The Food and Farm Communications Fund (“the Fund”) is a multi-funder pooled grant program and advocate for the vital role of strategic communications and narrative change in advancing racial equity, social and economic justice, and environmental stewardship in our food and farm systems. The Fund is committed to investing in frontline and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities to support and amplify their transformative narratives and solutions.
The Fund was launched by a group of aligned funders in 2012 in response to an urgent need for communications support among food and farm movement organizations. In 2018, the Fund undertook an evaluation to review its history, hear from grantees and community leaders, and update its strategy to better meet the needs and priorities as identified by those in the field. Since then, the Fund has deepened its commitment to a participatory process that resources the grassroots organizations and networks on the frontlines of transformational food and farm systems change.
WHAT YOU’LL DO
At a time of exciting growth, the Fund is seeking an Executive Director to provide strategic leadership, increase the Fund’s grantmaking capacity, expand and deepen the engagement of staff, funders, advisors, and partners, and elevate the Fund as an innovative and powerful model for philanthropy and systems change. Specifically, the Executive Director will:
- Co-create and facilitate a strategic vision for the Fund in partnership with the Steering Committee, Grants Advisory Committee, and staff. Uphold the principles of participatory grantmaking in setting the Fund’s strategic direction and operational/financial goals.
- Shepard, steward, and cultivate the currently 5-member Steering Committee, deepening their engagement and working collaboratively to oversee the strategic direction and growth of the Fund. Plan and facilitate regular meetings, recruit and onboard new committee members, and leverage committee members’ time and talent in co-governance.
- Envision and collaboratively implement a fundraising goal to increase the Fund’s financial capacity. Work in partnership with the Steering Committee in funder prospecting, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Engage funders through affinity groups, events, updates and communications, and other stewardship activities.
- Serve as “chief development writer,” managing all letters of inquiry, proposals, and renewals for funding of the Fund. Assure that each funding source receives reports on program results and finances in accordance with reporting requirements.
- Oversee the financial management of the Fund, inclusive of creating and managing an annual budget, ensuring financial controls are in place, and setting financial priorities.
- Support and inform the work of the Director of Programs and Movement Support, who coordinates the Grants Advisory Committee and works to ensure that all program activities (i.e., core grants, mini-grants, impact media award, movement support) are well-coordinated and delivered with impact. Assess current staffing and consultant needs and augment if necessary. Manage engagements with consultants and vendors.
- Serve as a knowledgeable and passionate ambassador and public speaker for the Fund, forging and deepening relationships with a wide range of partners, stakeholders, and constituencies i.e., environmental, food systems, social change, and media funder communities. Lead efforts to ensure that the Fund is a visible and credible partner within the food and farm movement.
- Above all, operate with an authentic commitment to bringing an anti-racist, intersectional, and participatory approach to grantmaking and increasing the agency of communities to tell their stories.
WHO YOU ARE
- A passionate advocate for the Food & Farm Communications Fund’s mission and values. You envision a racially, socially, and economically just food and farm system and believe in the power of strategic communications and narrative change. You understand inequitable power dynamics in philanthropy and are committed to advancing innovative approaches that shift power to those most impacted by funding decisions.
- A well-rounded senior leader with a track record in growing and sustaining healthy organizations. You bring at least 10 years of professional experience, with at least 5 in a senior leadership role, inclusive of strategic planning, communications, fundraising, operations, fiscal, and program oversight. You have experience working within food and farm organizations and/or adjacent mission areas and/or strategic communications and narrative change.
- A catalyst for racial, social, and economic equity and justice. You possess a keen understanding of the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, ability, economic, and ecological justice, and a commitment to leading with anti-racist values. You demonstrate awareness of one’s own race, culture and identity and how it fits into the funder/grantee landscape and the world at large. You are self-reflective about your own growth and learning, relative privilege, and positional power.
- A capable fundraiser with an understanding of philanthropy and grantmaking. You are experienced in nonprofit fund development and are energized to play a lead role in fundraising, inclusive of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding funders. Grant writing experience is required.
- An attuned people manager who leverages individuals’ strengths and promotes collaboration. You have experience in building strong teams, coaching and mentoring others, and fostering a culture of collaboration and accountability. You exercise influence strategically, ensure that goals and objectives are clear, and tap into the power of a group’s collective gifts and genius.
- A “big picture” thinker with the ability to implement tactically. You balance both emotional intelligence and analytical rigor as you approach challenges and opportunities. You’re skilled at working in partnership with others to translate strategy into tangible activities and goals.
- An effective communicator and relationship builder who develops rapport easily and inspires trust in all directions. You have a warm, energetic, and authentic personality that translates to building lasting relationships with a range of stakeholders. You convey an organization’s vision and programs in ways that inspire others to take action. You communicate across differences, modeling sensitivity toward the dynamics between white mainstream audiences and the needs and priorities of BIPOC communities served by the Fund.
- A charismatic and knowledgeable ambassador for an organization. You are experienced at public speaking/external relations and raising the profile of an organization with a variety of audiences. You are a natural networker with the ability to deepen existing connections and develop new ones.
The following experiences and knowledge are appreciated, but not required:
- Personal connection to the organizations, networks, and communities served by the Fund
- Experience as an organizer and/or an understanding grassroots organizing
- Proficient in a language other than English that may be used in the Fund’s community, e.g. Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Arabic.