The Ms. Foundation for Women seeks an exceptional individual with strong leadership, management and strategic ability for the position of Vice President, Strategy and Programs. Reporting to the President and CEO, the Vice President, Strategy and Programs will be a member of the leadership team, providing direction for the programs team and organizational strategy.
This is a critical and exciting time for the Ms. Foundation for Women as a new and bold strategic plan is being rolled out to make the organization more visible, viable and valuable to the women’s movement, social justice movements, the philanthropic community and the country.
The Vice President, Strategy and Programs will have responsibility for leading the Foundation’s new strategic initiatives with the goal of connecting existing programmatic grantmaking/capacity building/movement-building work to the Foundation’s new broader intersectional work on policy advocacy, cross-sector alliances and external partnership building. Acting as a sophisticated thought partner to both the President and CEO and the staff, the Vice President will help to shape and execute new strategies for the Foundation to meet its own ambitious targets for expanding the movements that affect the lives of women while building a sustainable institution.
The Foundation seeks a skilled listener, collaborator and team builder with significant experience in women’s rights and social justice issues, movement-building, base-building and organizing. S/he will have big vision views of advocacy and strategy, as well as an understanding and value of enhancing the capacity of community-based organizations. The Vice President will bring a broad understanding of feminism, the women’s movement, and the intersections of race, class, and gender as well as the ability to connect with other social justice issues. In addition, the successful candidate will bring a background in philanthropy and fundraising that will inform her/his ability to collaborate with other departments to grow the Foundation’s core strategies.
The Ms. Foundation for Women was founded in 1973 as the first foundation to directly fund groundbreaking work by and for women across the United States. Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women is a dynamic and powerful entity, leading the charge on women’s issues nationwide. Over the last four decades, the Ms. Foundation has continued to promote its mission of building women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. They achieve this mission by investing in, and strengthening the capacity of women-led movements to advance meaningful social, cultural and economic change in the lives 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 24 and is governed by a board of 18. As a public charity, the Ms. Foundation for Women is an intermediary funder and 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.
Established in 1986, the endowment currently stands at nearly $34 million. In fiscal year 2016, (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017), the Ms. Foundation made more than 70 grants averaging $30,000 each. The Foundation utilizes its resources for other programmatic activities that complement grantmaking, including policy advocacy, capacity building and strategic communications. The Foundation’s operating budget is approximately $7.5 million.
The ideal candidate will be a feminist with a passion and commitment to the Foundation’s mission and Theory of Change and to working with diverse communities on women’s rights, health and reproductive justice, safety, and women’s empowerment, while also making connections to other social justice areas. While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional abilities, attributes and experiences:
- Creativity and flexibility to think imaginatively about opportunities to create and respond to innovative approaches to addressing the intersection of issues, while still taking a strategic and comprehensive approach to the impact of the Foundation in its social justice endeavors;
- Excellent written, presentation and communication skills; able to quickly gather, synthesize and summarize information in a clear and jargon-free manner.
- Self-starter who is comfortable driving change and maximizing outcomes. S/he is transparent and can work collaboratively across an organization and with multiple constituencies, breaking down silos that are obstacles to productivity;
- Strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative, energetic approach. Desire to develop deep working relationships with Program Directors that enhance collaborative thinking, promotes philanthropic advocacy and partnerships, and identifies opportunities to escalate issues in core and expanding program issue areas.
- Capacity to serve as a strategic thought partner and leader to the President & CEO as well as Leadership and Program teams;
- Maturity, good judgement, keen analytical skills and the ability to think critically, make decisions and justify recommendations to a dynamic leadership team. An ability to drive multi-layered conversations to consensus and make decisions in the face of competing priorities.
- Strong project, time and people management skills, including demonstrated ability to think independently; flexible working style; sense of humor; strong interpersonal skills; calm and resourceful; able to work under pressure; team player; committed to working cross-functionally and collaboratively.
- Demonstrated experience in complex organizations and senior leader management.
- Ability to recognize and strategize rapidly on mission-aligned opportunities supported by diverse funding opportunities and revenue streams;
- Minimum of 10 years of successful experience in philanthropy or nonprofit sector, preferably in social justice or related areas. Strong network in philanthropy, social justice, public policy and the nonprofit sector.
- The ability and willingness to travel, including for site visits and representing the Foundation at outside meetings.
- Women of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
More information about the Ms. Foundation can be found at: www.forwomen.org
Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), salary and benefit requirements and where you learned of the position should be submitted to: 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.