The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation (Foundation) seeks a dynamic and creative Executive Director to grow and drive the Foundation’s evolving fundraising efforts at an exciting time in the Foundation’s history and 4-H in Massachusetts.
About the Foundation
The sole mission of the Foundation is to generate and provide financial resources to help expand, enrich, and advance 4-H youth development programs across the Commonwealth. The Foundation was formed in 1955 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization with its own Board of Trustees, and works in close cooperation with the University of Massachusetts Extension Program (UMass Extension). UMass Extension is solely responsible for developing and delivering 4-H programming in Massachusetts. The Foundation raises funds for the use of UMass Extension and assists in shaping programs in order to maximize fundraising opportunities. 4-H serves nearly 27,000 Massachusetts youth aged 5-18 years old and has a growing emphasis on outreach to under-resourced urban and rural communities in the state as part of a nationwide initiative to close learning and opportunity gaps for all children.
With offices located in Framingham, MA, the Foundation employs a full time Executive Director and three part-time staff members, and is led by an engaged Board of 19 members. The Foundation has an annual budget in excess of $400,000 and is financially stable with an endowment of $8.3M that covers a variety of program costs as well as its annual administration and operating expenses. In recent years, the Foundation has raised over $200,000 annually and has donated over $1.5 million to 4-H programming in the last five years.
4‑H is a positive youth development and mentoring program that creates confident, curious and resilient young adults through engaged programming around a pledge of one’s Head to clearer thinking, Heart to greater loyalty, Hands to larger service, and Health to better living. Founded in 1908, 4-H is delivered via a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provide experiences where young people learn by doing – and is the largest youth development organization in the United States serving over six million young people annually. The 4-H program in Massachusetts is provided via UMass Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Executive Director of the Foundation will have the opportunity to lead and grow a successful philanthropic organization that funds 4-H programs to serve youth and expand 4-H services across Massachusetts, in partnership with a small, effective staff and committed Board of Trustees, and through collaboration with UMass Extension. Priorities for the next Executive Director include:
Strengthening and diversifying fundraising and fund management
The Foundation consistently raises funds from loyal donors, effectively manages the endowment, and strives to support and expand the reach of 4-H in Massachusetts. The Foundation provides financial and other resources to UMass Extension for 4-H programming, as well as grants to individual 4-H clubs, camps and campers. Taking a creative and strategic approach to fundraising, the Executive Director will cultivate individual and new donors, broaden demographic reach, identify alternative sources to government funding, and recruit corporate donors, while also increasing effective grant writing efforts.
Exploring funding opportunities to serve more diverse youth across Massachusetts
Dedicated to the advancement of 4-H, the Foundation aspires to ensure that 4-H youth receive the maximum opportunities available. As an advocate for 4-H programs, the Foundation provides resources to UMass Extension for program services that are community oriented and have broad reach across the state. The Foundation will continue to expand its reach to urban, suburban, and rural populations for support, and to increase the diversity of youth served and programs provided through both traditional and new vehicles. It is also essential that the Foundation ensure that the funds provided to UMass Extension are used in accordance with donor intent.
Advancing organizational strategic direction and vision
The Executive Director will play a strategic role in the direction and growth of the Foundation. They will continue to refine and sharpen mission and vision to help drive forward the work of the Foundation. The Executive Director will bring clarity of understanding across mission and vision with stakeholders and constituents, and coordinate with UMass Extension as it explores and implements ways to track, measure, and report program impacts and opportunities.
Building relationships and increasing public awareness
Getting the word out to funders, constituents, and the community while promoting the Foundation’s impact will evolve as it looks for ways to increase outreach and improve messaging. This will require clear and consistent communication between UMass Extension and the Foundation, an increase in public awareness, involvement in more communities, stewardship of established and new networks, creation of an alumni body, and an ability to adjust and refine the Foundation’s image.
Role of the Executive Director
The Executive Director is the face of the Foundation and works closely with the Director of the Massachusetts 4-H Youth Development Program at UMass Extension, Foundation staff, individual donors, grant-making foundations, and, to a lesser extent, contacts at the National 4-H Council. The Executive Director currently manages a Director of Finance, a Marketing and Communications Associate, and an Administrative Assistant. The position reports to the President of the Board of Trustees and is a voting member of the Board’s Executive Committee.
A strong and dynamic leader who has experience developing a vision and strategy and executing on a plan, the Executive Director is a consensus builder with an ability to drive the Foundation forward. The Executive Director will be a confident communicator and solicitor of gifts of all sizes, with a healthy respect for tradition and a vision for new and creative fundraising program development.
The Foundation is looking for an individual with strong fundraising experience, nonprofit management knowledge, and exceptional communications skills. Ideal applicants will have the following:
- Five (5) years of demonstrated fundraising experience with mission-driven organizations required; track record of managing and growing an annual giving program
- Excellent communication and listening skills, with the passion and presence to articulate a vision and serve as the primary spokesperson for the Foundation; marketing experience is helpful
- Thoughtful and collaborative leadership and management style with an ability to build consensus and relationships across traditional and new connections
- Background in youth development, education, 4-H, and /or agriculture is appreciated
- Understanding of sound nonprofit business and financial practices; board management and development experience
- Proven commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion values and cultivation
- Ability to motivate, engage, and influence others; authenticity of engagement with diverse audiences in a variety of situations
- Fluency with basic technology, CRM databases, and grant writing is preferred
In addition to the above qualifications, key attributes include:
- Leads by example
- Outstanding work ethic
- Strong organizational skills
- Attention to detail
- Comfort in delegating/directing tasks
This executive search is being conducted by TSNE and consultants Jodi Dowling and Mimi Brunelle. Interested candidates should submit materials via the job link. Electronic submissions sent through the job link are preferred. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential within the search committee.
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of the Foundation along with salary expectations and how they learned of the position. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled.
The Executive Director position is full time (40 hours per week); candidates who might prefer a slightly reduced and pro-rated work-hour arrangement will be considered. Occasional evening and weekend hours are required.
Salary is commensurate with relevant experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget, and in the approximate range of $85-100,000. Benefits include a flexible work schedule, an optional hybrid model of remote and location-bound work hours out of the Foundation headquarters, four weeks paid vacation, standard business expense reimbursement consistent with IRS regulations, and potential for an annual health care subsidy.
The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.