Hiring the Executive Director: Keystone of board responsibility

Posted on by Laura Otten, Dodge Board Leadership facilitator

craig_jessica

Embracing new leadership models: Free Press and Free Press Action recently announced Craig Aaron and Jessica J. González will lead the organization together as co-CEOs, saying in an email announcement, “We see clear benefits in sharing responsibility for the organization’s health and success and in having a strategic thought partner on executive decisions. We will walk the talk on our race-equity values, starting at the top, modeling real power sharing and collaboration in line with our values.” Photo courtesy of Free Press

 

One of the tasks you’re not likely to find on board members’ lists of favorite things to do is “hiring a new executive director.” But, like it or not, there’s a good chance it will be on their must-do lists in the next three-to-five years.

In 2006, a Bridgespan study announced that the nonprofit sector was going to lose 640,000 executive directors in the next 10 years. Fortunately for those on boards back then, that threat didn’t come to fruition, largely because the Great Recession of 2008 delayed a lot of Baby Boomers’ retirement plans.

Fast forward 12 years, and those previously shelved plans are being dusted off now as executive directors of a certain age are beginning to retire, and will continue to do so over the next several years. Add to this trend the employment patterns of Millennials, who, along with Generation Xers, tend to stay at organizations a handful of years and make up the replacement pool for executive directors, and the odds are very good that many nonprofit boards are going to be looking to hire their next executive director from this pool.

Generations

High-performing boards already have a succession plan (see this white paper on succession planning) in their bank and are regularly reviewing it and updating as necessary. They are prepared and ready once their executive director announces their intent to resign. (Really well prepared boards have a succession plan for both a planned and an unplanned departure).

Boards that have not yet created a succession plan should get started, but only if they have at least a year’s lead on the ED’s departure. It will save a lot of headaches and angst when a resignation is announced. Boards with less than a year before their executive director is likely to leave shouldn’t bother with a succession plan for this leader – it’s too late. But once they’ve hired their next ED, they should create that succession plan.

Regardless of whether or not you will be hiring with a succession plan as your guide, there are some considerations that boards either should, or could, be addressing now.

First, and definitely necessitating forethought, is the fact that there is a very good chance that the leadership model you are now accustomed to — a solo leader — will not be the model you will have going forward.

Millennials as Leaders

Millennials like co-leadership, and there is much to be said for that model, at least for nonprofits. Many performing arts organizations have had a shared leadership model for decades, with a managing director and artistic director sharing the responsibility for leading the organization. More often than not, both positions report directly to the board and have equal authority over different aspects of the organization.

The beauty (but don’t get too excited, as there is a beast in this scenario) of co-leading allows an organization to hire two experts: one with mission expertise and the other with business expertise. They need someone who gets the mission inside and they also need someone to run the business side of things — the money, the HR, the systems, the development. In the past, this business savvy was not normally found in the person who knew the mission content; today, however, with the growing number of graduate programs in nonprofits, that is no longer the case.

Despite the fact that today we could find everything we want in one person, millennials prefer to share the responsibilities of the job, or to have a partner in the work. That addresses one of the common complaints that so many executive directors find in their jobs – that they have no peers. In addition to wanting to work with others, rather than going it alone, millennials like competition, something that can only come from working with others. And, millennials are demanding a work-life balance. It is far easier to achieve work-life balance in a job that can suck the life out of you when you have a partner who can pick up half the load.

Embracing New Leadership Models

Smart boards will think proactively about the pros and cons of having a co-leadership model for their organization. They will think about the strategic priorities and the leadership needs of the organization for that point in time.

Another model of co-leadership parallels the model of co-leadership for a board: an internal ED and an external ED. In this model, one ED position focuses inside the organization, paying attention to things like programs, human resources, certain strategic priorities, while the co-ED focuses externally, paying attention to things like building relationships with the community, partners, and collaborators and focusing development and other strategic priorities.

Both would work with the board and collaboratively work “on” the organization.  (The tension for every ED is finding the right balance of working in the organization and on the organization, with too many focusing on the former over the latter.  A co-leadership model encourages more working on the organization).

Now for the “beast” of this model. First: no question, this model costs more money. This is not job sharing in the sense that there is one job being shared by two people, each of whom is paid a half-salary. This model demands two full-time positions, with two full-time salaries, that when worked collaboratively fill one mega job.

The next generation of leaders will not follow the path of Baby Boomers who were too willing to take on a mega job for a miniscule pay, which wasn’t healthy for either the organization or the people in those jobs. Thus, boards that take this on intentionally will be preparing ahead of time by identifying the sources of the additional dollars needed to cover the cost of pending co-leadership.

The second “beast” in this model is that the success of co-leadership is ultimately dependent upon the ability of the two individuals to work well together. That requires mutual trust and respect, something that more often than not develops over time and experience, rather than right out of the gate. While hiring is so often a roll of the dice, despite our best efforts, the roll of the dice with this model is even more fraught.

Proactive Hiring

Here again, forethought is needed, to hire proactively rather than reactively. When boards hire without a strategic plan, they are far more likely to hire reactively. If they liked what they are losing, they hire that. If they didn’t like what they are losing, they hire the opposite. Hiring reactively may seem smart, but it is hiring for the past and not for the future. As great as what you had may have been, it still might not be what will be needed for the future, even if that future is just three years away.

Boards must think about what they will need going into the future, what they will need to increase the likelihood of successfully achieving their strategic priorities. A good public speaker may have been important in the age of oral communication, but going forward, the written word — even if it is 280 characters or less, may take precedence.

Boards always want their executive directors to be strong fundraisers, but depending upon where an organization’s current development capacity and focus are, it may be important that the next executive director be strong in A rather than B.

Hiring the next executive director is one (of many) areas where resorting to the comfort of what has always been done can lead to great harm. Thinking about the possibilities of this important position in the organization is a key opportunity for the board to stretch its generative thinking muscles, think outside the boxes of the past and really imagine that leader for their future. There may be nothing more important that a board does that year.

Embracing Inclusivity

Lastly, give thought to how you will include staff in the hiring process. Those on the board who come from the corporate world may not understand or appreciate the important role that inclusivity plays in the nonprofit sector and, thus, may not see a need for bringing staff into the process.

The downside of that, however, ranges from lacking staff perspective in the hiring process, to a disgruntled staff feeling disempowered, to the extreme of a staff taking out its resentments on the new hire. Given how easy it is to avoid any of these kinds of outcomes, there is no reason to allow any of it to happen.

Moreover, just as there is an array of staff responses to being cut out of the hiring process, there are multiple ways to include them, and none is mutually exclusive.  In fact, the more of these options used the better.

Priorities:

  1. Boards should absolutely seek staff input — be it through a focus group or a survey — on what it sees as essential for the next executive director to bring to the table.
  2. At least two staff members may be on the search committee as equal members of the group. These staff members must understand that they are there as representatives of the whole staff, and not just themselves. In addition, these staff members must have a clear understanding of what they may and may not share with the rest of staff about the process, candidates, etc.
  3. The finalists should meet with staff in some forum. Here again, these options are not mutually exclusive. Candidates could have an all-staff meeting, make brief opening comments and then engage in Q&A. Candidates could meet with a subset of staff, having that subset pull from all tiers of the org chart. Candidates could meet with senior staff only, or just with those staff who would be direct reports. Regardless of the method(s) selected, the board must have a means for getting participants’ feedback on the candidates.

Regardless of which of these options are used, boards must make two things crystal clear:

  • First, it must be clear that while it wants everyone’s input, that does not mean that everyone’s ideas will show up in the final job description or the final candidate.
  • And, second, it must be clear that, ultimately, it will be the board, not staff, that will decide on who is hired.

There is no more important decision that a board member can make during her/his tenure on a nonprofit board than the hiring of an executive director (artistic director, if a performing arts organization).

To not give this duty the care and attention it merits, and that the mission and clients deserve, is the ultimate act of irresponsibility.


laura-head-shot-500Laura Otten, a Dodge Technical Assistance faculty member, is Executive Director at The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University.

 

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A new leadership collective for professionals of color in the sector

Posted on by Dodge

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The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership are excited to announce the launch of The Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective, a new leadership series beginning this month.

The Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective is designed to provide a caucus space for New Jersey nonprofit professionals of color to engage in a supportive community for growth, professional development, and meaningful peer relationships. It will be facilitated by Victoria Fernandez, acting program director of Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership, and Tyneisha Gibbs, founder and principal of 144th & Vine, and held monthly over the course of nine months at locations in Newark and Central Jersey.

At the heart of the Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective is the belief that “nonprofit leaders, no matter their experience, can benefit from a multi-pronged approach to professional development and that leaders of color are rich with knowledge and will benefit from a nurturing and stimulating support network,” Fernandez said.

The Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective is not your typical leadership or workshop series.

Over the course of the gatherings, participants will be invited to engage in sessions about relevant topics for nonprofit professionals of color, enjoy facilitated peer-to-peer time, receive one-on-one coaching, peer and executive mentoring, and hang-out with plenty of like-minded social profit sector movers and shakers.

Potential facilitated topics covered throughout the series include: Class and colorism, safe spaces and intersectionality, recognizing inner power, shifting systems, and navigating upward mobility, recognizing and managing allies, politics in the workplace, speaking truth to power and consequences, and fundraising.  

Nonprofit professionals of color working in all levels of service in the nonprofit sector, including executives, directors, direct service staff, entry-level staff, board members, and more. This includes those who identify as, live their daily lives as, and understand themselves as people of color.

Dodge and the Institute for Ethical Leadership are collaborating on the series. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing technical assistance opportunities for our grantees, the series is in alignment with our recent strategic plan and vision for an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities.

Many of our grantees have asked us to support a caucus for professionals of color over the past several years, and we are pleased to partner with Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership. The Institute has demonstrated their commitment and expertise to supporting leaders of color through their multiple training programs.

The series launches with an Opening Gathering from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24 at Rutgers-Newark. Advance registration for each workshop, limited to 50 participants, is required.

 

Posted in equity, Technical Assistance | Leave a comment

At time of tragedy in Jersey City, the arts demonstrate community love

Posted on by Sam Potts, Nimbus Danceworks founder
A file photo of Nimbus Danceworks' Jersey City Nutcracker.

A file photo of Nimbus Danceworks’ Jersey City Nutcracker.

Note: Nimbus Dance’s Sam Potts shared the below letter with its community following the anti-Semitic Dec. 10 attack on the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City, which left three victims and two suspects dead. The Dodge Foundation received the letter and requested we share it with the broader New Jersey nonprofit community, as we believe Potts’ words and perspective shows a deep love of community and offers a unique way to interpret and understand the tragedy and the role of the arts in communities. The stark difference between the space created within Nimbus’ performance – onstage and among the audience – and the shooting spree that was happening at precisely the same moment in another section of Jersey City lays bare the role that the arts can play in envisioning and creating something counter to prevailing realities and narratives.

Our community was recently jolted and devastated by an incident of brutal and hateful violence. At around 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, two individuals targeted a Jewish grocery store, opened fire on innocent people and did battle with heroic law enforcement officers who put their lives at risk to protect the community. A police officer, Detective Joseph Seals, and three civilians were killed; two other officers were injured. Unbelievably, this tragic ritual of American life: senseless gun violence and hate crime has become normalized. Our beloved hometown was just the most recent community to be struck.

At precisely the same moment that havoc was erupting in one part of Jersey City, Nimbus Dance was inviting a group of 150 elementary school students from Rafael de Cordero, P.S. #37, into our theater for a matinee performance of Jersey City Nutcracker, to be performed by our company dancers along with 12 students from Henry Snyder High School, located mere blocks from the site of the shooting. In a cocoon of theatrical warmth, imagination, and shared purpose, our re-envisioned version of Nutcracker told a story of two Jersey City youth whose adventures through the streets of Jersey City lead them to a magical manhole cover. Through this secret portal, the kids emerge in Act II into “a glimmering vision of what our city might one day become.”

During a break between Acts I and II, I went onstage to question the youth audience members, about what they guessed this glimmering vision for Jersey City might look like. They called out: “Clean – no garbage on the streets!” “Reindeer and Santa and lots of presents!” “People care about each other and are nice!” “More slides and swings and playgrounds!” The wide-eyed schoolkids were enraptured by the dance which had opened their minds to new possibilities for what a city could be like, by extension, these Jersey City kids were considering their own community and their own visions for the future. The kids cheered and cheered.

When the performance was over, I was pulled aside and told about the shooting, that the schools were on lockdown and that the students would need to stay put at our facility. We stalled for time – kids asked questions of the dancers, dancers offered to take pictures with the kids. The Snyder High School students, many of whom live in neighborhoods racked by gun violence and poverty, led the younger kids in dance games, ‘Simon Says,’ and other fun activities, demonstrating exceptional empathy, maturity, and leadership under the stressful circumstances.

By 4:30 p.m., we received the signal that students could be released to their parents and the elementary school kids, high school students, professional dancers, Jersey City public school teachers and parent chaperones, each went their separate ways into the eerily quiet and dark early evening. The bubble of unity that had been formed among this diverse and eclectic group of Jersey City people, could be seen as a momentary glimpse of what could be, within a world that had become suddenly more ominous, dangerous, and filled with uncertainty.

A parallel reality existed on that day in Nimbus’ space, and in the alternate universe of Jersey City Nutcracker onstage. While the nation’s attention was directed to more of the horrifying violence that we have endured regularly in recent years, the young people, the Snyder High students, the Jersey City School teachers and the Nimbus dancers, made a statement that will endure for all who were present: we WILL build our reality, our vision for the future, our city of unity, in the face of the darkness that might lurk outside.

 

Posted in Arts, Community Building, Grantee Spotlight, Nonprofit | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

First 100 Days: My gaze is forward and my mind is on our community

Posted on by Tanuja M. Dehne, Dodge Foundation president & CEO

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I write to wish you, our partners and community, warm wishes this holiday season as we head into a new year.

December is a time of reflection, to measure progress, and to set the course for the year ahead. As I close out the first 100 days as the president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, I’ve been doing just that and wanted to share some updates with you.

Since joining the staff in September, I’ve used this time to meet with the Foundation’s board and staff and participate in meetings, events, and conferences in the field to learn about New Jersey’s dynamic social sector. It has been an honor to be in this role at such an exciting time for Dodge and to experience the field and our communities with a new equity lens. My listening tour of learning will continue well into the new year.

A lot has happened in these few months. The Dodge Team, both board and staff, came together three times to strategize and advance our work, we welcomed two new board members, and we launched a search for a new CFO. Earlier this fall, the Dodge Team held a retreat in venues across Newark where we met and learned from partners and community leaders working on several fronts to make Newark a place of prosperity for all. Over two days, we shared stories and reflected on the many forms of impact Dodge has made over its 45-year history – from people, place, community and financially. Looking back with a broad lens allowed us to lean forward into our bold vision and re-imagine what impact toward an equitable New Jersey might look like in the future.

I have worked with the Dodge Team to develop program-level theories of change, and we are excited to share more about that process and next steps in the new year. We also launched our new grantmaking portal and awarded nearly $2 million in our final round of grants this year, bringing our investment in nonprofits organizations serving New Jersey communities across the arts, environment, education, informed communities, poetry, technical assistance and other areas to more than $10 million. This fall we also welcomed the newest learning community of nonprofit leaders in our Board Leadership Series, which has new offerings this year on diversity, inclusion, and equity. And, the countdown to the Dodge Poetry Festival has officially begun, and I am excited to invite you to save the dates— the Festival returns to Newark Oct. 22-25.

tanuja2

My listening tour has taken me all over the state and my visits with community members have done wonders for my spirit. I have had the opportunity to share my perspectives and early learnings on the NJPAC Women’s Association Leading Ladies panel and address the issue of Trends in Philanthropy at the Center for Non-Profits 2019 NJ Nonprofits Conference. I have also had the good fortune to attend the Dodge Newark High School Poetry Mini Festival, Art Pride NJ’s annual meeting, the Black Media Story Summit Newark, the Black Issues Convention, and to participate in a racial equity workshop facilitated by Grantmakers in the Arts. I am grateful to have been able to immerse myself in understanding how philanthropy is addressing deeply entrenched race and class issues in New Jersey.

Over these months, I have absorbed, learned, and discovered much more than I expected about who we are, our community, our people (the Dodge Team), and myself. There is so much more to learn, but one thing is for certain to me: Dodge builds. Over 45 years, Dodge has built scaffolding, networks, ecosystems, relationships, expertise, the endowment, and community with patience, commitment, and care. With deep respect for our past, my gaze has turned to the future.

The program-level theory of change work has sparked bigger questions about how we might leverage what Dodge has built to create holistic impact in its many forms as we center our work on equity – including what we keep doing, what will change, and what new ecosystems we may build. The Dodge Team will embark on a Foundation Theory of Change in the new year, and we do so acknowledging we can’t do this work without engaging and partnering with the community. It is critical that we listen, learn, and collaborate with humility and transparency so that the impact we make is relevant and accessible as we connect communities and influence social change towards an equitable New Jersey.

We are embracing the opportunity of an ambiguous and exhilarating future, and we look forward to sharing our story and learning from you. It is indeed an exciting time at Dodge.

I want to thank each person who has reached out and welcomed me over these months. I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes.

May the next few weeks nourish you and set you up for success in 2020.

Posted in Dodge Insights, President's Message, What We're Learning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Board Leadership: If I were the king of the forest…

Posted on by David Grant, former President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

I had the pleasure of meeting Lonnie Bunch through the late great Clement Price when I was working at the Dodge Foundation, and I think the country and the world is lucky to have Lonnie at the helm of the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.  The fact that it is still such a big deal for a black man to have that job in 2019 has me musing on the forces that make that so.

A moment comes to mind from the first workshop of the Dodge Board Leadership series for 2019-20, which I facilitated last month.  We were examining the “Seven Pillars of High Performance,” as defined by the Leap Ambassador Community, and talking about the first and “pre-eminent” pillar: Leadership.

I told the group of nonprofit leaders in the room that the creators of the seven-pillar framework had chosen two adjectives to modify the noun leadership in their naming of the first pillar. Then I asked what they thought those adjectives were.  Effective? Strong? Consistent? Trusted? Experienced?  Bold?

No.  The first pillar is identified as Courageous, Adaptive Board and Staff Leadership.  I asked the participants what that looked like to them, and I would ask you the readers of this blog post now to pause over the same questions.  In your experience, what kind of leadership would deserve to be called courageous? What do you picture when you think of leaders being especially or conspicuously adaptive?

After hearing responses from those in the room, I shared a list of descriptive statements about leadership made by the Leap Ambassadors, including, “In high-performance organizations, executives and boards cultivate diversity and inclusion at every level of the organization.”

Then came a moment I’ve been thinking about since.  I said, “You know, as recently as ten years ago, it would have been possible for white-led organizations to ignore that statement.  But I don’t think it’s possible anymore.”  There was a moment of silence, then enthusiastic finger-snaps from two young women of color in the training room.

They may have been snapping for the idea rather than the reality of change in the social sector, the Smithsonian notwithstanding.  According to the Building Movement Project’s 2017 report, “Race to Lead: Confronting the Racial Leadership Gap,” the percentage of people of color in executive director/CEO roles has remained under 20% for the last 15 years.  The report described significant investment in training programs in order to create a pipeline of potential leaders of color.  But it also noted that those trained people are out there and want the jobs; indeed the percentage of people of color who desired nonprofit leadership positions was higher than that of whites.  But they aren’t getting hired.  The report went on, “In other words, while many investments … focus on training and other capacity building for people of color, the real need for capacity building is with the people who hire for executive leadership positions.”

The Building Movement report ended with three recommendations, including: field organizations, like funders and associations (and one might add capacity builders …) can incentivize new norms, set standards, and identify progress indicators for racial equity in the sector.

This brings us back to the idea of courageous leadership and efforts like the Dodge Board Leadership series.  The vast majority of nonprofit organizations and boards I work with, including in this series, are led by white people, and they are all trying to figure out what the acronym DEI – diversity, equity, inclusion – means to them.  They generally are good, dedicated, community-minded, mission-driven people.  But their organizations are slow to change, and maybe framing that change as taking courage is exactly right:

  • It takes courage to face unconscious bias;
  • It takes courage to acknowledge that you don’t need racists to perpetuate systems that foster and maintain racial inequality;
  • It takes courage to challenge and change systems that benefit you and people who look like you.

As Robin DiAngelo writes at the end of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, “Interrupting racism takes courage and intentionality; the interruption is by definition not passive or complacent … we must never consider ourselves finished with our learning … It is a messy, lifelong process, but … (it) is also deeply compelling and transformative.”

There’s where the Dodge Foundation comes in, and since I’m no longer there I feel I can praise them out loud for their efforts.  The Foundation has elevated the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in its strategic plan. Their mission and vision statements refer to “an equitable New Jersey” as the goal they are planning backwards from. They describe “a priority focus on elevating the voices and power of those communities that have been historically and systematically excluded from investment and opportunity.”  The Board Leadership Series has added two core workshops in “Creating a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

In short, in philanthropy, a field that many feel does more to uphold than disrupt the status quo, Dodge is leading.  Maybe they can help us all learn as the lion did in The Wizard of Oz, that we had the courage all along.

DG_HeadshotDavid Grant is the former President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
He is the author of The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals,
Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations (2015)

 

 

 

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Celebrating a New Tradition: the Newark High School Poetry Festival

Posted on by Victoria Russell

We are so grateful to the city of Newark and the communities that live and work there for welcoming the Dodge Poetry Festival with warmth, kindness and absolute love for poetry when we host our Festival in the downtown arts district every other year. We want to make sure to offer a Dodge Poetry experience for Newark students every fall, not just when the national Festival is in town. That’s why we created the biennial Newark High School Poetry Festival in October 2017, and we were so happy to host the second one last month, on October 24, 2019, at the Rutgers-Newark Paul Robeson Student Center.

About 500 students and teachers from every public high school in Newark attended the festival, thanks to the diligent work of Margaret El, Director of Visual & Performing Arts for the Newark Public School District, who is always the ultimate champion for making sure Newark students get to the Dodge Poetry Festival and experience poetry (and all of the arts) in a deeply meaningful way.

Poets Nicole Homer, Mia X and Naomi Extra talk about "Poetry and Herstory." Photo by Marisa Benson.

Poets Nicole Homer, Mia X and Naomi Extra talk about “Poetry and Herstory.” Photo by Marisa Benson.

Throughout the day, students moved among spaces in the Paul Robeson Center for a variety of different poetry experiences, with sessions led by an outstanding lineup of poets, most of whom have a close personal connection to Newark, or even call the city home: Ana Portnoy Brimmer, Naomi Extra, Reg E. Gaines, Nicole Homer, Khalil Murrell, Vincent Toro, Joe Weil and Mia X.

When they first arrived in the morning, students were treated to a poetry and music jam between poets and saxophonist Irwin Hall. Then the students broke out into smaller sessions—some sessions featured several poets reading poems, conversing and addressing questions about a topic (like politics, the art of storytelling, or “herstory”), while others joined a single poet to learn more about that poet’s life. Still others journeyed to the Dance Theater for a performance workshop. Every group experienced three different sessions, giving them the chance to meet different poets and connect with poetry in different ways. The poets told us at lunchtime that they were blown away by the students’ thoughtful questions and expressed how deeply moved they were by their interactions.

Poets Ana Portnoy Brimmer and Vincent Toro. Photo by Marisa Benson.

Poets Ana Portnoy Brimmer and Vincent Toro. Photo by Marisa Benson.

We want to give a huge thank you to Rutgers-Newark for donating the space for the day, to Sonam Shah, her excellent staff and the lovely NJPAC volunteers for making sure everything ran smoothly—and for being so pleasant throughout it all, no matter what challenges arose.

And of course, thank you to the poets, the teachers and the students for bringing their open hearts and minds, their love for poetry and stories, and their attentiveness to the art and each other. We’re so happy to have started this tradition and look forward to many more.

Posted in Poetry, Poetry Archives, Poetry in the Schools, Poets, Tidbits | 1 Comment

Announcing two new members to Dodge’s Board

Posted on by Dodge

We are excited to welcome two new members to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Anisa Kamadoli Costa and Dan Fatton began their three-year terms in September.  

“Anisa and Dan bring strong experience in the social sector and a passion for Dodge’s vision of an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities,” said Preston Pinkett III, board chairman. “We are thrilled to welcome them to the board to help advance Dodge’s goals, which include aligning our resources to address historical, institutional, and structural impediments so that New Jerseyans of all races and communities have what is needed to realize a quality life. 

 

The Dodge FoundationAnisa, of New York City, is chairman and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and chief sustainability officer at Tiffany & Co., where she works to drive the company’s global sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts, including the alignment to internal culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts while advancing the business and building brand value. In strategic alignment with Tiffany’s global sustainability priorities, Anisa shepherds Tiffany’s support of nonprofit organizations dedicated to the stewardship of natural resources in the areas of responsible mining and marine conservation.   

She is a board member for the American Swiss Foundation and Oceans 5, and is a member of the Conservation International’s Leadership CouncilShe previously was on the board of Philanthropy New York and chair of the Environmental Grantmakers Association.  

Anisa has a bachelor’s degree in European studies from Barnard College at Columbia University and a master’s in international economic policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.  

The Dodge FoundationDan, of Trenton, is New Jersey state director for the Energy Foundation, where he works to grow and strengthen relationships with grantees and partners leading and engaging in campaigns and guiding the Foundation’s giving in New Jersey. 

Dan is chair of the City of Trenton’s Planning Board, vice-chair of the City’s Green Team, and a board member for the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, New Jersey Policy Perspective, and Arts Ed NJ. He is a former board member of the I Am Trenton Community Foundation and served on Governor Murphy’s Energy and Environment Transition Committee. 

Dan has a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design from James Madison University and a master’s in city and regional planning from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He has also completed fellowships with Lead New Jersey and the Environmental Leadership Program and was part of Dodge’s emerging leader program. 

“We are so excited to welcome Anisa and Dan to Dodge,” said Tanuja Dehne, Dodge president and CEO. “They bring new energy and ideas as we lean into the future and our new vision.” 

Posted in Dodge Insights, News & Announcements, Philanthropy | Leave a comment

Sustainable Jersey: Graduate students matched with NJ municipalities and school districts to find high-value energy savings

Posted on by Sustainable Jersey

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This summer, Sustainable Jersey provided six municipalities and three school districts with hands-on-help to evaluate, plan and implement projects to help improve the energy performance of their buildings.

Through the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps fellowship program, Sustainable Jersey worked with: Karen Wu (Duke University), Sabrina Vivian (University of Michigan) and Sarrynna Sou (University of Washington). These specially trained fellows were paired with municipalities and school districts from four New Jersey counties:

  • Monmouth County: Borough of Keyport, Borough of Red Bank, Manalapan Township, Neptune Township, and West Long Branch School District
  • Morris County: Mount Arlington Public Schools and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills
  • Ocean County: Barnegat Board of Education
  • Sussex County: Borough of Hopatcong

The technical assistance program is funded by New Jersey Natural Gas.
“We are proud of our partnership with Sustainable Jersey – now in its 10th year – to help connect communities with the resources they need to make wise energy choices,” said Anne-Marie Peracchio, director of conservation and clean energy policy for New Jersey Natural Gas. “The host towns and schools benefit greatly from this unique opportunity as the EDF Climate Corps Fellows provide guidance and insight to help them address challenges and plan customized energy-efficiency solutions that help advance their sustainability goals.”

EDFELLOW
Since its launch in 2008, EDF Climate Corps has embedded over 1,000 trained fellows within more than 500 leading organizations to help advance their energy goals. The result: over $1.6 billion in energy savings identified. Since 2015, Sustainable Jersey, with the support of New Jersey Natural Gas, has placed twelve EDF Fellows to assist a total of 18 schools/ districts and 15 municipalities.

As the EDF Fellows worked with township and school district staff in June and July 2019, Sustainable Jersey provided guidance to help the EDF Fellows advise participating schools and municipalities about resources specific to New Jersey, as well as initiatives that earn points toward the Sustainable Jersey certification program.

edfellow3

The EDF Fellows helped to get energy efficiency projects on the fast track to accomplishment – simultaneously lowering energy costs and environmental impact. In particular, the EDF Fellows helped the towns and school districts access the many incentives available through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program and the New Jersey Natural Gas SAVEGREEN Project. In recent years the EDF Fellows have helped the host towns and school districts reduce their own energy usage while promoting the energy efficiency projects within their communities, including the SAVEGREEN Project’s zero-percent on-bill repayment programs that make energy efficiency more accessible for customers.

Learn more about what the EDF Climate Corps Fellows have accomplished in previous years for New Jersey school districts and municipalities: NJ EDF Climate Corps Project Reports.

For more about Sustainable Jersey:

Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   LinkedIn

 

Posted in Environment, Sustainable Jersey | Leave a comment

Newark High School Poetry Festival: Joe Weil

Posted on by Victoria Russell

This fall, we’re hosting the second biennial Newark High School Poetry Festival. Groups of students from every public high school in Newark will be coming together at Rutgers-Newark’s Paul Robeson Center for a day of poetry readings, conversations, and performance workshops. Joe Weil is one of the poets who will be joining Newark students for this exciting event.

Joe Weil blog photoWhat is something you have recently discovered about poetry?

I’ve discovered I still like to rhyme and have been exploring everything from nursery rhymes to old Irish forms where the rhyme schemes are very tricky.

What poem by another poet do you wish you had written and why?

I wish I’d written “The Soldier and the Snow” by Miguel Hernandez because of its beauty and its amazing control which I guess he picked up while reading the classic Spanish poets.

What is the funniest/strangest response you’ve ever gotten to telling someone you are a poet?

My old neighbor Mrs. Sacchia was still alive when a camera crew from NJPBS took me to the street I grew up on. She saw me, remembered me, and embraced me. She was over 90. She said: “Joseph! A Camera? What have you done?” I said: “I’m a poet Mrs. Sacchia.” She crossed herself and said “Well it’s better to be that than a murderer.”

Have you ever written anything you were afraid to share?

The first time I read a poem, the podium was on an uneven floor and I shook so badly, it started knocking about as if it were possessed. I am always a little nervous. Sometimes I write things people might not be able to hear yet. Sometimes I tell unflattering truths about myself.

Do you have any advice for those who are trying to help students engage with poetry?

Don’t over define what poetry can be. Start with the phrase “Acts of language.” What’s an act of language you really like? What’s something you think has been said just so, where the how it was said was just as important as what was said. Begin there. Collect these acts of language, then have them start playing with words, with spacing, with shapes. Go from there.

Do you have a favorite memory from time spent in Newark?

I worked construction in my 30’s, at least part-time, and I worked with these guys from Brazil. We sat on a porch in Down Neck drinking beer, and eating chicken hearts on tooth picks with hot sauce. The beer was really cold and we had worked all day breaking concrete and pouring cement. I remember letting the tiredness drink me while I drank the beer. It was off of Olive Street. Chicken hearts taste really good, though I guess they’re not for everyone. You do need the hot sauce.

What are you currently reading?

Student’s poems!

Posted in Ask A Poet, Poetry, Poets, Tidbits | Leave a comment

Newark High School Poetry Festival: khalil murrell

Posted on by Victoria Russell

This fall, we’re hosting the second biennial Newark High School Poetry Festival. Groups of students from every public high school in Newark will be coming together at Rutgers-Newark’s Paul Robeson Center for a day of poetry readings, conversations, and performance workshops. khalil murrell is one of the poets who will be joining Newark students for this exciting event.

khalil murrell blog photoHave you ever written anything you were afraid to share?

At least half of the things I write I’m afraid to share, but I share them anyway. Part of my draw to poetry emerged from attempting to push past my discomfort, to explore the things that made me afraid.

What was your experience with poetry in high school? If you wrote poetry as a teenager, what did you write about? 

I actually began writing poetry in college. I saw this movie named Love Jones (1997), a love story that centered around two lovers who met in a speakeasy. Both of the main characters recited a poem, “Brotha to the Night” (Regie Gibson) and “I Am Looking at Music” (Sonia Sanchez). I remember hearing “Brotha to the Night,” thinking, “Man, I want to do something like that.” Later, I started performing at various spoken word venues around Philly.

Do you have a favorite spot in Newark? A park, restaurant, open mic venue, etc.?

I usually watch the NCAA tournament and NBA playoffs at Burger Walla on my block. I like the trash talking and the wings.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading two books by my favorite author, Kiese Laymon–a book of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance, and his recent memoir, Heavy.

Posted in Ask A Poet, Poetry, Poets, Tidbits | Leave a comment

Newark High School Poetry Festival: Nicole Homer

Posted on by Victoria Russell

This fall, we’re hosting the second biennial Newark High School Poetry Festival. Groups of students from every public high school in Newark will be coming together at Rutgers-Newark’s Paul Robeson Center for a day of poetry readings, conversations, and performance workshops. Nicole Homer is one of the poets who will be joining Newark students for this exciting event.

Nicole Homer Blog PhotoHave you ever written anything you were afraid to share?

Yes! The poems that became the foundation of my book Pecking Order were originally just for me because I was trying to figure something out about being a mom and about how race played into how I experience that. A lot of it started with what happens to bodies naturally, medically, quietly. There was a large silence surrounding what I was going through, so I tried to write my way into the conversation I wished I had access to. The first time I read one of them out loud I was shaking. The collection I’m working on right now, Fast Tail, is taking shape this same way. I gave myself permission to write whatever I needed to write, and I don’t have to share or publish any of them. I needed to promise myself that so I could do the work I need to do. For me, that fear lets me know I’m exploring in the right direction but doesn’t mean I’m obligated to share it.

Do you have any advice for those who are trying to help students engage with poetry?

Share the poems you love. Start with work that moves you and brings you joy. We can worry about scansion and enjambment and form soon enough. When I was little, my grandmother recited her favorite poem, “Invictus,” for me, and she so visibly loved it. She told me why it moved her, what her favorite lines were, what they meant to her. It was not at all a technical explanation. I moved into a hunger for craft later, but it started with enjoyment. Teachers are in a hard, hard spot in terms of what they must do to meet requirements and what they know will benefit their students, because the two don’t always align. I think with poetry, whenever possible, privilege love of it over everything else because the everything else comes if there’s a love. The urgency of much of contemporary poetry can offer people a way of feeling seen. Poets are writing in context of and in response to this uncertain world; they are not flinching back from discussing race, politics, violence, bodies, gender, and more, so the things that we as humans are preoccupied with are the subjects of poems.

What are you currently reading?

In August, I tried #TheSealeyChallenged, named for Nicole Sealey who challenges us to read one book of poetry every day in August, so I’ve been reading a pretty wide selection of books, from revisiting old favorites to discovering new ones. This morning I read Gregory Orr’s The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write. Tomorrow, I’ll re-read Vievee Francis’s Forest Primeval.

Posted in Ask A Poet, Poetry, Poets | Leave a comment

“Contando Nuestras Historias / Telling Our Stories” with Wind of the Spirit

Posted on by Victoria Russell
Assistant Director of Dodge Poetry Director Ysabel Gonzalez welcoming everyone to the retreat. Photo by Jhoan Sebastian Tamayo.

Ysabel Gonzalez, Assistant Director of Dodge Poetry, says a few welcoming words while poets Ana Portnoy-Brimmer and Ruth Irupe Sanabria look on. Photo by Jhoan Sebastian Tamayo.

The Dodge Poetry Program kicked off an exciting new project in collaboration with Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center on October 5. “Contando Nuestras Historias/Telling Our Stories” is an initiative providing space for members of Wind of the Spirit’s local Latinx immigrant community to collaborate with Dodge Poets in sharing and documenting their stories.

The seeds for this project were planted earlier this year, when Dodge Poetry hosted a free, public event called “Poetry and Democracy” in our office neighborhood of Morristown, New Jersey. Wind of the Spirit was one of the local social justice organizations we partnered with for the event; organizer Brian Lozano hosted a panel discussion with poet Rigoberto González and several members of the Wind of the Spirit Community, who shared some of their experiences as immigrants in this country.

Wind of the Spirit discussing "Poetry and Democracy," March 2019. Photo by Alex Towle Photography.

Rigoberto Gonzalez, members of Wind of the Spirit and Brian Lozano telling stories at “Poetry and Democracy,” March 2019. Photo by Alex Towle Photography.

Through continued conversations with Wind of the Spirit about the power of documenting and sharing these stories, we began to wonder what it could look like if together we hosted regular meetings where members could explore their stories in a safe and supportive environment, with guidance from experienced poets and artists, and a goal of preserving and more widely sharing the materials produced for generations to come.

And that’s how Contando Nuestras Historias/Telling Our Stories was born.

On Saturday, October 5, Dodge Poetry staff, poets and members from the Wind of the Spirit Community gathered at the Quaker Meeting House in Chatham for a day-long retreat focused on getting to know each other and beginning to open up and do some generative work. Dodge Poets Grisel Acosta, Ana Portnoy-Brimmer and Ruth Irupé Sanabria, along with co-facilitators David Cruz, Dano Mendoza and Jhoan Sebastian Tamayo, led small groups in morning and afternoon sessions of sharing poems, conversing and responding to writing prompts through individual reflection and group sharing.

The whole group got together for ice breakers in the morning, a delicious Caribbean lunch catered by Morristown’s Hibiscus Restaurant in the afternoon, and a powerful closing session at the end of the day, where members reflected on what the day meant for them and their hopes for the coming months. They talked about the memories and experiences they were exploring in writing that day, how difficult and intense and yet necessary it is to talk about them, and how rare it is that they have the opportunity, time and space to explore their stories and art with others who listen and take them seriously.

For the next eight months, Dodge Poets and Wind of the Spirit artists and community members will be convening once a month. The goal of the meetings is to support Wind of the Spirit community members in telling their stories—primarily through the mediums of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, snippets, and oral storytelling.  Community members will share their stories in the language that feels most comfortable to them, primarily Spanish, sometimes English or Spanglish. We’ll also be recording some interviews for those who want an oral record of their stories.

We’re excited to work with Morristown & Morris Township Library to archive the materials that come out of this project, providing a home where stories of love and loss, bravery and resilience, sacrifice and growth, can live on to inform, inspire and enrich the lives of generations to come.  “Contando Nuestras Historias/Telling Our Stories” is about a community coming together to say: “We are here, we matter, and our stories matter.”

Because this is a new project which Dodge Poetry and Wind of the Spirit are venturing on together for the first time, we’re still learning about how to do all of it and are open to seeing what works, what we can do better, and where it all takes us.

We’re so thankful to Wind of the Spirit and all of the members and artists who joined us for the beautiful retreat last Saturday to commence Contando Nuestras Historias. Thank you to Diana Mejia for her ever-open arms that make everyone feel welcome, and to Brian Lozano for his key role in creating this and doing so much translating between English and Spanish throughout today. Thank you also to Meghan Van Dyk, Dodge Foundation Informed Communities Program Officer, for introducing us to Diana and helping to make this partnership happen.

To learn more about Wind of the Spirit and the great work that they do, visit their website.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Dodge’s Board Leadership Series is here to help advance your mission

Posted on by Wendy Liscow

Crowd shot 1

Calling all New Jersey nonprofit leaders.

You know your staff and board, and you know what you need to advance your mission. Dodge’s Board Leadership Series is designed to help you best support these needs.

We only have room for 10-12 organizations to participate, and spots are filling up quickly. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of the Dodge learning community. The registration deadline for the series is Oct. 10.

We invite you to review the series brochure, where you will find a comprehensive and sequential seven-part series requiring team participation, with additional opportunities to attend webinars and access other support tools. We know it is a big commitment of time and energy, but we are confident it will be worth the investment.

After 10 years of offering the series, we have learned some things about how to maximize the impact of the series and manage the commitment:

  • This program is most effective when the executive director, board president and other board members attend as a team consistently for the whole series.
  • The board president should prioritize the first two workshops and the diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops called “Leading for High Impact”.
  • A good way to engage other board members is to have your board committee chairs take a leadership role at relevant workshops. For example, your Governance Committee chair can attend the Retaining and Recruiting workshop and your Fundraising Committee chair can attend the Fundraising workshop. If you have a vice-president or board member in line to become the next Board President, they should attend as well.
  • If your executive director and/or board president have attended the series multiple times in the past, consider sending a comparable senior staff leader and/or board member to attend the workshops as part of the organization’s team.
  • Above all else, no matter your team combination, decide how your team will share the information with others! Set up follow-up debriefings, schedule a portion of your board meetings to try the video exercises, and find ways to teach what you have learned.

Don’t forget, your commitment to the full series will yield multiple benefits.

First, here’s what we have heard from past participants:

“Though board governance can be learned about in books and blogs, the Dodge Board Series provides a unique platform of workshops and support for individual organizations to formulate their own strategies and action plans.”

“I learned the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and that knowledge alone is not enough. Intercultural competency is a muscle you have to develop- I was glad to gain tools that I can take back to my colleagues.”

 “I brought three new trustees who have just joined the Board. It helped inform them on how to focus their efforts and be more effective.” 

“These workshops provided great networking with other New Jersey nonprofits. The peer-based days are extremely useful for sharing information with similar nonprofit organizations on similar issues.”

In addition, another benefit is that along with all the new knowledge and tools at your fingertips, your team will be eligible to apply for a “Day of Clarity” Retreat for your whole board. You can download a description of the full Board Leadership series that can easily be printed or emailed to your board leadership team here.

Please feel free to reach out to Judy Ha Kim or Wendy Liscow if you have questions or issues relating to fulfilling the commitment to the series.

Posted in Technical Assistance | Leave a comment

Dodge Trustees remembered for humor, friendship  

Posted on by Meghan Van Dyk, Informed Communities program officer, communications director

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is remembering the lives of two former trustees for their dedication to the mission of the Foundation — and each other.

lebuhnstephensJim Stevens died June 30 in Watch Hill, R.I., and Robert LeBuhn died about a month later on Aug. 9 in Denver, Colo. The pair had in common a passion for paying it forward as successful investment managers who supported the arts and education through board service, and were friends over the two decades their terms on the Dodge Board overlapped, said Preston Pinkett III, board chairman.

[photo at top: Robert LeBuhn, left, and Jim Stevens]

“We lost two Dodge heroes,” Pinkett said of LeBuhn and Stevens. “They were two pals and they passed away together as if they were reuniting. The work they did to contribute to what we have done as a Foundation is outstanding.”

At a recent meeting, Dodge board and staff paid tribute to LeBuhn and Stevens by sharing stories, favorite jokes, and a poem in their honor.

“Their devotion to each other mirrored their beliefs and the values of the Foundation,” said Kim Elliman, a board member and immediate past board chair. “They talked to each other weekly and came to derive a lot of support from each other.”

LeBuhn joined the Dodge Board of Trustees in 1980 as the 10th member and first trustee not appointed by the court order establishing the Foundation. Elliman said LeBuhn helped transform Dodge in many ways, including diversifying its board and helping to evolve the Foundation’s approach to philanthropy in New Jersey.

“Rob believed that philanthropy should address the promise of people, the potential of human nature,” Elliman said. “He believed in providing general support, to permit the grantees to define priorities and practices. He believed that informed common-sense overruled specialization, from investments to arts education. He trafficked in a world where theory would be grounded in outcomes, not output.”

An Iowa native, LeBuhn kindled his interests in investment management and corporate policy at the Wharton School of Business where he earned an MBA after serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He began his business career as a securities analyst with Cyrus J. Lawrence and Sons and became the president of Investor International in 1984, and was its chairman from 1992 to 1994.

Throughout his career, LeBuhn was on the boards of directors of airline, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies, and also served on the nonprofit boards of New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and Reach Out and Read, among others.

“A little known fact about LeBuhn,” said Finn Wentworth, a board member, “was that he was a member of U.S. Men’s basketball team when it won a gold medal at the 1955 Pan American Games in Mexico City.”

“He was a great athlete and musician,” Wentworth said. “He was filled with gratitude and gratefulness for the community.”

“They both brought to the board a tremendous amount of humanity and great leadership,” said Barbara Moran, vice chair of the board. “Rob was dedicated to Dodge and what we did. Jim always brought levity when we needed it most.”

Stevens was on the board from 1993 to 2015. He was a strong believer in the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and in the power of poetry to transform lives, as well as an advocate for Newark’s revitalization.

A Massachusetts native, Stevens received an MBA from New York University and went on to work in banking and investment management, including a two-year stint in London at CitiBank. He rose to the ranks of president of Prudential in 1993.

Stevens was also on the board at pharmaceutical and communications companies, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served on the nonprofit boards of the Deerfield Academy, New York Hall of Science, and The School of American Ballet.

At board meetings, Stevens would pull a “joke card” out of his pocket with short phrases of 35 different jokes, which he cherry-picked from to lighten the mood, Moran said.

Several of the jokes involved a talking dog, like the one that starts off with a sign for a talking dog for sale.

“Clem would always ask for that joke,” Moran said, referring to the late Clement Price, a beloved former member best known as a historian and champion for Newark.

Cynthia Evans, Dodge’s chief financial officer and former interim president, recalled Stevens’ humor and his constant advocacy for supporting New Jersey’s nonprofit sector.

“Jim brought tremendous joy and fun to our work,” Evans said. “He believed in Dodge’s mission and in the nonprofit sector to advance change and improve people’s lives.”

In the spirit of community and joy to honor LeBuhn and Stevens’ lives and contributions to Dodge and the nonprofit sector, Martin Farawell, Dodge Poetry program director, read My Deepest Condiments by Taylor Mali.

 

My Deepest Condiments

Taylor Mali

 

I send you my deepest condiments

was in no way what my old friend

meant to say or write or send

the night she penned a note to me

one week after my father died.

 

Not condolences, or sentiments,

she sent me her deepest condiments

instead, as if the dead have need

of relish, mustard, and ketchup

on the other side.

 

O, the word made me laugh

so hard out loud it hurt!

So wonderfully absurd,

and such a sweet relief

at a time when it seemed

 

only grief was allowed in

after my father’s death,

sweet and simple laughter,

which is nothing more than

breath from so far deep inside

 

it often brings up with it tears.

And so I laughed and laughed

until my sides were sore.

And later still, I even cried

a little more.

Posted in Dodge Insights | Leave a comment

Join our team! Dodge Foundation launches search for next chief financial officer  

Posted on by Dodge

Featured News Image

 

We are excited to launch a search for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s next chief financial officer. 

For 25 years, Cynthia Evans, chief financial officer, has helped provide the financial and operational structure and support within which the Foundation’s staff and grantees could do their best creative work. Evans, who recently served as interim president and CEO, will be leaving Dodge at the end of 2019.   

As we move toward our new vision of an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities, we are looking for a chief financial officer to lead our finance function in support of our new strategic plan who will bring their deep commitment to equity, robust knowledge of financial management and accounting systems, creativity and big-picture thinking, and desire to build and nurture strong, collaborative relationships to our team 

We retained On-Ramps to oversee the search. Please see the official job posting to view a full description and how to apply. A summary is below.  

What you’ll do:  

  • Partner with the CEO to develop and refine organizational strategy and goals; advise the CEO on the organization’s financial performance and long-term financial planning 
  • Identify opportunities for innovation and advance board and staff learning around mission-aligned investments   
  • Oversee all finance and accounting functions, including day-to-day financial reporting, cash management, financial controls, and risk management   
  • Lead the process of reviewing current investment policy, asset management, and grantmaking portfolio through newly developed equity framework and to include mission-related investing   
  • Communicate a compelling vision and strategy for the finance team as well as the team and individual goals to drive successful execution of that strategy   

What you’ll bring to the job:  

  • You bring versatility, curiosity, humility, and a high level of cultural competence and thrive in a highly collaborative and learning-oriented environment. 
  • You possess strong analytical skills, with experience leveraging financial information to make strategic decisions and knowledge of the finance and accounting function (e.g., budgeting, forecasting, compliance), ideally with some experience with nonprofits or foundations, and an understanding of asset management and impact investing. 
  • You have experience working with an organization to make decisions through the lens of financial health, sustainability, programmatic impact, and equity, and can recognizes and anticipate future opportunities and challenges as they relate to financial strategy and systems 
  • You bring experience managing people, either small teams of direct reports or project-based resources, and enjoy nurturing the learning and growth of direct reports and colleagues 

Interested candidates can apply to On-Ramps at https://www.on-ramps.com/jobs/1745  

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this leadership position. The Foundation’s commitment to inclusivity encompasses but is not limited to diversity in nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.   

Posted in News & Announcements | Leave a comment
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