CEO - Philanthropy Northwest

The Opportunity

For the past 40 years, Philanthropy Northwest has served a diverse group of philanthropic organizations in a core six-state region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming), and beyond. Philanthropy Northwest – a learning network and membership organization that is one of the nation’s 33 regional associations of grantmakers – helps philanthropists work together across geography, culture, race and wealth to improve communities in the Northwest.

Philanthropy Northwest supports its members and partners by providing educational programming, high-quality networking opportunities, information on emerging public policy issues facing the sector, facilitation of collaborative efforts and access to the best resources available to support effective  philanthropy.

Philanthropy Northwest aspires to improve the craft of philanthropy. Doing so requires operating with a set of core values; operating intentionally, thoughtfully, openly and with integrity; and staying abreast of trends in the field to help members stay on the cutting edge of having social impact and making communities more resilient.

In the context of philanthropy – endeavors of generosity and the sharing of abundance – Philanthropy Northwest is placing equity squarely at the heart of its work. For Philanthropy Northwest, equity means more than diversity and inclusion (though those matter a great deal); it means attending to the systemic factors that may inhibit the full participation in its work by a broad and diverse set of community members. Humility, engagement, innovation, accountability and ongoing learning and sharing are keys to ensuring a more equitable region, and a more effective organization.

The organization has three main lines of business: supporting members through educational programming, developing cross-sector relationships that lead to action and impact, and driving equity and inclusion through a place-based approach; The Giving Practice, a consulting group that serves regional and national foundations and philanthropy serving organizations on a wide range of strategic issues in philanthropy; and an incubator platform to test and nourish ideas, beyond   traditional fiscal sponsorship.

Philanthropy Northwest is at an exciting time in its life cycle. Coming off a two-year strategic refresh, the organization is clear on its role in the sector, focus on communities, identity as a network of funders, and commitment to championing diversity, equity and inclusion. Philanthropy Northwest is well positioned to be an essential strategic partner for individual and collective impact. Through collaborating with its members, partners and clients, Philanthropy Northwest aims to ensure that communities in the Northwest have vibrant, healthy futures that honor their past, people and cultures. 

Learn more about Philanthropy Northwest at

Position Responsibilities

Philanthropy Northwest seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to work closely with the Board, staff, and key stakeholders to advance the organization’s mission, provide strategic leadership, ensure the development and delivery of innovative member programs, refine and revisit the business model, and integrate various activities of the organization to create a whole greater than the sum of its  parts.

Identifying opportunities to position Philanthropy Northwest as a partner for funders to help realize their goals will also be important as part of ensuring a sustainable capital base for the organization. Collaborating with a wide variety of individuals and organizations while managing a very talented staff and sophisticated operation will not only be critical to the new CEO’s success, but also bring joy for the right person in realizing the organization’s values and aspirations throughout the Northwest –  and nationally.

The new CEO will continue Philanthropy Northwest’s evolution into a premier hub and connector in the field of philanthropy, all while keeping a sense of place in the Northwest – the communities and people that make this region of the country truly special. The CEO will lead the organization in knowing its members well, shaping cutting-edge programming, guiding its communications and serving as its compelling spokesperson.

Specifically, the CEO will be responsible for:

  • Leading a very talented team by providing guidance, coaching and mentoring that ensures that Philanthropy Northwest operates in a connected, networked fashion, and focusing on the personal and professional growth of the team
  • Overseeing the development of productive, positive relationships with Philanthropy Northwest members and key partners (including regional associations, philanthropy serving organizations, leading advocates for the nonprofit sector, and policy makers, among  others)
  • Ensuring that information from members is integrated into the ongoing development of Philanthropy Northwest programming, The Giving Practice’s consulting, and the incubation  platform
  • Responding to – and anticipating – members’ needs (and the field at large), identifying opportunities and developing products and services that address members’ needs
  • Identifying, developing and stewarding collaborative relationships with other organizations which could be important partners to amplify the power of giving
  • Developing and executing strategies and activities to advance Philanthropy Northwest’s convening and community catalyst role, including dialogues, events and presentations to key audiences; developing marketing communications strategies to drive the engagement of  members
  • Ensuring Philanthropy Northwest’s fiscal health is sustainable and robust – focusing on the business model and  fundraising
  • With the senior management team, evolving and adapting the business model, creating success metrics for Philanthropy Northwest’s new strategic framework, and conducting continuous evaluation in line with those   metrics

Profile of the Successful Candidate

The successful candidate will have an innate understanding of – and feel for – the power of networks. Knowledge of the unique role of philanthropy in social change will be essential, but particularly useful in the pursuit of seeing its promise and potential fulfilled, in innovative and perhaps unprecedented ways. In addition, Philanthropy Northwest seeks a leader who is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, both inside the organization and on behalf of its  mission.

Philanthropy Northwest seeks a professional with superb communications and presentation skills, along with an effective, collaborative interpersonal manner that combines an appreciation for ambiguity with a problem-solving instinct. The new CEO will be savvy and transparent in nurturing an organization while keeping its members as its central focus. As Chief Executive, a key piece of the role will be leading an organization of true leaders – leveraging the expertise of the strong staff to strengthen the organization as a whole, and to deliver best-in-class member services. This requires thinking across the organization consistently, tying everyone’s roles to Philanthropy Northwest’s strategic framework. The successful candidate will have a well-developed business acumen that balances mission needs with revenue goals. Finally, the new CEO will have a strong work ethic, with the ability to balance all of the various demands presented by a modern organization.

More specifically, Philanthropy Northwest seeks a professional who has:

  • Genuine enthusiasm and passion for philanthropy, combined with a personal vision of its potential and promise
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and sensitively with a broad range  of diverse groups as evidenced by excellent listening and communication skills, balanced and reasoned approaches to problems, ability to inspire  trust and confidence, and flexibility and openness to differing points of  view
  • An inclusive, consensus-building leadership style both in and out of the public spotlight that is grounded in deep mutual respect, healthy work/life balance, clear communication, humor and  joy
  • A communicative and collaborative approach, demonstrated through strong written and public speaking skills as well as excellent listening skills
  • Exceptional management skills, with an understanding of the difference between leadership and management – and the ability to exercise both with an attitude of enthusiasm and appreciative inquiry
  • Demonstrated financial management acumen with experience growing diverse revenue streams
  • Successful experience working in a highly visible environment
  • Excellent judgment and negotiation skills, with an eye toward translating strategy into relationships and unparalleled results
  • Strong analytical skills, as evidenced by experience with drawing insights from data and making decisions  accordingly
  • Ability to make decisions in a highly dynamic environment, with an appreciation for how future needs may affect those  decisions 
  • A willingness to iterate a strategy and approach, with the ability to recognize the need to course-correct as  necessary
  • Deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as evidenced by personal and professional disposition and track  record
  • Demonstrated skills in facilitation and effective management of meetings and convenings
  • Ten years’ experience with progressive responsibilities including senior leadership experience

In addition, the successful candidate will likely have: 

  • Prior experience in philanthropy
  • Prior experience living or working in the Pacific Northwest

Reports to

Board of Directors

Start Timeframe

We seek to have someone in place by early 2017.


Philanthropy Northwest offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, along with an appropriate benefits  package.

To Apply

All applications are held in strict confidence. Please submit your credentials and a letter of interest via email to The 360 Group at:

Applications should be directed to the attention of Vincent Robinson, Managing Partner. To be considered, The 360 Group must receive applications no later than 5:00pm Pacific time on Thursday, September 29,  2016 . 

At The 360 Group, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizations more effective. As such, we make all forms of diversity a hallmark of all our work, including search engagements.