Operations Director (MHF)

The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation is looking for an entrepreneurial and energeticindividual to join our team as Operations Director. You will have the opportunity to help shape the foundation’s operations, infrastructure and culture, in collaboration with the founders and Executive Director, to ensure we are operating efficiently and effectively. The right person is someone who is quick to learn, comfortable with a variety of tasks, collaborative and can think creatively. The foundation is in its early stages now and is poised to grow, while maintaining a lean staff and operations.

The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation’s mission is: To support innovative people working in field-based science, arts and crafts, teaching, and protection of the natural world.


The Foundation supports people who:

  • Explore and ask, through fieldwork in natural sciences
  • Create and captivate, as they promote mastery in the arts and crafts
  • Teach and try, as they support students in public education
  • Conserve and connect, as they encourage care for the natural world


The foundation was started in 2018 by Delle Maxwell and Patrick Hanrahan, and it is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The foundation has four broad areas of current interest: protecting nature, teachers and classrooms, hands-on science and arts and crafts.

The foundation has made grants to a range of nature and science-related organizations, and in 2020 made its first grant to support teachers in environmental science in the Bay Area. In 2020, the foundation also launched an individual awards program in field biology, recently awarding five, $100,000 awards to individuals at critical stages of their careers who have conducted unique and previously under-appreciated research in that field. For more information about the 2020 Field Biology Award winners, visit https://www.maxwell-hanrahan.org/field-biology-awards.

For more information about the foundation, please visit www.maxwell-hanrahan.org.

The foundation seeks an Operations Director who will oversee and execute the operational functions of the organization. This individual will add operational capacity and strategy to support the foundation’s start-up phase and growth. The foundation plans to have a small staff and engage with outside support for back office functions where possible. The Operations Director will direct budgeting, annual financial audit, tax filings and maintenance of records required for compliant operation under all national, state and local rules. They will be responsible for financial reporting to senior management and the Board. They will also oversee the foundation’s information systems, technology and HR. They will liaise with outside contractors in back office support services such as accounting, audit, investments, IT, HR, and grants management systems, as needed. The Operations Director will report to the Executive Director.

This position will be part-time initially but could convert to full-time as the foundation grows.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Take initiative on operational matters and manage all business activities to ensure that the foundation is operating efficiently and effectively.
  • Assess the foundation’s operational and administrative needs and refine its operational plan to meet those needs, in collaboration with the Executive Director and Board.
  • Direct the full range of financial and accounting functions including budget development and monitoring, annual financial audit, tax filings, control and risk, and maintenance of records required for compliant operation of under all national, state, and local rules.
  • Provide financial reporting to senior management and the Board.
  • Participate in Board meetings, assisting the Executive Director in development of materials and providing updates to—and seeking feedback from—the Board on the foundation’s operating performance and infrastructure.
  • Work with the Executive Director to interface with external legal counsel when necessary, and ensure the foundation is in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulatory requirements.
  • Develop a risk management approach that is appropriate for the foundation’s scale, mission, and exposures and that enables effective oversight by the Board.
  • Coordinate the organization’s information systems and technology.
  • Oversee implementation of HR in partnership with outside contractors, including payroll, insurance, benefits programs, policies, recruitment, onboarding and off-boarding.
  • Maintain good working relationships with outside contractors in accounting, audit, investments, IT, HR, and other back office support functions.
  • In coordination with the Executive Director, liaise with grants management contractors and database, foundation consultants and legal representatives, as needed, to ensure strong functioning of grants management systems, due diligence in the grantmaking process and monitoring of grants over time.
  • Manage foundation accounts in partnership with outside contractors, including processing grant contracts and award letters, and paying invoices due.
  • Support foundation planning and evaluation processes, as appropriate.


Desired Competencies and Qualifications

  • Operational and/or financial management experience in a nonprofit organization, with a preference for experience in philanthropy
  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, public administration, finance, accounting, or other related field; MBA, other relevant graduate degree, or relevant professional development certification preferred
  • Facility with financial management of organizations, scaling up organizational infrastructure, grants management and basic human resources issues
  • Comfort recognizing potential legal issues and working with outside counsel and ability to develop risk management strategies
  • Willingness to listen and ask questions, and comfort giving and receiving advice
  • A team-oriented leader with great interpersonal skills
  • Collaborative and transparent, and able to inspire confidence and trust among multiple stakeholders, including staff, Board, and other organizations
  • Holds unquestionable integrity and commitment to personal and professional excellence
  • Displays excellent oral and written communication
  • Optimistic in outlook; friendly and people-oriented
  • Thrives on variety and wearing multiple hats
  • Comfortable in a start-up environment
  • Takes initiative to get things done, while exercising strong judgement on when to elevate an issue
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills; highly organized with an attention to detail and a commitment to rigor
  • Willingness to support and promote an inclusive culture at the foundation
  • Committed to the foundation’s mission to support innovative people working in field-based science, arts and crafts, teaching, and protection of the natural world

The foundation is an equal employment opportunity employer. The foundation has a commitment to diversity and encourages individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. 

Compensation and Location

Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The position will be located in the San Francisco Bay Area, with remote work at least the first several months. 

To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Reed Young
    published this page in Job Board 2020-11-13 14:33:11 -0500