Location: Portland, Maine (Some remote flexibility within Maine)
Maine Philanthropy Center (MPC), Maine’s regional association of grantmakers, is seeking a strategic and personable leader who will enthusiastically nurture relationships and grow a visible and vibrant philanthropic network in Maine. The next President & CEO has the extraordinary opportunity to build on MPC’s strengths and chart a path for bold philanthropic leadership and successful growth.
Founded in 1995, MPC’s mission is to provide opportunity, leadership, and support to advance the effectiveness of philanthropy in Maine and its ability to make a meaningful difference. Today, MPC serves as a "backbone organization" for philanthropy in Maine, promoting shared learning and collaborative action among a network of grantmaker members. Currently, funders are actively collaborating through affinity groups around environmental interests, early childhood, immigrant and refugees, oral health, and education.
MPC’s membership base includes family and private foundations, community foundations, public charity grantmakers, corporate foundations and giving programs, and individual philanthropists. The membership is primarily located in the state but also includes regional and national foundations with a significant interest in Maine. MPC also offers membership opportunity to philanthropic consultants and advisors and is one of only a few philanthropy serving organizations in the nation to include nonprofit organizations within the membership model.
MPC’s organizational assets include:
- A strong network of relationships among its 71 grantmaking members and 326 nonprofit and consultant members
- Well regarded programs, including the popular biennial Philanthropy Partners Conference, which historically has drawn 375-400 funders and nonprofit leaders together for field-building conversations and relationship building
- A widely-accessed array of critical foundation resources, including a national funder database, a self-published directory of Maine funders, and other data essential to Maine’s grantseekers
- An active advocacy committee, in partnership with the Maine Association of Nonprofits, to advocate for and advance policy issues relevant to the philanthropic community
- Strong operational systems, policies, and procedures
- A small but capable staff
- Effective and engaged board governance and administration
MPC is on solid and steady footing following six years of strategic leadership by President Barbara Edmond. MPC employs 3.0 staff (full- and part-time), augmented by contract positions that provide project and administrative support, and has 19 board members representing both funder and nonprofit member organizations. MPC is the fiscal sponsor for the Environmental Funders Network. The MPC office is located within the Glickman Family Library at the University of Southern Maine. The average annual operating budget is $325,000 with a revenue base of member dues, event fees, directory sales, and corporate sponsorships. The organization has approximately $333,650 in financial assets, inclusive of a six month operating reserve and board designated funds.
Opportunities and Strategic Priorities
The new President & CEO will join MPC as the organization is poised for growth and increased leadership visibility - at a time when the field of philanthropy is changing. Given the changes in the philanthropic landscape, continued effectiveness and growth will require taking a forward look at refining the organization’s value proposition in the philanthropic sector. The Board of Directors has identified a special focus on the following refinements to the 2017-2021 strategic plan:
Chart a pathway, internally and externally, for MPC’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategic imperative. Nationally, the field of philanthropy is grappling with issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. Prior to the 2017-2021 strategic plan, MPC began an intentional process to examine its own relationship to equity, diversity and inclusion as both an internal priority and a leadership priority for the state. In 2017, the organization set a top strategic goal to “increase the awareness, knowledge, and skills-building around diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and practices within MPC and Maine’s philanthropic network.” MPC is at the beginning of the process of examining DEI within all of MPC’s programs and operations and bringing current thinking and best practices to Maine.
Deepen Member Relationships and Value. By growing its convener and connector role, MPC has the opportunity to deepen value and relationships with and among current grantmaking members, as well as between grantmakers and nonprofits. Members have identified particular interest in issue/field-focused funder affinity groups and offering more field-building opportunities with nonprofits and the public sector, such as MPC’s popular “Let’s Talk About” series.
Build New Relationships and Explore Expanding Membership Opportunities. Understanding and exploring the breadth and depth of the philanthropic field in Maine will be essential to understanding how philanthropy is changing in Maine. MPC will need to decide which relationship-building avenues to pursue, and determine how to pursue them (e.g. wealth advisors, donor advisors, estate planners, donor circles, government grant-making agencies, individual philanthropists), potentially shifting the membership model to include new member categories and developing new programs tailored to those members.
Strengthen Strategic Partnerships. Essential to achieving this strategic priority is growing MPC’s strategic partnership with the Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP), particularly in programming and advocacy. Advocacy is a new function for MPC, in response to requests from members, and provides an opportunity to deepen value and increase visible leadership for both the organization and the philanthropic sector. MPC shares a part-time advocacy position with MANP and, moving forward, MPC will need to decide which advocacy issues are distinct for philanthropy and how best to advance those issues.
Expand Beyond MPC’s Current Sustainability Model. MPC has a clear but narrow pathway for sustainability at its current level of operation (with current office, staffing pattern, and technology) if the 2017-2021 strategic plan and the 2018-2022 business plan are followed, including board members actively participating in member cultivation and renewal activities. The revenue model relies heavily on member fees, the biennial conference, and in-kind office and technology support from the University of Southern Maine. Fiscal sponsorship for a funder affinity group provides a small portion of revenue and there may be further opportunity. Revenue is not tied to specific programmatic activities. To grow, the organization will need to assess operations, review its membership model, and explore growing program and event revenue, foundation funding for operations and programs/initiatives, and additional corporate sponsorships.
Maine Philanthropy Center is seeking a strategic and personable leader who will enthusiastically nurture relationships and grow a vibrant network that will increase the effectiveness of Maine's philanthropic sector. They bring a strong understanding of the context and trends of philanthropy. An equity-informed leader, they are excited to work with the Board of Directors to grow an organization grounded in best practice and the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
A strong communicator and connector, they are able to challenge people’s thinking while bringing them along in a shared vision. They have achieved sustainable change through thoughtful engagement of diverse stakeholders, great listening skills, and genuine curiosity.
Entrepreneurial and tolerant of risk, they are able to see beyond perceived constraints. They see potential, strategically exploring and implementing new programs and partnerships while identifying revenue streams for growth and sustainability. They are able to balance MPC’s responsiveness to members and the organization’s operational needs with taking an external leadership role in the field of philanthropy.
They bring experience managing in a non-profit environment and willingly step into the day-to-day work of running a small nonprofit. They have helped to grow organizations through building on people’s strengths and effective delegation. They are skilled at ensuring plans are well executed.
The ideal candidate can move seamlessly from a staff meeting to a funder meeting, to facilitating a conversation among funders and nonprofits, to conversations with wealth managers or donor advisors, to meeting with Maine’s congressional delegation. They are able to assume a regional or national leadership role. They are optimistic, have a direct and transparent communications style, and can handle the soup-to-nuts nature of the work with grace and good humor.
Primary Characteristics and Experience
- 5-10 years of leadership experience, preferably in a nonprofit membership organization and/or roles that require stewardship and nurturing of relationships
- Knowledge of philanthropy and the philanthropic field
- Demonstrated passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, preferably in the field of philanthropy, and the ability to chart a pathway and lead the organization through DEI conversations and change
- Successful experience diplomatically managing strategic and cultural change in organizations;
- Comfortable and effective in stewarding relationships and building new connections
- A successful track record in fundraising and development
- Experience growing programs and partnerships and identifying revenue streams for sustainability
- An effective communicator with proven capacity to coach, manage, and develop high-performing teams of staff and volunteers
- Demonstrated business savvy, financial and budgeting skills, and ability to communicate financial information across different audiences
- Ability to cultivate strong board engagement, recruitment and development, gained as a staff person or board member
Approximate annual salary range: $95,000 - $105,000
This search is being conducted by transition consultant Cathy Kidman in partnership with TSNE MissionWorks. Interested candidates should submit a resume and a cover letter. Electronic submissions are preferred and all submissions are confidential.
Please include in your cover letter where you learned of the position and a description of how your qualifications and experience match Maine Philanthropy Center’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities.
Because of the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Review of materials and interviews of appropriate candidates will begin immediately. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted until the position is filled.
Maine Philanthropy Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. People from historically and currently under-represented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.