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Opening: Director of Impact and Project Investment

Publication date: 
August, 2021

Position: Director of Impact and Project Investment
Organization: Humboldt Area Foundation
Location: Bayside, or Crescent City CA (with remote work if required)

About Humboldt Area Foundation

Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) serves the residents of the California counties of Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte, as well as Curry, Oregon and adjacent Tribal Lands by promoting and encouraging generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities. Through the generosity of local and national philanthropic donors, HAF has awarded more than $95 million in grants and scholarships since 1972.

HAF—along its family of organizations including the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, Humboldt Health Foundation, Native Cultures Fund, and others— focuses its grantmaking and program efforts on strengthening community capacity and transforming our communities’ ability to solve problems and address the root causes of those problems. In early 2021, the foundation adopted four goals focused on vital issues for its next decade of action and support: Racial Equity, a Just Economy, Thriving Families and Youth, and Healthy Ecosystems and Environments. As part of this new focus, the organization is making significant organizational shifts to support this dynamic and growing region in the Pacific Western United States.

About the Opportunity

If you are passionate about full-portfolio activation within philanthropy and have the skills to execute on a blended capital strategy, Humboldt Area Foundation needs you! In this position, you will have the opportunity to leverage HAF’s impact investment portfolio (primarily local loans), partner investment resources, and other sources of public, private, and philanthropic finance to capitalize significant impact in HAF’s four-county region.

In this role, you will develop and manage hybrid funding (grants, debt, guarantees) projects, working together with other mission, program, and project investors as well as public and philanthropic grantmakers to leverage different investment streams. As someone who is fluent in the principles of impact investing, you will guide the foundation to its best use of investment capital in the community, while mobilizing others to collaborate. Finally, you will help HAF further enliven our values around equity and a just economy by balancing social outcomes with long-term financial return.

In this position, you will sit at a strategic intersection within our organization. Your primary team will be the Strategy, Program and Community Solutions team, which is in service to our region and the diversity of its many communities. Its aim is to empower people, organizations, institutions, and businesses to achieve healthy, equitable, and just outcomes to help our region thrive. The team braids all of our organizational resources—from grantmaking to investing to technical assistance—to ensure the greatest impact toward our goals. While supporting that team’s mission, you will also dually report to the CEO and Advancement and Philanthropic Innovation (API) Team. The API team was established to support the organization’s partnerships, fund and donor development, and encourage generosity and best practices in the field. The team strives to create meaningful relationships with individuals and charitable organizations to amplify our region’s resources to achieve its goals. This position partners with, and is supported by, our Finance and Administration team with experience in infrastructure projects and an eagerness to think outside of the box.

Opportunity Creation, Evaluation, and Investment Structuring

As HAF’s subject matter expert on aligning capital with values, you will create and identify opportunities for project and impact investment that align with foundation goals, promote regional innovation and social entrepreneurship, and generate impact capital for the region. You’ll have the opportunity to develop a range of mechanisms for investment at every level, from micro-investment to pooled guarantees to leverage federal programs. Meanwhile, you will structure lending and investment packages, while vetting assessment and evaluation criteria such as financial risk, return, social impact, and mission impact.

HAF will look to you for innovative ideas to create and experiment with financing tools and different loan opportunity scales, from micro-loans to guarantees to large-scale Program and Mission-Related finance. You’ll develop programs, document models, evaluate investment outcomes, and share lessons learned.

In this role you will collaborate with a wide variety of partners. You will collaborate with external partners, staff, and board leadership to develop investment opportunities and lending options for projects that meet the Foundation’s goals and values. Meanwhile, you will work closely with internal teams to blend resources needed for successful project funding and finance – such as grants for pre-development grant stages, technical assistance for loan and business readiness, and policy and advocacy for waivers or governmental assistance. Further you will also identify opportunities to braid public, private, and philanthropic efforts and investments for major, region-wide efforts that require complex financing structures and partnerships. You will also have a deep commitment to racial equity and a just economy, including an ability to bring or build relationships with Tribal Nations and their project finance organizations (housing authorities, EDCs, etc.), as well as other tribal economic and financing and funding entities. Similarly, you will bring or build relationships with businesses and leadership organizations supporting communities of color to identify and cultivate investment opportunities.

Partner and Funding Generation and Management

As a highly relational finance professional, you will develop and manage relationships in service to HAF’s strategy for blended funding and financing for large initiatives aligned with our goals and values. Key relationships include local co-investors such as local CDCs, CDFIs, foundations, and donor lenders, as well as state and national co-investors, impact investing funds, major philanthropy, and wealth funds. HAF will look to you to inspire and coach partners toward impact and mission outcomes alongside financial return.

Your understanding of public sector opportunities for government grants will be key to supporting our impact investing agenda. In this role, you will seek, manage, and partner with collaborators on all aspects of county, state, and federal funding.

Meanwhile, you will oversee the loan portfolio: managing loans and reporting on performance and impact. While monitoring challenges and supporting solutions, you will work closely with any of our partners who conduct loan maintenance to manage risk and maintain progress.

Socially Responsible Investing Guidance and Leadership

As HAF grows in its maturity related to impact portfolios, you will be a key advisor to our CEO, Board of Directors, and staff around Socially Responsible Investing as well as Program and Mission Investing best practices. HAF will rely on your advice and guidance on socially responsible endowment investments including recommending portfolio changes, collaborating with investment firm(s), monitoring risks and opportunities, and sharing insights with donors.

Regionally, you will collaborate in working groups and provide thoughtful leadership, counsel, and technical support to assist the region in project financing and investment with a focus on our goals.

Your North Star is to elevate our impact investment work as a model of how a Community Foundation can assist in large scale positive change in rural regions in partnership with Native American Nations. You will partner closely with Marketing team around storytelling to help influence the field, while also working closely with Advancement and Philanthropic Innovation to engage in philanthropic networks and co- learning.

Foundation Leadership & Collaboration

In this position you will have a cross-functional leadership role within the organization and be skillful at translating complex finance and investment concepts into practical terms and guidance. You will attend internal HAF meetings as appropriate, staff related board committees, and actively participate in staff- development, trainings, and leadership team activities. You will be a life-long learner and mentor, committed to improving racial equity and empowering the vulnerable through investment and finance systems change. Meanwhile, you will regularly communicate to board and staff as required regarding operations, successes, and challenges.

Planning and decision making within HAF will greatly benefit from your perspective, particularly on strategic direction, partnership opportunities, key interventions, and leveraged investments (e.g., improving grantmaking, technical assistance for impact investments). Your coordination of the impact investment program with other foundation programs will be invaluable.

Ideal Candidate

You are first and foremost driven by impact, specifically bringing a deep commitment and skill in operationalizing racial equity and justice, and a value set that prioritizes personal learning and growth in this area. You seek to lead with your capacity to translate social impact values to partners, and to inspire partnerships and cooperation. You have a high degree of emotional intelligence, a collegial working style, and a spirit of servant and adaptive leadership. You find joy in learning alongside communities, thinking out of the box, and prototyping solutions in deep relationship with our neighbors.

Your core professional skills include knowledge of endowments and the structures of philanthropic resources, strong understanding of financial markets and market investment principles, and a robust knowledge of the practice of impact and social investing. You find great satisfaction in creating, managing, and measuring complex projects and programs.

More technically, you have robust analytical, diligence, and risk assessment skills, along with proven experience in public policy, public finance, and public infrastructure and the ability to structure complicated loan funding and financing programs.

Your computer literacy is a given, including proficiency executing intermediate functions with the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.).

Ideally, you bring experience working within and across different sectors of government/public policy, sovereign Native Nations, philanthropy/nonprofits, and industry/business.

A strong plus is your ability to translate investment and project finance strategies for one or more of the foundation’s goals: a JustEconomy; ThrivingFamilies and Youth; HeathyEcosystemsand Environments; and Racial Equity.

A truly outstanding candidate will bring some combination of experience mentoring staff and partners; working in philanthropy with relationships with peer impact investors; and creating and evaluating new programs. Bilingual proficiency of one or more languages spoken in our four-county region, including California Indigenous languages, is a strong plus.

Key Qualifications

A successful candidate is expected to have 8-10 years cumulative experience demonstrating significant experience and leadership in the following:

  • Impact investing and innovative finance, socially responsible project finance and blended funding
  • Generating funding and financing partnerships with complex, values-based projects
  • Organizational management and leadership in a mission-driven organization


$92,000-$102,500 depending on experience, plus health benefits, retirement benefits, paid holidays and sick time

Application Procedure

Please email the following two (2) documents as well as your salary requirements in Word or PDF format to

  1. Resume
  2. A cover letter

We evaluate applicants based on how well they match the qualifications listed, so please use your cover letter as an opportunity to explain and expand upon your skills and experience in these areas. Please also note, that we do not consider references until the final stages of our hiring process and that they are not required in the information that you submit in your initial application. For more information about Humboldt Area Foundation, visit

Humboldt Area Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and without regard to race, religion, creed, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, religion, marital status, medical condition, disability, military service, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local laws or ordinances. Applications submitted for this position do not constitute a promise of employment.

Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) and our affiliates are committed to diversity throughout our programs, environment, and workforce. It is our mission to “promote and encourage generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities” and our belief that taking active and intentional steps to ensure equal employment opportunity and create a working environment that is welcoming to all, will foster diversity and promote excellence in our work. To effectively serve a growing diverse population we endeavor to hire and retain staff who are sensitive to and knowledgeable of the needs of the continually changing communities we serve.

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