Executive Director (CM)


Critical Minded is hiring its first Executive Director to lead strategy and investor/institutional donor relations, work closely with its Governance and Advisory Boards, and manage the initiative’s day-to-day activities — including grantmaking, research, and advocacy — with the support of staff and consultants. This is a full-time, fixed-term position for 18 months with the possibility of extension based on performance and contingent on additional funding. This role is ideal for someone with strategy, management, fundraising and grantmaking skills who would thrive in a startup environment focused on racial justice in the arts and culture, criticism, and journalism arenas.


About Critical Minded

Critical Minded is a granting and learning initiative launched in 2017 to build the capacity and visibility of cultural critics of color in the US and to invigorate the critical ecosystem through direct support to publications and individuals, research, advocacy, and convening. It was founded by the Ford Foundation and Nathan Cummings Foundation and is a fiscally sponsored project of Allied Media Projects (AMP). The director will be an employee of AMP and receive benefits through AMP’s benefit plans.


Major Responsibilities

Strategy and Vision

  • Collaborate with and convene the Critical Minded governance board and advisory board to refine strategy and vision of initiative and set grantmaking, learning, and fundraising priorities.

Institutional Donor Management & Fundraising

  • Build and manage ongoing relationships with investors and/or donors, including learning sessions and grant reporting
  • Cultivate potential investors and institutional donors, make pitches and submit proposals for funding 

Operations and Project Management

  • Manage and update the initiative’s workflow, timeline and budgets
  • Liaise with the fiscal sponsor, staying abreast of and implementing personnel policies, updating budgets and expenditures, submitting reports and seeking support, as needed
  • Utilize and augment the initiative’s technology platforms, including Mailchimp, Submittable and Zoom

Staff Management

  • Review fiscal sponsor’s employee policies and manual, building it out as needed
  • Hire and manage the initiative’s program staff, fellows and/or consultants (all to be hired, as needed) to further the initiative’s grantmaking, learning, advocacy and communications goals


  • Implement a grantmaking program for grants to individuals, project support grants and organizational support grants. This could include conceptualizing an RFP and managing the proposal invitation, review and approval processes and grant reporting processes



  • A history of working in and demonstrated commitment to criticism or journalism through a social justice lens or social justice philanthropy, organizations or movements. Existing relationships with arts, journalism and/or social justice institutional funders or investors are a plus.
  • At least 5 years in a senior-level leadership role with experience in the following:
    • Governance and strategy-building -- ideally in a start-up environment -- including defining and refining strategy, working with a board and managing communications and facilitating decision-making among various stakeholders
    • Successful track record of raising capital in a for-profit setting OR fundraising and institutional donor management in a non-profit setting -- ideally in arts, journalism and/or racial/social justice -- including identifying prospects, building relationships, and making pitches, writing grant proposals and providing reports to donors or investors
    • Operations, project and staff management experience, including hiring and mentoring staff and managing workflows, timelines and budgets
  • Strong communications skills, including writing, speaking, ‘translating’ sector-specific concepts and ideas for a variety of audiences and devising and implementing outreach strategies, including on social media
  • At least 2-3 years in a grantmaking role -- including conceptualizing an RFP, stewarding a review process and managing grant reporting -- is a plus.
  • Direct experience as a cultural critic or journalist is desired, but not required.


Compensation and Benefits

Status: Full-time, Exempt

Salary Range: $110k-$125k. Offer will be based on experience.

Term: 18 months (with possible extension), ideally beginning in Fall 2020

Location: Remote/Virtual office (anywhere in the US)               

Benefits include:

  • Full medical benefits including dental,vision, and FSA
  • Employer Matched Retirement Savings Account
  • Generous Paid Time Off including vacation, sick, parental and holiday leave
  • Employer Sponsored Life Insurance

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Allied Media Projects is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion, HIV serostatus, disability, height, weight, veteran status or marital status.


To Apply

Please send a cover letter (of no more than 2 pages) and your resume (also of no more than 2 pages) as a single PDF file to [email protected] using the subject line “Last Name, First Initial - Critical Minded Director” by 11:59pm ET on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. In your cover letter, please speak to your connection to the mission and intention of Critical Minded, your experience building and leading past initiatives, and what you hope to bring to and learn in this role. Please also note what city and state you’d be working from, your earliest available start date and your LinkedIn profile URL, if you have one.

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