture building, pacing to ensure the sustainability and well-being of staff, and leading organizational learning and scaling-up initiatives. The Deputy Director will directly supervise the Chief Financial Officer, Director of Special Initiatives, Director of Grantmaking, Director of Capacity Building, and a number of external consultants. This full-time position is location-flexible.

The Deputy Director’s primary responsibilities will include: 

Management and Operations

  • Serving as a thought partner on big picture programmatic, administrative, human resources, and budget decisions and strategies in partnership with the Guidance Team
  • Leading organizational development work, serving as the lead on Groundswell’s cross-departmental Organizational Strengthening Committee; designing and overseeing implementation of organizational assessment and evaluation systems (such as 360 performance reviews); and overseeing organizational strengthening projects, including coordinating political education
  • Designing and overseeing implementation of systems and protocols to facilitate optimal organizational, team, and staff development, performance, and sustainability
  • Supervising department leads and developing and providing standardized training, coaching, and oversight to ensure the timely execution of key organizational-wide related deliverables, such as departmental workplans and budgets, a shared understanding of and accountability to organizational standards, and expectations and fidelity to policies and protocols
  • Working closely with the Executive Director on Board relations, appropriate coordination with the Groundswell Action Fund, and other special projects

Organizational Culture, Learning, and Talent Management

  • Supporting staff recruitment and retention via strategies and initiatives that build ladders for advancement, sustain high staff morale, and foster a healthy, values-centric organizational culture
  • Leading staff development, designing effective staff-wide trainings and coaching programs intended to build a deep bench leadership on staff, and supporting supervisors to ensure strong individual staff development plans for their direct reports. Designing and leading the implementation of a range of staff development activities across the employee lifecycle (including on/off-boarding, goal setting, 360 performance reviews, and feedback systems)
  • Facilitating the continued use and development of a holistic, restorative justice model designed by staff, which includes a healthy conflict resolution practice
  • Cultivating a joyful and connected work environment via creative virtual and in-person discussions and activities
  • Strengthening team collaboration, cohesion, and performance through optimizing systems and organizational practices that fully engage staff members in learning, innovation, and cross-team collaboration. This includes, but is not limited to, designing staff meetings and retreats
  • Encouraging effective cross-departmental communication by designing systems and schedules that foster effective connection, facilitating key joint departmental meetings, and supporting strong alignment and integration of departmental workplans, calendars, and strategies
Candidate Profile

Ideal candidates for the Deputy Director will possess the following skills and attributes: 

  • Demonstrated personal/professional commitment to Groundswell’s mission and model; experience directly supporting WOC, low income women, and Transgender people highly preferred
  • Excellence in organizational management and facilitative leadership, with the ability to coach senior-level staff to manage and develop high-performance teams and create and implement programmatic strategies
  • Experience serving on an executive or other higher-level organizational leadership team, and leading organization transformation/culture change projects
  • Ability to build and use metrics to gain buy-in for critical initiatives; an understanding of financial materials and how to provide oversight on fiscal strategies
  • Creative, engaging others to think outside the box on leadership development and organization-wide innovation
  • An expert relationship-builder, with the EQ to support and coach staff at all levels
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with the ability to inspire and galvanize people to work collaboratively to achieve excellence
  • Impeccable judgment and discretion in dealing with sensitive information
  • A minimum of a master’s degree in organizational development, nonprofit management, organizational psychology, social work, or a related degree
  • At least seven years of organizational development and/or management experience in the nonprofit sector
  • Certification in leadership coaching and a variety of leadership, emotional intelligence, and team building assessments is preferred
  • Ability to travel up to 10 times/year, often cross-country, including overnight travel for events, donor meetings, and Board meetings

The annual salary range for this role will be $175,000-$200,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Groundswell offers excellent benefits and is a virtual organization, where staff primarily work remotely from home offices or in shared office space in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.


Molly Brennan and Melissa Madzel of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your cover letter and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Groundswell Fund is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding, and that enables each person to realize their potential. The work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of races, ethnicities, national origins, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, beliefs, religions, faiths and ideologies, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and levels of physical ability.

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