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The Partnership Fund (TPF), a grantmaking collaborative made up of leading local, state, and national funders that work toward greater and sustained philanthropic investment in states and organizing, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director works with this collaborative to implement a strategy that includes grantmaking, program evaluation, shared learning programs, and philanthropic organizing.
For decades, it has been clear that ordinary people have little sway over the public decisions that affected their daily lives. Despite occasional improvements, policy and politics are insufficiently responsive to the lived experience of people of color, women, people with disabilities, and people who are lower-income and poor. Historically, the organizations who organize, engage, and represent communities have tended to be on the ‘outside’ of public policy change – making requests of elected and appointed officials, but rarely co-creating solutions alongside them and other leaders who negotiate policy agendas and decide what is possible. The Partnership Fund exists to change that equation by equipping multi-racial, multi-issue, cohorts of state-level organizations and leaders to become stronger, more influential and more likely to achieve lasting change.
TPF operates under a theory of change that philanthropy is most effective when funders act hand-in-hand with local leaders to lift up the expertise of grassroots organizations and in-state strategists. Therefore, TPF supports community-based organizations through an ecosystem approach where groups operate in deep relationship to identify, enact, implement, and sustain meaningful change in people’s lives. TPF likewise believes that intentionally sharing lessons and experiences across states and between leaders and funders improves outcomes, strengthens the field, and generates lasting resources.
Building on the foundation laid by the Partnership Fund’s founding Executive Director, TPF’s next leader will have the unique opportunity to deepen and expand the ways in which funders support the development of independent political power—a concept that the Partnership Fund has translated from top-notch field organizations into a philanthropic practice that TPF has successfully piloted for five years. Independent political power refers to a theory and practice of organizing communities to contest for governing influence outside of the two dominant political parties and includes the development of a variety of capacities: the ability to mobilize and organize people, the ability to drive a message and craft a worldview among supporters, and the ability to access and influence decision-makers. The Executive Director will develop and implement collaborative strategies to improve and sustain those independent political power capacities through grantmaking and learning. They will work with TPF’s network to communicate key lessons for a broader funding community to increase alignment and financial support for TPF, its grantees and the field.
Together with the Advisory Board, the ED will set and implement organizational and strategic growth plans—including recruiting new funders to the network and directing fundraising strategy. They will build and oversee a team that supports the expansion of the Fund’s work and that ensures excellence throughout TPFs operations, programs finance, and fundraising.
The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, strategic, and self-driven leader with exceptional collaboration, synthesis, and communication abilities. They will have demonstrated success in developing and driving efforts to achieve policy change and develop political strategy that is focused on—and driven by—community priorities. The ED will have a sophisticated analysis of politics and power—particularly with regards to race, class, gender, and the dynamics inherent in the grantmaking-grantee relationship. They will clearly articulate the role funders can play in effectively supporting movements, organizations, and leaders. The successful candidate will be highly flexible, adaptable and able to collaboratively bring people along in a shared vision. They will have success raising funds and experience in organizational management in a small, nimble operation. The ideal candidate will be energetic, humble, and self-motivated with a demonstrated commitment to and nuanced understanding of TPF’s mission and work.
The Partnership Fund is a project of New Venture Fund, a 501c(3) organization incorporated in Washington, DC. As its fiscal sponsor, NVF provides a range of services that support the Partnership Fund including human resources and financial management, administrative services, and legal and governance oversight. The Executive Director also oversees the strategy and implementation of the Partnership Action Fund, an affiliated 501c(4) grantmaking entity sponsored by the 1630 Fund.
This search is being assisted by Carolyn Ho and Callie Carroll of the national search firm, NPAG.