Solidaire Network is a network of individual donors and foundations whose mission is to move resources to social movements that are striving to create a more just and equitable world. We do this by building a strong community of donors who give in solidarity with social movements, ready to act, and committed to long-term support. We are a values-aligned community and attempt to make anti-racism, responsibility, clarity, solidarity, humor, and the wholeness of each person, core to everything we do.
Solidaire is at an exciting moment in its history. After four years of building and with a continued sense of striving toward new goals, we are ready for a highly competent individual to take the baton from the founding Executive Director and shepherd the organization into its next phase of growth and development.
In a short time span, Solidaire has had a major impact on the field of philanthropy. We have moved millions in rapid response dollars to urgent movement needs. We have lifted up the priority of Black-led organizing and are using our resources to build power in communities of color. And we are challenging philanthropy to question its relationship to social change, its effectiveness, and exploring new models of how to be in solidarity in deeper and more lasting ways.
In the current political climate, Solidaire – as a network of philanthropists who are values aligned and action oriented – is needed more than ever before. We are excited and eager to work with someone who can continue turning this vision into reality
WHAT YOU’LL DO
The Executive Director will be responsible for delivering results in the following key areas:
Vision, Strategy, and Planning
- Work with Solidaire’s Steering Committee, staff, members and other stakeholders to refine, evolve and implement the network’s vision and strategy for transforming philanthropy to be more connected to social movements
- Ensure Solidaire’s annual priority-setting, planning and budgeting process is in service of the network’s vision, strategy and core values
- Recruit, hire, develop and lead a high-performing core staff team, including directly supervising Program, Communications, Operations & Finance and Membership Development staff
- Engage, align and motivate the staff team through all-staff meetings, retreats and excellent ongoing internal communication
- Model and ensure a healthy organizational culture aligned with the network’s core values
- Support Solidaire’s expansion across the country by appearing at membership events and directly engaging in member recruitment and retention efforts
- Oversee planning for major membership events, including our annual member retreat and major annual NYC and SF events for prospective and existing members
- Ensure Solidaire’s programs maintain a high bar for impact, thoughtfully evolving to match organizational vision and strategy
- Support a culture and set of practices around rigorous evaluation, learning, experimentation and continuous improvement
- Support program leadership and other stakeholders in developing innovative new programs
External Affairs and Communications
- Serve as a public-facing ambassador, promoting Solidaire’s values and work to the larger public, through various forms of media and public events
- Build and maintain strategic relationships and partnerships with other donor networks, foundations, leading experts in philanthropy, and individuals with wealth
- Ensure Solidaire’s branding, marketing and communications efforts are consistent, compelling and tailored to relevant audiences
Finance and Operations
- Ensure appropriate legal, financial and HR policies and practices are in place
- Ensure accurate, timely financial management
- Raise funds from individuals and institutions as needed to cover gaps between member dues and core operating budget
- Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with Solidaire’s Steering Committee and Executive Committee, including open communication about financial and programmatic performance against stated goals
- Support agenda and material development for effective Steering Committee and Executive Committee meetings
- As the liaison between staff and Steering Committee, foster open and regular communications and collaboration
Steering Committee Engagement
WHO YOU ARE
The ideal candidate is rooted in progressive social movements, deeply aligned with Solidaire’s mission, vision and values, and excels in these essential areas:
- A commitment to the power of social movements and grassroots leadership. Solidaire seeks to model putting philanthropy in the service of movements, and our leadership needs to have a track record of prioritizing the perspectives and agency of those closest to injustice.
- Community-building and network development. As a network, Solidaire’s real power is not “command and control”, but directly related to the quality and scale of authentic, collaborative relationships it can foster, align and unleash. This takes a particular kind of leadership – one that values inclusivity, teamwork and excitement to build and support something that isn’t tightly controlled.
- Flexibility. The staff has grown quickly, the Steering Committee is still transitioning from a working to a governing group, and the Executive Director must be comfortable with meaningful consultation with the Steering Committee before making key decisions.
- Ability to inspire and develop leadership in others. Given the network model and lean core operation, the Executive Director must be able to recognize, grow and leverage the talents and motivations of both the core staff team, members and the donor community at-large.
- Balancing well-developed plans with responsiveness to rapidly changing conditions. Solidaire is mature enough to have a set of well-conceived programs that should continue to be planfully developed and implemented. At the same time, given the fluidity of the political and movement
landscapes as well as its unique rapid-response capacity in the world of philanthropy, Solidaire must also be able to respond nimbly to changes in the environment. The right leader will embrace and balance this tension with a sense of openness, flexibility and laser focus on what will have the greatest impact.
- Thoughtfully engaging people with significant financial means. As a donor community, Solidaire seeks to be a space of shared learning and transformation. In contrast to transactional relationships, we aim to create a community where each individual is recognized for all of that they have to offer. This requires a level of empathy with the particular challenges that come with family wealth and the stresses that places on relationship. We hope to ensure that Solidaire is always a space of healing and hope rather than obligation or judgment.
- Cultural competence, commitment to equity and demonstrated ability to apply anti-oppression principles and practices. Because our network, team and organizational partners come from a range of backgrounds and because we’re committed to making our own organization one where people from all races and backgrounds thrive, you have experience working in and creating diverse, equitable, and
inclusive interpersonal and organizational environments. You bring real commitment to those values and a thoughtful perspective on how best to advance them.
- Collaborative leadership and commitment to a healthy work-life balance with a staff that works remotely. Virtually everything on the Solidaire team is transparent and open and every team member is able and encouraged to weigh in and contribute ideas. We believe having as many views as possible on important decisions and to be continuously open to new and better ideas. While we have a collaborative culture, there is always one clear decision-maker in any work stream or decision. In addition, the team is committed to a healthy work-life balance because this ensures our creativity, drive and motivation stays fresh and vibrant over the long term.
WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Solidaire Network has approximately 160 members, including individuals and foundations. The 2018 projected operations budget is $1,097,000 and currently there is a staff of six.
- The Executive Director may work from wherever they are located, in a home office or co-working space. Thus, a high level of self-direction, integrity, and discipline is necessary. Frequent travel is anticipated.
- Salary is commensurate with experience, in the range of $120,000 - $150,000. Our benefits package is generous, in line with or above similar organizations.
- First round interviews are anticipated to be held the second week of January 2018.
- Solidaire supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in its membership and is an equal employment opportunity employer. Our organization recruits, hires, trains, and promotes persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, gender or age (except where gender or age is a bona-fide occupational qualification, as defined by law), genetic information, or physical or mental disability (except where the disability prevents the individual from being able to perform the essential functions of the job and cannot be reasonably accommodated in full compliance with the law).
HOW TO APPLY
Please send résumé and cover letter in confidence to G Angela Henry, Executive Search Consultant: