Position: President & Chief Executive Officer
Organization: Washington Women’s Foundation
Location: Seattle, WA
Washington Women’s Foundation’s vision is to change the course of women’s philanthropy through the power of collective grantmaking. Through our collective grantmaking model, we leverage the resources of individual women to make large-scale, high-impact grants, benefitting nonprofit organizations throughout Washington State. We pioneered the concept of women’s large-scale, collective grantmaking and our model has inspired scores of other organizations around the country and throughout the world. As a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, WaWF funds its operations and grantmaking through contributions, which primarily come from our 360 members who contribute a minimum of $2,500 each year. Membership is open to all who identify as women.
Since its founding in 1995, WaWF has made grants totaling more than $19 million. We collectively make grants to organizations in Washington State in five areas our founders believed were the foundational elements of a thriving community - Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Our current annual grantmaking includes grants of $100,000 in each of the 5 areas and additional smaller grants focused on specific issues. WaWF’s annual operating budget of $1.4M fuels our grantmaking and more than 50 workshops and educational programs each year, almost all of which are open to guests and community partners.
Our collective grantmaking model and educational programming empower women with the knowledge and tools they need to become more informed, strategic philanthropists and more confident, skilled community leaders. WaWF members are influential change agents who lead by example in the community and continually enrich our collective with new perspectives. At our core, we are a membership organization with member voices that are engaged and invested in shaping WaWF’s future.
WaWF was founded by women who experienced exclusion from traditional philanthropy on the basis of gender, and established the organization to harness the power of woman’s collective grantmaking. Yet, we acknowledge that much of institutional philanthropy, including WaWF, continues to exclude many voices and it is critical that we work towards increasing the diversity of our membership as well as in our grantmaking. We know that by bringing a broader range of lived experiences, perspectives and voices into the conversation we will achieve more strategic grantmaking, make sounder decisions, and produce better outcomes. We want our collective to reflect and represent the changing demographics of the region and know that creating a more diverse and genuinely inclusive culture begins first with ourselves. We need to understand and counteract the systems built and maintained by systemic oppression. Our goal is to advance equity through building relationships, sharing power, embracing discomfort, listening and respecting all voices in the community in order to live our values with greater impact.
We also see inequity continuing to grow at unprecedented levels in our communities – not just economic inequity but disparities in education, access to healthcare and housing, environmental impacts, creative expression, political participation, and civic engagement. Our recognition of these growing disparities and the fact that organizations led by and serving people of color have historically received less funding from the philanthropic sector sparked a multiyear process, engaging our staff, board, members and community to build a new strategic framework.
One of the outcomes of that process was to adopt new criteria focused on increasing racial and gender equity and reducing disparities, starting with our 2019 grantmaking cycle. We acknowledge there is not a specific roadmap toward equity that we can simply adopt and follow, that the philanthropic sector’s concepts and ideas are continuing to evolve, and that our legacy of being a learning organization, willing to test, try and adapt, will continue to serve us in good stead as we go forward. We refer to our transformation as a journey—a continual learning process, guided by humility, that keeps WaWF vital in a rapidly changing world.
With new grant criteria in place, we must now evolve our grantmaking methods in order to more effectively address the current challenges facing our communities in Washington State. We are beginning to envision innovative grantmaking models, and we have new initiatives in the pipeline as we continue to build deeper relationships with our philanthropic and nonprofit partners. However, we are just beginning this phase of our transformation, so there is still much work to be done.
Learn more about the Washington Women’s Foundation here.
Washington Women’s Foundation (WaWF) is a strong and inclusive collective of informed women who together influence community transformation through individual and collective discovery, high-impact grant making and by listening to and respecting all voices in our community. At a critical time in WaWF’s history we are seeking an inspirational and innovative President & CEO to lead WaWF. WaWF believes it is more important now than ever, in this time of pandemic, economic devastation, and racial injustice reckoning, to find a leader who understands these challenges and has the experience and vision to help define WaWF’s role in addressing them.
The President & CEO will build upon a rich 25-year history of collective grantmaking that empowered women to see that by working together, they could learn and give with greater impact. With WaWF’s recent adoption of a strategic framework focused on advancing equity and becoming an anti-racist organization, the next President & CEO will help co-create new, creative and bold actions to fuel a thriving nonprofit sector and meet the demands of the moment.
The President & CEO will represent WaWF, to members, potential members, the community, and the broader philanthropic sector. Managing a talented and committed staff of 4, the President & CEO will have operational responsibility for WaWF’s grantmaking and educational programs, communications, fundraising, events, and finances.
The President & CEO will be instrumental in continuing to position WaWF as a true community partner and actualize the full potential of bringing our vision and values to life. The President & CEO will have the experience to partner effectively with Board and staff to build authentic internal & external relationships.
- Develop the strategic framework into an actionable plan to become an anti-racist organization that is relevant and responsive to the imperatives of these challenging times;
- Be highly visible, engaged, and connected to WaWF members and the community;
- Create a stimulating educational environment that engages current members and cultivates new members;
- Increase membership to reflect and represent the diversity of the broader community;
- Serve as the chief spokesperson for WaWF with all internal and external stakeholders, as a unifying and transparent communicator in the advancement of WaWF’s mission;
- Continue evolving WaWF’s grantmaking practices to maximize impact, listening to voices in the community, sharing power and driving innovative thinking in philanthropy to counteract the systems built and maintained by systemic oppression;
- Build and strengthen relationships and partnerships with relevant community, philanthropic, and nonprofit partners, thought leaders, and business institutions, locally and statewide;
- Provide collaborative leadership and advice to the Board of Directors;
- Make strong organizational capacity and financial sustainability a high priority;
- Provide clear direction, leadership and motivation to the staff, encouraging an organizational culture of inclusion and belonging characterized by continuous learning and exploration, promotion of health and wellbeing, collaboration, and equity;
- Lead and oversee efforts in revenue generation through membership recruitment and stewardship, growth of our annual fund and endowment, sponsorships, and other funding strategies; and
- Lead the organization in the exploration of new grantmaking models and programming to ensure that WaWF is at the leading edge of best practices and engaged in local, state, and national conversations about trends and outcomes in inclusive philanthropy.
The President & CEO will be courageous, vulnerable, and authentic, will have had success in previous leadership roles, will be experienced in creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive organizational culture and will have demonstrated a commitment to social justice.
The President & CEO will embrace the mission of WaWF, the power of collective grantmaking, and will be invested fully in the vision and goals of the organization. This effective leader will provide strategic direction, building on the firm foundation and strong legacy of the past, while unifying members in the pursuit of an inclusive and transformational strategic direction.
A natural bridge and coalition-builder, the President & CEO will have the ability to inspire trust and confidence with a diverse range of stakeholders, including members, staff, Board of Directors, other funders and the community-at-large, and will build connections amongst them.
The ideal candidate will have experience building and leading effective diverse teams and will be able to execute on strategy through active collaboration with membership, staff, Board, and community and philanthropic partners. This individual will also be willing to roll up their sleeves to get things done and see WaWF’s strategic objectives through to successful implementation.
This full-time position (40 hours/week) is based in Seattle, WA. Salary will be commensurate with experience and the range will start at $165,000. Benefits include paid leave, medical, vision and dental insurance, annual transit pass, charitable match, and a retirement plan option.
WaWF has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan, Alex Corvin, and Medelene Beasley. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here
or email the Koya team directly:
Michelle R.S. Bonoan
WaWF is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to cultivating a workplace in which diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. WaWF does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances
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 www.koyapartners.com.