Managing Director, Institutional Foundations

Managing Director, Institutional Foundations

Arabella Advisors

Flexible, West Coast Region   |   March 13, 2020

Arabella Advisors

Arabella Advisors helps foundations, philanthropists, and investors who are serious about impact achieve the greatest good with their resources. They help their clients imagine what’s possible, design the best strategies, learn what works best, and do the work necessary to realize their visions.

Arabella Advisors was founded in 2005 to provide strategic guidance for effective philanthropy. Since then, the organization has evolved into a mission-driven, Certified B Corporation that has helped hundreds of clients representing more than $100 billion in assets increase their philanthropic impact.

Arabella is a team of passionate problem solvers, dedicated to helping clients make a difference on the issues that matter most to them, from climate to women and girls, education, good food, and more. Arabella employs 200+ staff in 8 major cities of US philanthropy. Arabella’s team is PhDs and MBAs, thinkers and builders, Peace Corps volunteers and congressional staffers—people who combine issue expertise, business acumen, policy wonkishness, and a passion for mission that can move mountains.

Clients increasingly recognize that promising ideas with the power to affect deep social change often require up-front capital, rapid prototyping, and a higher tolerance for risk than governments or the market can provide. So, they seek out actors and ideas that have the potential to change systems for the better, whether those systems are related to K-12 education, adolescent mental health, conservation, human rights, or something else. And they invest in programs—or, in some cases, help to incubate new initiatives or organizations—that are designed to lead to big, long-term improvements. Not every experiment works, but increased experimentation is moving us all toward scalable solutions that do.

The team at Arabella is inspired by the remarkable growth in the social-impact sector over the last decade, and thinks the sector is going to grow even further and faster in the next 10 years. They are motivated daily by the roles they get to play in that growth.

For more information about Arabella Advisors, please visit

The Opportunity

The Managing Director will represent Arabella throughout the West Coast region’s philanthropic communities, building a multi-year book of business, and managing client relationships.

The Managing Director’s focus is to develop and oversee a portfolio of foundation clients on behalf of Arabella Advisors. They will be a key contributor to business development, managing client engagements, driving impact on key issues, and representing the organization externally.

Specific responsibilities include:

Business Development

  • Generating annual revenue through business development strategies from foundations; working toward identified team and individual revenue targets;
  • In close coordination with the senior leadership and in partnership with the West Coast team, leading and supporting business development activities with other Arabella team members;
  • Leading the development of presentations and proposals for new business;
  • Representing Arabella as an ambassador in industry settings; and
  • Providing leadership and guidance for the growth of the firm’s presence in the West Coast region.

Client Relationship Management

  • Cultivating strong relationships with clients, donors, and philanthropic partners;
  • Serving as a senior strategist to project teams for client relationships and their project engagements;
  • Serving as the primary relationship manager and trusted advisor for clients and wealth advisors, ensuring client standards are met on engagements;
  • Facilitating client meetings and producing expert content for clients; and
  • Negotiating contracts, finding expansion opportunities, and troubleshooting engagements as necessary.
Candidate Profile

The Managing Director will have deep experience at the nexus of business development, philanthropy, and professional services. They will also have an interest in issues in philanthropy, particularly in helping institutional foundations achieve their philanthropic goals.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

An Expert Business Developer

The Managing Director will enjoy business development and will be skilled at cultivation and stewardship. They will have a proven track record of building a book of business, or cultivating relationships, across client segments. The Managing Director will be able to maintain existing client relationships and identify new opportunities, leveraging their colleagues within Arabella and their connections within the philanthropic sector. They will be able to continuously and creatively seek opportunities, be able to manage rejection, and maintain the goal of securing and growing further business. The Managing Director will be comfortable navigating in a white-glove service environment.

A Collaborator and Key Partner

The Managing Director will be experienced in collaborating within a team and amongst key partners. They will have a proven track record of working with institutions, individuals, families, or other complex entities to help them achieve greater philanthropic impact. The Managing Director will have a consultative and participatory style, working in close partnership and leading clients to actualize goals. The Managing Director will have strong people skills, will be an incredible listener, and have deep empathy. To do this work well, you must be curious, perceptive, and demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence.

A Strong Relationship Builder and Communicator

The Managing Director will bring a proven record of engagement to the role and be a natural ‘ambassador’ for Arabella Advisors. They will be innovative, ambitious, and experienced in establishing strong working relationships to further a client’s philanthropic goals. The Managing Director will have a sophisticated personal presence and outstanding communication abilities, both verbal and written. They will substantively contribute to the development of written content, articles, analytic reports and other thought leadership avenues. The Managing Director will exemplify leadership and will inspire trust and confidence across a diverse range of stakeholders. They will enthusiastically convey the importance of an organization’s work to existing and potential clients.

A Passion for the Mission

The Managing Director will have a demonstrated passion and commitment to working with institutional philanthropy. They will enjoy working in a nimble environment, while navigating the complexity of consulting with a wide variety of clients. The Managing Director will embrace the Arabella Advisors culture and will roll up their sleeves along with their colleagues to deliver the highest levels of quality client service. They will demonstrate fluency across a variety of issue areas and bring deep networks to the work. The Managing Director will have experience driving impact on key issues and the ability to inspire others to do the same. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and operates in alignment with Arabella’s values; moreover, is someone who can be trusted without reservation.


Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients, has been exclusively retained for this search.

Alex Corvin and Ally Johnson are leading this engagement. To make recommendations or express interest in this role please email [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the 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 Leadership Partners, visit