Background: The Appalachia Funders Network (AFN) formed in 2010 as a movement building effort to drive the equitable economic transition of Central Appalachia. Composed of 60 philanthropic organizations, investors, Community Development Financial Institutions, and government agencies, AFN members fund across the Appalachian regions of Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and all of West Virginia. AFN organizes, coordinates and aligns the efforts of grantmakers and investors towards a regional transition with a cross-issue ecosystems approach.
AFN is guided by the following principles:
- Foster cross sector partnerships, engagement, and leadership
- Advocate for long-term, strategic investments
- Include practitioners in the work to learn, analyze, and develop strategies for the region
- Maximize resources for the region and not the Network
- Promote inclusion and diversity
- Cultivate trust, transparency and accountability
The Appalachia Funders Network is guided by a 12-member Steering Committee that provides strategic direction for the organization. The Network members participate in six issue focused groups: Place-based Foundations, Health, Arts & Culture, Energy & Natural Resources, Food & Agricultural Systems, and Downtown Revitalization. The Network also commits 10% of it’s annual expenditures towards racial equity content for its members.
Position Description: The AFN Executive Director, who reports to the Steering Committee, will oversee the daily operations of the Network, as described in the “Responsibilities” section below. The Executive Director acts in partnership with the Network Steering Committee to direct the strategy and programming of the Network.
The ability to communicate exceptionally well in oral and written form is necessary for success in this position. As the key spokesperson for the Network, this person must be able to speak extemporaneously and appropriately on any number of subjects in a clear and transparent fashion in order to build trust and support. Additionally, energy, natural optimism, the ability to be a good listener and a quick learner are important personal attributes. A sense of humor and humility are also valued.
Relationship and People Management
- Weave relationships with members and funding partners, leading to improved engagement, alignment, and impact
- In partnership with Steering Committee Co-Chairs, act as the primary/initial organizational point of contact for AFN
- Recruit, supervise and coach staff and contractors
- Liaise with fiscal sponsor and vendors
Strategy and Vision
- Be a thought partner with Steering Committee and Network leaders to drive programs, engagement, and communications
- Be a day-to-day and big picture ecosystem thinker and translator of vision into work plans
- Partner with Program Manager and Group Co-Chairs to ensure high quality programming for members
- In partnership with AFN’s racial equity consultant, drive the equity programming and network strategy to achieve impact
- Lead fundraising strategy including the execution of an annual fundraising plan
- Ensure high quality grant applications and reports are submitted in a timely fashion
- Maintain exceptional working relationships with funding partners
- Attract and retain new members, with a special focus on attracting national funding to the region
- Plan and oversee the Network Membership Committee
- Oversee the execution of the annual membership campaign
- In partnership with the Finance Committee, develop and maintain the organizational annual budget
- Manage, negotiate, and oversee major network contracts
- Work in partnership with the fiscal sponsor to ensure accurate financial reporting, grants administration, projections, cash flow, and other documentation
- Institute a formal operating reserve
- Work with the Planning Committee to develop a theme, select a location (if in person), and direct strategy of the Annual Gathering, an annual conference with over 100 funder participants
- Develop and maintain a Gathering Budget and seek sponsorships to support its implementation
- Oversee all contracts, operations, and logistics to support a high quality, high impact event
Steering Committee Management
- Partner with the Steering Committee to provide ongoing strategic direction for the Network
- Partner with the Co-Chairs to ensure high quality, robust meetings of the Steering Committee
- Facilitate the Nominations Committee, ensuring a Steering Committee is comprised of a diverse set of funders dedicated to AFN’s mission
Operations & Communications
- Recruit and hire staff and contractors as needed
- Facilitate operations committees (finance, nominations, membership, etc.) and daily operations
- Manage external communications including: newsletters, website updates, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Group member communications
- Evaluate the structure of AFN and make recommendations to the Steering Committee, as needed, to advance the goals of the Network
The ideal candidate will have:
- A minimum of 7 years in relevant and applicable work experience in the non-profit or philanthropic sector
- Advanced degree preferred but not required
- A track record of collaboration with all types of partners including colleagues, nonprofit boards, funders, and government partners
- A proven record of working to support and advance equity
- Strong communication skills across formats and can represent AFN to a wide variety of audiences
- Natural relationship building and weaving strengths with an understanding of the power of connections and networks of individuals and organizations
- Strong fundraising experience with a demonstrable track record of success
- A demonstrated ability to prioritize amongst multiple complex projects and tasks
- A strong history of managing people in a way that supports their strengths, grows their skills, and does great work
- A values driven leadership style and ability to focus on the North Star goals of the organization
- A high level of comfort and technological proficiency in a remote environment, both now and beyond COVID
- A deep commitment to the equitable transition of the Central Appalachian region
- A solid understanding of non-profit financial and legal obligations, especially in partnership with a fiscal sponsor
- Financial acumen in budget development, financial forecasting, and financial oversight
- Experience planning and executing high quality large scale events such as conferences, webinars, meetings, and learning opportunities
- Facilitation skills that bring out the best ideas in the room and engage members
- A dynamic and visionary presence that inspires others to believe a brighter future is possible for the region and its people
Travel: Some travel may be required once it is safe to do so. Likely travel will be primarily across Central Appalachia but could include limited travel in the U.S. for meetings or conferences. Travel will likely be 10% of the time.
Location: This is a remote position with the opportunity to move to an office when safe. The expectation is that the Executive Director will reside in the Central Appalachian region.
AFN has an anticipated salary of $100,000 plus benefits for this position.
How To Apply: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and cover letter by October 4, 2021. The anticipated start date for this position is January 1, 2022. All applications will be kept confidential.
Non-Discrimination Policy: The Appalachia Funders Network is committed to the principle of equity in employment and programming. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or veteran status in our hiring practices, programs, services or activities. All are encouraged to apply.