ArtsFund, soon to celebrate 50 years of service to the Puget Sound region, has actively strengthened the community by (1) raising funds that support the region’s nonprofit arts sector through grants and other organizational assistance; (2) advocating for the needs of the sector; and, (3) serving as an active member of Seattle’s civic and grantmaking community. Its vision is a community with a dynamic and world-class arts and cultural sector where the arts are accessible to all and valued as critical to a healthy community and society. To that end, ArtsFund serves a growing network of cultural partners, large and small, established and emerging, in performing, visual, literary, and multidisciplinary arts. Last year these groups produced over 10,000 exhibits and performances, provided 1.7 million free or discounted tickets, and enabled more than 830,000 students to access arts programming. The organization also serves as a major convener, advocate and leading ambassador to the community on behalf of the arts. It has initiated numerous, high-profile, research studies on the economic impact of the arts in the region, and pioneered the first study of the social impact of the arts in the region. As part of its mission, ArtsFund also acts as a fiscal agent for sector-wide initiatives.
ArtsFund has identified a clear set of values as guiding principles that help advance its mission:
- It seeks to ignite a passion for the Arts based on the belief that arts and culture inspire, empower and transform communities
- It promotes equitable and inclusive communities because the Arts should be accessible to all and reflect, represent, and engage the entire community
- It innovates through collaboration and leadership because ArtsFund’s impact and relevance, and that of the arts sector, are deepened through continuous learning, creative leadership, and strategic partnerships
Under strong and effective leadership over the past eight years, ArtsFund has grown a talented, ten-member professional team that in 2018 raised an operational and grants budget of $3.8 million. ArtsFund is guided by a 32-member Board of Trustees comprised of business, civic, education and community leaders and a 12- member Executive Committee. Its unique place in the community, mission, governance structure, experienced staff, and strategic opportunities provide an incoming leader with options, support, and the strategic latitude to further define and clarify ArtsFund’s scope, purpose and impact.
We invite you to learn more about ArtsFund by visiting www.artsfund.org.
ArtsFund seeks a new Chief Executive Officer who is passionate about the importance of the arts in civic life, provides thoughtful strategic and operational leadership, and who brings significant, hands-on fundraising capabilities, and management experience to the position. With an opportunity to participate in the strategic planning efforts which are underway, the incoming CEO will be a proactive innovator who will lead the organization as it shapes ArtsFund’s approach and business model going forward. The preferred candidate will have appropriate experience and skills to lead, manage, and advance ArtsFund’s fundraising, advocacy, initiatives, grantmaking, and civic and community engagement in order to further its positive influence on the sector and its growth.
The new Chief Executive Officer will play a variety of roles. Initially, it will be essential to complete the internal work of the strategic planning process while developing collaborative and productive relationships with the board and staff. Assuming a broader leadership role on behalf of the cultural sector and advocating for the importance of this work to government, corporate, philanthropic, and other cultural arts organizations must be a high priority. A fiercely effective ArtsFund CEO, who can steward a wide range of relationships to enhance the profile of the arts community; increase public commitment to the arts; and creatively and effectively identify, explore and cultivate additional funding sources for the arts will further ArtsFund's legacy of leadership within the sector.
Specifically, the responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer will include:
- Balancing creative and visionary thinking with operationally measurable and quantifiable implementation of ArtsFund’s strategy, which may require strategic change management
- Mentoring and leading staff to ensure that fundraising, grantmaking, and advocacy programs advance ArtsFund’s mission and vision and achieve the desired impact set out in its strategic priorities, while ensuring team members’ professional development and growth
- Advancing ArtsFund’s overall mission and specific agendas in public forums and through building diverse partnerships, alliances, coalitions, and joint ventures with other influential leaders in the arts, business, and government
- Establishing and maintaining positive relationships with a strong, diverse and active Board of Trustees, other funders, and the broader Puget Sound nonprofit community and public sector leaders to effectively leverage and promote the sector and ArtsFund’s impact, reach and visibility
- Strengthening existing and cultivating new relationships with ArtsFund’s key donors and potential donors to ensure that fundraising remains a central activity for the CEO, board and development function
- Supporting the board in the development and maintenance of appropriate governance policies, goals and objectives
- Furthering marketing and communications strategies to present clearly the role and image of ArtsFund to grantees, other funders and the community at large in approachable and contemporary ways
Fundraising and Grantmaking
- Leading the Board of Trustees and staff to develop and implement ArtsFund’s fundraising programs and activities, ensuring fundraising remains a top, organization-wide priority
- Empowering the ArtsFund team to identify community needs and develop appropriate fundraising and grantmaking initiatives and partnerships
- Serving on the Allocations Committee to hone its grantmaking activities and collaboratively working with the staff to implement strategies to achieve strategic plan goals
- Continuing to lead the Puget Sound arts, nonprofit and funding communities in collaborative efforts that align with ArtsFund’s strategic plans, with an eye on diversity, equity and inclusion that cements ArtsFund's role and influence in the sector
Equity and Inclusion
- Deeply embedding and acculturating racial and social equity and inclusion in ArtsFund’s work, building on the precedent set through the Allocation’s Committee work
- Adopting strategy shifts that support and help advance equity and inclusion priorities within the broad cultural arts sector and organizations that operate in the sector
- Leveraging analytical tools to understand and communicate what ArtsFund, philanthropic partners and grantees can do to enhance diversity and reduce inequity
Organizational and Financial Management
- Ensuring the effective action of the Board in governing and overseeing the organization's affairs
- Advising, counseling and directing staff activities; ensuring staff team operates collaboratively at a high professional level in a “best places to work” environment
- Ensuring that ArtsFund sustains a high level of effectiveness and efficiency through its people as well as through internal controls, budgeting and finance
- Ensuring ArtsFund's audit and annual report are prepared and accepted on an appropriate schedule and there are no significant management findings
- Serving as the president of the foundation and working with its board and investment advisor to ensure sound investment and administrative practices
Profile of the Successful Candidate
ArtsFund seeks an entrepreneurial, inspirational fundraising leader who is skilled in fundraising, change management, organizational development, communication, collective action, and understanding systems. The new CEO will be deeply committed to a prominent place for the arts in Seattle's civic landscape, along with diversity, inclusion, and ensuring equitable practices in ArtsFund’s work and throughout the sector; we expect that the successful candidate's commitment will reflect both lived and learned experience. The new CEO could come from a variety of leadership backgrounds; though the successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record of significant fundraising success, civic or community engagement, embracing the value of the arts in civic life, and maintaining trusted relationships with stakeholders. The new leader may also have experience in other fields, such as work in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. We expect that the new CEO will come to the position with the skills necessary to secure financial resources and advocate on behalf of the arts and communities that need access to arts-related education and experiences.
More specifically, ArtsFund seeks a thoughtful, experienced professional who has:
- Demonstrated fundraising experience, especially in working with high-net worth individuals; securing new corporate partnerships; and creatively expanding sources of support
- A keen awareness of how arts intersects with corporate, political and community interests
- Superior leadership and strategic planning experience -- in the arts, foundation, nonprofit, public, or private sector
- Demonstrated success in working with boards
- A fundamental commitment to racial and social equity, being skilled in analysis to understand the equity implications of individual, organizational, and systemic decisions
- Concern for underserved communities and a disposition to help build their capacity and resilience by way of arts exposure and education
- Strong management track record that includes recruiting, retaining, developing, and maximizing the talents of a highly functioning team, especially a development team
- Ability to manage an efficient and effective organizational infrastructure and measure its performance over time; planning skills that demonstrate the ability to plan the programs and operations necessary to achieve mission
- A communicative and collaborative approach, demonstrated through strong written and oral communication skills as well as strong listening skills
- An inclusive, consensus-building leadership style both in and out of the public spotlight that inspires others and brings people along
- Sharp business acumen, with a track record of effective and judicious deployment of financial resources
- Demonstrated appreciation of the value of stewardship and humility
- Demonstrated experience in taking risk and accountability; demonstrated solid judgment
- Integrity and a commitment to professional excellence, combined with values that wear well over the long term
We seek to have someone in place by July 2019.
This position offers a competitive salary and includes a comprehensive benefits package. We actively welcome all candidates from a wide range of backgrounds who have the skills to fulfill this role – regardless of compensation history.
All applications are held in strict confidence. Please submit your credentials and a letter of interest through our private applicant portal to The 360 Group at https://the360group.us/portal/.
Applications should be directed to the attention of Vincent Robinson, Managing Partner. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Earlier applicants may receive priority consideration. To be considered, The 360 Group encourages all interested candidates to submit their applications promptly, via the confidential applicant portal linked above.
At The 360 Group, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizations more effective. Using that principle as our “North Star,” we make diversity a hallmark of our firm, and all of our search engagements.
Learn more about The 360 Group at the360group.us.