We’re Hiring: Co-Executive Director, External Relations

September 22nd 2021

Co-Executive Director, External Relations

Position:  Permanent

Classification: Full Time, Exempt 

Reports to:  TPF Board of Directors

Salary Range: $95 – $110K

About the Transforming Power Fund

The Transforming Power Fund (TPF) is a Detroit-based social justice fund committed to transformative systems change. Broadly, the Fund addresses the pressing need for community organizing to address systemic social injustices, especially efforts led by those disproportionately impacted by the issues. Through community-led grantmaking and donor organizing, we also aim to model a more equitable approach to traditional philanthropy.

VISION. A just, equitable, beautiful, and economically thriving Detroit, characterized by accountable, visionary economic development guided by democratic processes at all levels.

MISSION. The Transforming Power Fund provides funding, training and other resources for local projects that address the root causes of systemic problems and advance holistic solutions in Detroit. TPF prioritizes community governance, donor organizing and shared values to model a more equitable approach to philanthropy. 

TPF grew out of a city-wide effort, initiated by Detroit’s social justice community, to bring more foundation resources to local movements and to demonstrate a more equitable approach to traditional philanthropy. TPF provides funding, training, and other resources for local projects that address the root causes of systemic problems and advance holistic solutions. Our work is based on an intentional community-based process that began in 2015 and culminated in the creation of the “12 Recommendations to Detroit Funders” and the 2017 report Changing the Conversation: Philanthropic Funding and Community Organizing in Detroit. The Fund is an expression of the principles and practices laid out in these documents. 

For more information about the Transforming Power Fund, please visit: www.transformingpowerfund.org.

Position Overview

The Transforming Power Fund seeks a dynamic leader to serve as Co-Executive Director, External Relations; one who is committed to building upon the great work of the board and previous leadership, while co-creating, animating and advancing work that realizes it’s vision and mission and aligning and stewarding organizational resources, policies, structures, processes, principles and accountability practices towards that end.  They will work with the other co-ED to ensure that staff, teams, and infrastructure are in place and well-supported to accelerate and leverage our collective capacity to effectively transform power and seed justice in principled and community-aligned ways.  Their work will be informed and guided by the strategic direction articulated in the Changing the Conversation report.  

Specifically, the co-ED’s work includes pushing the needle of transformative change in Detroit, carrying the message of Transforming Power Fund beyond Detroit, advancing the work of transformation in philanthropy within local and regional grantmaking communities, building and managing state and local partnerships and building relationships with people of wealth to support TPF’s work.

Together, the co-Executive Directors will lead and work collectively with board, staff, partners and other stakeholders in support of the following strategies:

  • Shifting the Paradigm: Build the appetite and support for community governance and community control of assets and resources through praxis based political education and peer learning to shape a new paradigm that positively transforms the relationships between funders and communities, achieving more influence in the philanthropic ecosystem, and as a consequence, more space for the innovation and creation of community-led solutions.
  • Resourcing Solutions: Provide funding, training, and other resources for local projects that address the root causes of systemic problems, build grassroots power and advance holistic solutions.

Essential Functions of this External Focused Role

  • Lead on engagement of members of the Board, staff and ecosystem partners in meaningful conversations that facilitate collaborative advancement of organizational and ecosystem-wide goals.
  • Assure adequate control and accounting of all funds, including maintaining oversight of sound financial practices.
  • Raise funds from individuals and institutions to meet the organizational budget and build a strong reserve.
  • Partner with the Board and donors to generate and expand resources needed for the fulfillment of Transforming Power Fund’s mission.
  • Oversee, supervise, and evaluate direct reports (Finance Director and others as needed).
  • Guide each area of work (i.e., finance, etc.) in developing a clear framework and structure for delivering their work; co-create and monitor work plans for each and ensure they do the same for their direct reports.
  • Ensure staff are informed and participate in decisions that impact their individual work and that of the Transforming Power Fund as a whole.
  • Model a collaborative approach to leadership and strategy development.
  • Provide access to resources that enable staff to learn, grow, and succeed in their role.
  • Build on learning from the peer learning circles to inform an approach to shifting messages within philanthropy.
  • Serve as an ambassador along with Board members to shift culture and narrative within the philanthropy. Speak to, write about, and carry our message forward.
  • Build and maintain strategic relationships and partnerships with donor networks, foundations, leaders in philanthropy and individuals with wealth.
  • Effectively partner with the Board and foundation partners to generate and expand resources needed for the fulfillment of Transforming Power’s mission.
  • Seed, support and expand grassroots fundraising and wealth distribution within the region in the service of Transforming Power Fund’s mission.
  • Actively identify, cultivate and solicit funder prospects.
  • Lead on putting into place systems and processes to ensure communication flows smoothly and consistently among and between local, regional and national partners.
  • Serve as a public-facing ambassador — promoting Transforming Power Fund’s values and work through various forms of media and public events.

Duties Shared with Co-Executive Director

  • Maintain and weave a deep understanding and working knowledge of the field (anti-blackness, racial justice, radical philanthropy, Black and Indigenous-led organizing and movement building, and grassroots grantmaking, Detroit People’s history, etc.) into strategy and planning efforts.
  • Ensure annual priority-setting, planning, and budgeting processes are in service of and aligned with Transforming Power Fund’s vision, strategy, and core values.
  • Ensure an effective process is in place for implementing, evolving, monitoring progress and evaluating against organizational goals and systems-change aims.
  • Maintain a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board – keep board members fully informed on the condition of the organization and important factors influencing it.
  • Synthesize information and frame issues and questions in a manner that helps the board and committees to set the agenda, focus discussions, and make responsible decisions.
  • Work with the Board, Finance Director, Program and Operations Director and other stakeholders (as appropriate) to craft the annual budget; monitor progress and recommend changes to operations and/or to budgets as appropriate.
  • Balance attention to detail and effective use of resources.
  • Support a culture of experimentation, innovation, continuous learning, and rigorous evaluation.
  • Implement customs that are aligned with Transforming Power Fund’s core values and that encourage and anchor well-being, cohesion, and synergy across all functions and practice areas.
  • Ensure Transforming Power Fund’s branding, marketing and communications efforts are consistent, compelling, and tailored to relevant audiences.
  • Ensure digital security readiness and crisis communications plan is in place.
  • Engage, align and motivate staff and teams through planning and review sessions, meetings, trainings, retreats, and excellent ongoing internal information sharing.

Other Duties. Please note that the Transforming Power Fund is committed to responding to changing circumstances and priorities.  The expectations of every position are dynamic. This description reflects the assignment of essential functions but does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

To thrive in this position, the co-Executive Director shall embody and demonstrate:

  • Alignment with Transforming Power Fund’s vision, mission and values.
  • A deep commitment to the power of grassroots communities and leadership, including prioritizing the perspectives and agency of those closest to injustice.
  • Willingness to collaborate, share in decision-making processes, create safe spaces for agreement and disagreements and assume the very best of intentions.
  • Commitment to inclusivity, teamwork, and excitement to build and support something that isn’t tightly controlled.
  • Strength in inspiring, developing, recognizing, growing, and leveraging the leadership, talents, and motivations of core staff, board members, and the donor community at-large.
  • Skill in balancing well-developed plans with responsiveness to rapidly changing conditions.
  • Ability to thoughtfully engage people with significant financial means — creating space for shared learning, healing, and transformation.
  • Commitment to addressing/confronting anti-blackness; strong racial, gender, class, environmental/social justice lens and equity and practice of consistently applying anti-oppression principles and practices.
  • Additional competencies include: emotional self-awareness, emotional self-control, adaptability, empathy, organizational awareness and conflict management.

Applications are due November 24th

Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest, qualifications and salary requirements, along with their resume here.

Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For any questions, please contact hr@transformingpowerfund.org.

Transforming Power Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.

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