The Blue Sky Funders Forum is a national hub for funders to learn, connect, and grow philanthropy that strengthens the connection between people and nature. Blue Sky is fiscally sponsored by the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). Blue Sky brings funders together in partnership with nonprofit and academic leaders to inspire and grow philanthropy that expands equitable access to opportunities to learn, play, and grow outdoors, advancing conservation, education, health and wellness, social justice, and youth development outcomes. Blue Sky is seeking qualified applications for the position of executive director.
Blue Sky works toward its goals by engaging and educating funders, activating collaboration, and showcasing innovative and successful projects through learning and networking events and online tools and resources. Over the past four years, Blue Sky has established a core network of leaders, members, and partners; built an online knowledge center; engaged hundreds of funders through its events and communications; and developed and implemented strategies to further its ultimate goal to be the go-to resource for grantmakers that expand equitable access to opportunities to learn, play, and grow outdoors.
Now moving into its fifth year, Blue Sky is well-positioned to increase its emphasis on collaborative initiatives that engage diverse groups of stakeholders to collectively shape and invest in efforts that elevate and strengthen the field that connects people and nature and advances environmental literacy. Blue Sky is at the beginning stages of its first collaborative initiative to facilitate the development of a shared narrative, building a broad coalition that will co-create and implement a unifying narrative to expand equitable access to nature and its many benefits. The executive director will play an integral role in facilitating and providing vision for this effort – and other collaborations to come. In addition to its initiative work, Blue Sky will continue to provide learning and networking opportunities for a wide range of funders.
The executive director serves as the chief executive of Blue Sky, with primary responsibility for shaping its vision and strategic direction, managing day-to-day activities and operations, and attracting new partners, funders, and members. Beyond growing and maintaining membership, the executive director is responsible for identifying potential funding sources and developing new funding partners for Blue Sky initiatives. The successful candidate will possess proven entrepreneurial, organizational, interpersonal, and analytical skills, as well as knowledge of the philanthropic community, the environmental education, outdoor recreation, and children and nature fields, and related public policy.
Blue Sky is led by a board comprised of staff, trustees, and individual donors from Blue Sky members and its fiscal sponsor, EGA. The executive director will work collaboratively with the board to develop and manage strategic initiatives; implement policies, procedures, goals and objectives; maintain and grow membership; engage the leadership council; and partner with advisors and other leaders in the field. The executive director will report to the board and will directly manage one full-time staff.
EGA serves as the fiscal sponsor for Blue Sky, and Blue Sky’s executive director is an employee of EGA. EGA’s executive director, and ultimately its board of directors, provides administrative, human resources, and financial oversight of Blue Sky. Blue Sky is headquartered at the EGA West Coast office in Oakland, California; remote-work arrangements will be considered for qualified candidates.
The executive director has responsibility for shaping and implementing the policies of the board across every aspect of the organization. These responsibilities include:
Leadership and Partnership (35%)
- Provide leadership in the development, promotion, and achievement of Blue Sky’s vision, mission, strategies, and activities;
- Guide planning processes with members and manage all strategic initiatives;
- Lead collaborative processes with members and partners to determine future direction and priorities;
- Work with board leadership to design and facilitate board meetings; and
- Cultivate and maintain authentic relationships with partners in the nonprofit, academic, government, and philanthropic sectors.
Membership and Fundraising (35%)
- Lead efforts to cultivate, orient, nurture, retain, and expand membership;
- Secure funding for Blue Sky operations and initiatives and develop relationships with local and national funders for future growth opportunities;
- Prepare regular updates to keep Blue Sky leadership council, members, and advisors informed and engaged;
- Foster the growth and development of members and support their efforts to advance effective grantmaking strategies and approaches; and
- Prepare grant requests and reporting requirements as specified by funders.
Programs and Events (15%)
- Oversee and manage all design and implementation for Blue Sky programs and events;
- Partner with nonprofits and funder affinity groups to plan and co-host funder convenings; and
- Manage Blue Sky staff as it relates to programs and communications.
Administration and Financial Management (15%)
- Supervise and mentor Blue Sky staff;
- Work with board to create and manage the annual operating budget; and
- Partner with EGA to plan and track revenue and expenses.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
The executive director will be a proven leader, an excellent relationship builder, and a strategic thinker with the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
- Deep understanding of and experience with the philanthropic community; environmental education, outdoor recreation, and children and nature fields; nonprofits; state and federal policy; public/private partnerships; and collaboration and collective impact;
- Demonstrated skills at managing and overseeing administrative and financial systems;
- Proven ability to fundraise;
- Ability to represent Blue Sky credibly in the philanthropic sector;
- Creative and innovative approach to collaboration and ability to navigate the needs of multiple stakeholders representing diverse interests and points of view;
- Experience leading diverse groups of stakeholders toward shared goals;
- Cultural competency and nuanced understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues;
- Excellent organizational, planning, coordination, and management skills;
- Exceptional communication skills and attention to detail;
- Humility and willingness to wear every kind of hat;
- Ability to work independently and be resourceful;
- Effective execution and follow-through and ability to meet deadlines;
- Experience working productively with boards and high-net-worth individuals;
- Familiarity and understanding of Google applications and the Microsoft Office suite; and
- Availability for travel and occasional work on evenings and weekends.
The successful candidate must have the ability to communicate via voice telephone, read and understand written communication, and generate written communication manually and using a computer. The candidate must also be able to work at a desk for long periods of time (2–3 hours), lift and move documents and supplies (not to exceed 25 lbs.), and bend to file or retrieve documents.
Benefits and Compensation
This position will offer a benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with education and experience.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and 2–3 page professional writing sample by email to EDSearch@blueskyfundersforum.org.
Applications will be accepted until June 29, 2018.
No calls, queries, or faxed applications will be accepted. EGA is an equal opportunity employer and invites applications from candidates regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or religion.