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Opening: Vice President of External Affairs

Publication date: 
November, 2021

Position: Vice President of External Affairs
Organization: Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Location: Washington, DC

About GEO

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a community of funders committed to transforming philanthropic culture and practice by connecting members to the resources and relationships needed to support thriving nonprofits and communities. We envision courageous grantmakers working in service of nonprofits and communities to create a just, connected and inclusive society where we can all thrive. With more than 6,000 grantmakers who belong to philanthropic organizations of all sizes and types across the globe, we work to lift up the grantmaking practices that matter most to nonprofits and that truly improve philanthropic practice. Join us to create a greater impact for these communities by helping grantmakers grow along with the nonprofits they serve. To learn more, visit

Position Description

The vice president of external affairs (VP) is a member of GEO’s senior leadership team and leads the revenue (membership and development) and communications teams. The VP holds the strategic vision for fundraising, membership and communications and how they work together to advance GEO’s mission. The VP is a key staff member representing the organization externally through meetings, media and communications. This position reports to the Executive Vice President and has two direct reports, the director of membership & development and director of communications & marketing. The VP is a dynamic connector with strong leadership, management, and interpersonal skills and significant experience in revenue development and strategic communications, as well as the ability to contribute to cross-team alignment and collaboration. This job includes between 30-40% travel (note that GEO staff are not currently traveling due to the pandemic).

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should apply on our jobs page at A resume and cover letter must be included with your application. A first review of applicants will take place by December 6th and we’ll continue accepting applications until the position is filled. In your cover letter, please address the following:

  • Why you are a good fit for this position
  • Tell us about your approach to building relationships with members, funders and partners
  • Describe your experience developing and implementing a communication strategy
  • What appeals to you about working at GEO?

If you were working with us, here are some of the things you may have done last week:

  • Met with staff to discuss organizational year-end priorities
  • Took a call with a member of the media about a GEO campaign aimed at changing foundation practice
  • Facilitated a session on capacity building with a racial equity lens at an event hosted by a regional association partner
  • Introduced a member who told you they have been struggling with their community engagement practice with a member who has been successfully engaging community members in strategy setting for several years
  • Planned a virtual outreach effort to connect with GEO funders, members and prospective members in a key region
  • Discussed the top proposals for a website redesign with the communications team
  • Attended a conference host committee meeting and followed up with potential conference sponsors about our community-centric sponsorship model
  • Worked with the membership & development director and team to develop a 2022 membership campaign strategy and goals
  • Scheduled check-ins with team members for year-end performance review conversations


  • Minimum of 10-12 years of experience creating successful strategies in the areas of communications, fundraising and membership, preferably in the non-profit and/or philanthropic field
  • Deep ability to connect people, building and maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders (funders, members, prospects and partners)
  • Experience leading and managing teams; organizational leadership experience preferred
  • Knowledge of philanthropy and organizational effectiveness; commitment to GEO's mission and vision to improve philanthropic culture and practice
  • Experience supporting an organization working to center racial equity in culture, practices and work
  • Excellent communication and facilitation skills; dynamic presence
  • Ability to attend to results, relationships and process in all facets of work
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint); Salesforce experience a plus

Salary and Benefits

GEO offers a competitive salary ($150k’s-170k’s) and a generous benefits package, including 100 percent employer paid health insurance, three weeks of vacation, twelve sick days, a 7 percent employer retirement contribution, a commitment to professional development and growth, along with a Metro accessible location in downtown D.C. (Note that GEO staff are working remotely until at least February 2021 due to the pandemic.)

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is an equal opportunity employer. GEO is committed to equal employment opportunities in recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation and disciplinary action with regard to the terms and conditions of employment. GEO does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation or any other legally protected characteristic.

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