Chief Executive Officer (ST)


The board of directors of Sherwood Trust seeks a dynamic organizational and community leader to partner in building on its significant philanthropic and community development achievements. In continually honing its grantmaking focus and community support strategies, the Trust has earned a reputation as an innovative and invaluable resource for organizations and coalitions addressing the needs of disadvantaged populations in the Walla Walla, Washington region.

The ideal candidate brings a track record of success in leading organizations of similar size, to engaging boards effectively through growth and changes, and in collaborating with the community to address local challenges. S/He is a self-starter and team player, thrives in a culture that values partnership, and leads with integrity, confidence and humility.



In honor of its founders, Donald and Virginia Sherwood, Sherwood Trust’s vision is that everyone in the Walla Walla Valley has a sense of belonging and contributes to a thriving region.  As a place-based private foundation, Sherwood Trust focuses its investments in capacity building -- ensuring that both its nonprofit and community partners have the skills, consulting support, staff, and facilities they need to be resilient and thrive.   


With an endowment of approximately $30 million, Sherwood Trust provides over $1 million in grant funding each year.  Since its founding in 1991, Sherwood Trust has granted over $32 million for communities across the Walla Walla Valley.

In 2017, Sherwood Trust’s strategic planning process resulted in a focus on four capacity building priorities:

  • Community Collaboration
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Resilient Organizations
  • Civic Engagement

In response to community feedback, Sherwood Trust added a small grants program in 2018 for grants between $5,000-$20,000.  The new CEO will have the opportunity to evaluate this program and Sherwood Trust’s monitoring and evaluation strategies to determine whether additional improvements can be made to enhance the effectiveness of grant investments.


Sherwood Trust has made long-term community investments in several programs to support area leaders and nonprofit board developments.  With the addition of a Program Manager staff position in 2017, Sherwood Trust has enhanced the quality and effectiveness of its programs.

  • Community Leadership Program – Since 2004, this partnership with Rural Development Initiatives brings 25-30 community leaders together for skill-building, teambuilding, and the execution of a community project.
  • Nonprofit & Community Learning Center – This partnership with Walla Walla Community College brings high quality, free adult education programs that benefit nonprofit leaders, staff, board members, and volunteers to learn about topics ranging from board governance and fundraising to civic engagement and diversity training.

The CEO will provide strategic oversight of these programs and have flexibility to create new programs or learning opportunities in response to community needs or Sherwood Trust priorities.

More information about Sherwood Trust may be found at:


Voted among the “Best Small Towns in America,” historic Walla Walla, located at the base of the Blue Mountains in the scenic wine country of southeastern Washington, offers a relaxed lifestyle, a charming downtown with sophisticated restaurants, art, and theater, excellent schools, and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. A thriving wine industry complements the agricultural heritage of the Walla Walla Valley, and the area enjoys a strong diverse economy. Walla Walla is home to Whitman College, ranked among the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the country, as well as Walla Walla University and nationally acclaimed Walla Walla Community College. This is a great place to live!


Based on recent consultations with community leaders and grantees, the board of directors has set strategic priorities for the near future:

  • Evaluate current grant programs and recommend changes necessary to ensure their future effectiveness and accessibility
  • Maintain current programs for building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and for developing community members’ leadership skills
  • Expand on Sherwood Trust’s support for grassroots community advocacy efforts, including the re-envisioning of the Commitment to Community program, and support for Census2020 and local civic engagement initiatives
  • Continue to develop more opportunities to support the development of Latino-serving nonprofits and community activities that support greater cross-cultural understanding and inclusion across the region
  • Remain open to new opportunities to support community development efforts in line with the Trust’s mission and values.


Organization Management and Administration

  • Oversees general administration of the Foundation, including financial systems, human resources, budget preparation and reporting, information systems and office policies and procedures
  • Acts as media contact, prepare communications materials about the Trust, and respond to inquiries about the Trust’s mission, program areas, and grantmaking process
  • Keeps abreast of the legal and regulatory issues related to foundation and the non-profit sector, and ensure that the Trust operates accordingly

Program and Grantmaking

  • Works with the board to establish the Trust's general grantmaking focus and priorities
  • Provides strategic oversight, guidance, and support to program initiatives
  • Manages the Trust’s annual grantmaking processes, including timely review and analysis of proposals and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of grant budgets and grant awards
  • Collaborates, with staff and board, to create a learning and evaluation framework of its grantmaking portfolios and shares out learning with board members and the community-at-large
  • Assesses program goals, grantmaking outcomes and efficiencies on an annual basis and makes recommendations to strengthen the grantmaking process and program strategies

Community Engagement and Partnership

  • Serves as Sherwood Trust’s principal representative to the greater community and the local and regional nonprofit community
  • Cultivates, develops and maintains relationships with existing and prospective community partners, and key stakeholders
  • Encourages partnerships and collaboration among grantees and other key stakeholders to increase effective responses to community issues
  • Hosts and creates convening and advocacy opportunities
  • Represents the Trust at professional meetings and events, serves on other organizations’ committees and boards where such service will benefit the Trust, and as approved by the board

Board Relations and Development

  • Manages and reports to the board on the operations of the Trust, including finance, technology, taxes, human resources, communications, and legal issues
  • Works with the Trust’s investment advisors to provide oversight of its investment portfolio and coordinates, on as needed basis, with advisor on commercial property transactions (related to investment property in Spokane Valley region)
  • Identifies topics to be addressed at monthly board meeting and assists the Chair in organizing meetings of the board
  • Supports the board of directors in its governance functions. Assists in its recruitment and onboarding of new members


While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications listed below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • A demonstrated track record of community leadership and commitment to service, humility, integrity, and transparency
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead an organization, to oversee organizational budgets and operations, and to work effectively with an engaged board of directors
  • High capacity to understand complexity within the big picture as well as track small details
  • Demonstrated experience with grantmaking strategies, philosophies, systems, and experience in improving and strengthening grant operations
  • Successful experience in collaborating with community leaders, demonstrating trust and respect, and working in coalitions of diverse individuals and groups to address a community need
  • Experience building and leading staff and partnering with a board to translate a vision into clearly defined priorities and results in keeping with organizational values
  • Experience working with and engaging Hispanic community members and Hispanic-serving organizations
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with ability to adapt technology and communications strategies for a range of audiences
  • Advanced degree preferred or equivalent lived experience in a relevant field of service to the Trust’s work
  • Fluency in Spanish beneficial

Commitment to:

  • An understanding of the needs facing Walla Walla Valley nonprofits and this region and a commitment to building their capacity and resilience
  • Lifelong learning and enthusiasm for bringing learning experiences to staff, the board, and the community
  • Ability and willingness to become an integral part of Walla Walla and the surrounding region



The salary range for this position is $110,000 to $135,000, depending on experience and qualifications.  The benefits package includes medical, dental and retirement contributions.


Sherwood Trust has retained The Giving Practice to conduct the candidate search.

Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.   If you believe you are the right match for this opportunity, please apply by uploading your cover letter and resume to our online application portal.

If you have any issues with submitting your application,

please contact The Giving Practice [email protected]

Application deadline is November 30, 2019

The preferred start date for this position is late-January 2020


Sherwood Trust is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity at the organization. It does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.

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