Director of Foundation Center West

FOUNDATION CENTER is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training we connect people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Our organization's mission is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world. Our vision is a world enriched by the effective allocation of philanthropic resources, informed public discourse about philanthropy, and broad understanding of the contributions of nonprofit activity to increasing opportunity and transforming lives.

As the Director of Foundation Center West, you will bring an entrepreneurial spirit, strategic leadership skills, and a spirited enthusiasm to build Foundation Center's presence and impact in one of the fastest-growing philanthropic markets in the world.


In this key role, you will be entrusted with sharpening our ability to expand and elevate Foundation Center's value proposition across the West, a territory of 13 states (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, & WI) and five key cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, and Denver). The position is based in San Francisco and housed within our Social Sector Outreach department, the most forward-facing unit of the organization that engages directly with a diverse network of constituents. With an emerging 'bricks and clicks' strategy as its key driver, the Social Sector Outreach team contributes to the success of the social sector by connecting people to the resources they need to thrive. This includes access to a suite of products, services, and special programming via several Foundation Center offices and 450+ Funding Information Network affiliates, with more than 100 in the Western region; as well as in-person and web-based trainings, live chats, discussions, and more.

Based out of our office in San Francisco, the Director of Foundation Center West will inspire and motivate a small, yet dynamically talented team, while bringing our 'bricks and clicks' strategy to life in the most thoughtful and impactful way.


Relationship Cultivator and Manager

● Initiate conversations with key regional community builders (regional associations of grantmakers, state associations of nonprofits, nonprofit resource centers, social innovation centers, leading foundations and United Way chapters) to determine regional needs; maintain and build upon established relationships.

● Identify and cultivate regional prospects for fundraising; develop proposal narratives and logic models to support requests.

● Represent Foundation Center at key events and forums locally and nationally.

Strategic and Operational Leader

● Oversee the daily operations of Foundation Center West office.

● Develop/maintain strong relationships with the 100+ Funding Information Network affiliates in the region.

● Optimize Foundation Center West presence through operations and/or partnerships in five key cities within the region with support from community funding partners.

● Develop a facilities optimization strategy for Foundation Center West operation (e.g., creating residency opportunities for nonprofit organizations and experts, develop paid programming to offset costs, and actively cultivate foundation and corporate support).

● In collaboration with peers across the country, develop unique programs and initiatives that meet the needs of and provide substantive value to key audiences.

Ambassador and Change Agent

● Build a deep understanding of key Foundation Center products and services and their target audiences to determine ideal consumers.

● Be a strong voice of both advocacy and constructive feedback to headquarters on what will work on the ground and what will not; submit annual strategy recommendations to leadership team.

● Work as a team member with the Vice President of Social Sector Outreach and Head of Domestic Strategy and Innovation on execution of five-year strategy and annual ground game for Foundation Center.

● Serve as a champion of change and innovation within the department and the organization.


  • You have experience under your belt.

You've worked with senior executives (particularly in the social sector) to cultivate new opportunities and relationships. You have managed, mentored, and inspired the people reporting to you to create a supportive work environment leading to professional growth.

  • You're a strong strategic thinker who delivers results.

You possess the ability to apply conceptual strategy, to facilitate brainstorming, and to direct day-to-day projects through to completion.

  • You're curious about technology.

You are excited about the role of data and technology to power social sector innovation, build networks for engagement, and connect the dots.

  • You have a team ethos.

You thrive in a creative, fast-paced environment with people who are passionate about their work and mission. You're excited to work cross-functionally with other departments/colleagues across the country.

  • You're remarkably people-oriented.

You have an innate social intelligence. You can relate to all types of people, you're a skilled conversationalist, and a good listener. You enjoy meeting new people, developing and maintaining relationships.

  • You're a communications ace.

When someone has a question, you give them a straight answer. You're passionate about giving every partner, patron, and friend of the Center an unforgettable experience.


● Bachelor's degree, advanced degree preferred

● 7+ years of demonstrated experience leading teams, managing facilities, and developing programs

● Experience working in or with the social sector, capacity building initiatives, and accelerators preferred

● Track record of success in fundraising and financial management

● Energetic, organized self-starter with significant comfort in leading small teams

● Ability to delegate and manage multiple initiatives effectively — on time and on budget

● Experience with collecting and analyzing both quantitative & qualitative data

● Exceptional written communication and presentation skills

● Team player with a sense of humor and winning attitude

● Willingness to travel approximately 20% of the time, serving as an ambassador for the organization

● Cultural sensitivity and experience working with people from diverse backgrounds preferred


Please email your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to [email protected]. Please put the title of the position and your first and last name in the subject line.

Foundation Center offers a highly competitive salary and benefits package, is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender or political affiliation.

Please do not contact the Foundation Center directly; all inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs. Schaffer&Combs solves problems and provides growth solutions for mission-driven organizations and has been retained by the Foundation Center to manage this search.

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