Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Lift To Rise

Coachella Valley (Palm Desert, CA)   |   September 14, 2021

About Lift To Rise

Lift To Rise is an evolution of the long-held belief that we can do better by the people who call the Coachella Valley home—the very people who grow our food and who make this desert such an amazing destination for more than a million people who travel here each year.

Our work dates back to 2014, when a group of community-based organizations serving eastern Riverside County’s Coachella Valley — including FIND Food Bank, United Way of the Desert, the Regional Access Project Foundation, and the Desert Healthcare District — came together to discuss using a collective impact approach to turn the tide of mounting disadvantages affecting too many local residents.

Lift To Rise works to achieve a future where all Coachella Valley families are healthy, stable and thriving. To this end, Lift To Rise catalyzes both institutional and grassroots leaders to effectively collaborate and shift their attention and activities toward mutually reinforced interventions that address the underlying causes of poverty in the region.

Through collaboration with community partners and extensive data analysis, we’ve identified the following two areas of focus: housing stability and economic opportunity. Our goals are ambitious — reducing the number of rent burdened Coachella Valley households by 30% over the next ten years by increasing the supply of affordable housing, changing local policies, and increasing regional investment.

Our name, Lift To Rise, honors this vision of hope and aspiration. We work to lift, so that everyone can rise.

To learn more, please visit:

The Opportunity

At this pivotal juncture in its history, Lift To Rise is seeking a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead a transformation in how Lift To Rise lives its mission and delivers its vision while elevating the impact of its leaders and people as the organization enters an important next chapter.

The COO will establish a highly collaborative and trusted partnership with the Chief Executive Officer and other members of the senior team that maximizes the organization’s effectiveness, identifying areas of efficiency, and creating process and policy as Lift To Rise looks to the future.

The COO will be charged will building and scaling operations for an organization that has grown exponentially in the last year.  The COO will foster the creation of systems, processes, tools, and best practices that enable the ongoing success of the organization’s mission and impact.  Overseeing Finance, Human Resources, and Operations, the COO will play a vital role leading a $92M programmatic budget and a $6M operating budget.  The COO will also oversee the programmatic operations of the organization and lead a high-performing programs team to greater efficiency and standardization.  This will be a strong people leader and project manager who can inspire a staff and is deeply committed to the personal and professional growth of the team.

With a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice, the Director will embrace the importance of these initiatives throughout the organization and will contribute to being an antiracist leader.

Candidate Profile

While no one candidate will have all of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics, Lift To Rise is looking for the following:

Passion for the Mission

  • Strong commitment to Lift To Rise’s mission and values
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, complex organization where diversity of thought is valued and appreciated
  • Excitement to build with the ability to take a long-term, thoughtful approach to achieving organizational goals
  • Apply a racial and social justice lens to finance and operations with an understanding on how to operationalize these values and embed them within the organization

Strategic Leadership

  • Actively coach and mentor the Lift To Rise team, cultivating a strong, adaptable organizational culture while designing and overseeing daily operational processes
  • Work closely with the CEO and other senior leaders to translate the overall strategic vision into operational programs
  • Support development of Board meeting agendas, annual schedule and other strategic items, as needed, with a particular focus on financial reporting and strategic planning
  • Will lead and manage a team in a way that fosters a diverse, inclusive, respectful, entrepreneurial, urgent and results-focused organizational culture

Operational Management

  • Ensure all processes and existing organizational infrastructure supports Lift To Rise’s strategic growth, continuously improving efficiency and productivity of operations
  • Create analytical tools and processes to support operations and decision-making
  • Oversee management of the organization’s infrastructure and maintenance (tech and software systems, security, supplies and vendors, etc.)
  • Lead finance and operations and manages the programmatic, financial, operational, and human resource systems of Lift to Rise

Financial Acumen

  • Oversee financial controls and accounting procedures, including system maintenance of internal financial controls and adherence to accounting principles and procedures
  • Work closely and transparently with all external partners including audit firm, banking and financial institutions, consultants, and vendors; negotiate and maintain leases and contracts as needed
  • Responsible for finances, accounting, compliance, and risk management of a complex organization
  • Ability to use financial and operational metrics to drive organizational decisions and achieve strategic objectives

HR Management

  • Ensure ongoing development and long-term career planning for all staff through robust goal-setting processes, individual development plans, and evolving a culture of consistent and meaningful feedback
  • Counsel employees on human resource issues, including setting role objectives, work planning, and performance evaluations to support the professional development of staff and build an effective, high-performing team
  • Provide coaching and consultation on employee relations issues. Work with managers and employees on performance and/or conflict matters
  • Partner with program and administrative departments to develop effective and integrated recruitment strategies that attract talented and deeply committed staff at all organizational levels

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • A passion and authentic commitment to justice and equity for people of all ethnicities, races, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances, physical and mental abilities and characteristics, and philosophies
  • Technology literacy, including database management and financial reporting systems
  • Solutions-focused and results oriented with an ability to solve problems independently and in teams
  • High level of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, empathy, and social skills)
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to take a long-term, thoughtful approach to achieving organizational goals
  • Demonstrated leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience
  • Experience managing financials in a large or complex nonprofit organization
  • Bilingual fluency preferred
  • 10+ years of operational leadership expertise with demonstrated experience in human resources management, financial oversight and administrative functions, nonprofit experience preferred
Compensation & Benefits

While Lift To Rise is targeting a salary range of $130,000 – $140,000, commensurate on the candidate’s skills and experiences, we are open to feedback from the market and would welcome the ability to connect with potential candidates who may be outside of the compensation band. Lift To Rise is committed to equity in pay practices.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Alicia Salerno here.


Lift to Rise is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit