ABOUT THE FOUNDATION:
The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation is a private, family foundation composed of a diverse and committed
Board and staff. The Foundation supports grassroots organizations and movements throughout the United
States that are working to change environmental, social, economic and political conditions to bring about
a more just, equitable and sustainable world. It does this through grantmaking, mission related investing,
technical assistance to grantees and taking leadership roles in the field of philanthropy. The Foundation
consistently challenges structural racism, gender inequality, and discrimination based on ethnicity, race,
religion, age, sexual orientation, economic status, physical ability, gender, and immigration status. It
seeks to open channels of opportunities for those who are systemically denied.
Current grantmaking focuses in three areas - Environmental Justice, Reproductive Rights, Sustainable
Agriculture and Food Systems - and also supports efforts for a sustainable New York. Within the focus of
grantmaking, the Foundation looks for opportunities to support cross-issue and cross-movement work
with the goal of building a broad, progressive social justice movement.
Established in 1947, the Foundation is located in New York City. The current staffing includes a
President, three program directors (part and full time), a Director of Administration and a part-time
administrative assistant. The Foundation’s staff and Board are all deeply connected to many of the
program areas and movements that the Foundation supports. The Foundation’s Board of Directors
includes family members, scholars, movement activists, consultants, and financial experts who work
closely with staff to implement the vision and values of the Foundation.
We envision a socially just and environmentally sustainable society in which all people are able
to gain the knowledge and build the power they need to exercise their rights and participate fully
in the economic, social, and political decisions that affect their lives and communities.
The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation is a diverse and inclusive organization working for a more
equitable society. We consistently challenge structural racism, gender inequality, and
discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, economic status,
physical ability, gender, immigration, and immigration status. We seek to open channels of
opportunities for those who are systemically denied. We believe that people, not corporations,
have inalienable rights. The Foundation builds the power of people — those most impacted and
those who have been marginalized — to be actively involved in advancing solutions to the
problems they face. We believe in an environmentally just earth in which all species have the
right to coexist.
The President of the Foundation will:
• Translate and execute the vision of the Foundation.
Advance the goals, philosophy and program interests of the Foundation. S/he will work directly
with and engage the Board and staff to set the organizational priorities and implement strategic
• Manage the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Involve Board members in the work of the Foundation and assist them in carrying out their
functions. S/he will develop, in cooperation with Board chairperson, agendas for Board and
Committee meetings. S/he is responsible as the primary link between Board and staff in ensuring
that each has the support and information necessary to perform its function in the organization.
The President serves as an ex-officio non-voting member of the Board.
• Enhance the Foundation’s financial resources.
Design and implement ways to increase and leverage the Foundation’s resources through deep
organizational partnerships and collaborations with other funders, working relationships with
people holding donor-advised funds and other strategies as determined by the Board of Directors.
• Manage finance and fiscal responsibilities.
Work actively with the Finance Committee and coordinate with financial consultants to develop
and implement a successful market investment strategy for the foundation’s financial resources.
This will include upholding the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to proactively align the
endowment’s assets with the Foundation’s values as specified in the investment policy statement.
The President may be called upon to perform initial reviews of some investment opportunities.
Additionally the President will ensure that the Foundation complies with local, state, and federal
laws and regulations, including the filing of all tax and other reports as necessary to maintain the
Foundation's good standing and to preserve its tax status.
Finally, the President will oversee the development of the organization’s annual budget and midyear
adjustments for Board approval. The President shall approve all expenditures of the
Foundation, sign operating and grant checks and enter in contracts for goods and services.
• Maintain excellent external communications.
Serve as the chief spokesperson for the Noyes Foundation and actively engage with grant seekers,
other foundations and philanthropy in general, the media, government agencies, and the general
public to most effectively further the Foundation’s mission. The President will sign off on all
public representations of the organization’s work and public uses of the organization’s name.
S/he will also produce and/or oversee compelling written material and implement strategies
including but not limited to blogs, reports, and Noyes News, the Foundation’s electronic
• Manage the day-to-day functions of the Foundation.
Supervise all program staff and work collaboratively with staff to develop strategies that
successfully meet the long term and short-term objectives of the Foundation. Together with staff,
the President will work to ensure a healthy, cohesive workplace and organizational culture.
The ideal candidate will have the following traits:
• Democratic and facilitative leadership style: A strategic, creative, and independent thinker
with a widespread curiosity and the ability to motivate and provide leadership in a wide range of
situations, particularly in ambiguous conditions of transition and change. The ability to be
decisive and yet remain flexible, adaptive, and collaborative. The ability to be a “hands on” leader
who is unafraid to get his/her hands dirty. The skills to be an interested and thoughtful problem
solver. The ability to be resourceful in hiring and securing the skills and resources necessary to
meet the needs of the organization. Has the capacity to listen actively; to give and accept
feedback and to recognize the importance of stretching oneself and learning and growing. A style
that is democratic and facilitative and can motivate staff and Board.
• Familiarity and interest in social media and communication platforms: Fluent with social
media and knowledgeable about basic software platforms. Curious and interested in new uses for
technology to amplify and advance the mission of the Foundation.
• Effective communication skills: Good networking skills, comfortable in many spaces – staff,
board, movement organizations, philanthropy, and finance. Experience in public speaking and the
ability to communicate difficult, complex issues to various audiences. An ability to engage in
story telling as well as in more formal efforts and intellectual pursuits e.g. documentation and
evaluation of the Foundation’s impact.
• Social justice values and respect for difference: Respect for the history, the mission, the staff
and the Board of the Foundation. Respect and values difference – whether racial, ethnic, class,
sexual orientation or gender. An understanding of the changing role of gender and its role in all
issues. A commitment to growing and supporting younger leaders, both in the field and in
• Deep understanding of organizing and its role in activating communities for change.
Understands movement building and the role of Foundations in supporting historic and current
movements for change. Able to be a leader in the field and active in developing campaigns to
further social justice in philanthropy.
• A good sense of humor!
The successful candidate will have:
• A minimum of 5-7 years senior-level experience working in the field of philanthropy and/or nonprofit
organizations and/or leading the division of a larger nonprofit organization. Candidate will
have experience in fundraising, staff supervision, budget development, planning and
programmatic work, as well as a working knowledge of philanthropy.
• Experience with the complex nuances of the environmental justice, reproductive rights and food
justice movements. Experience with, commitment to, and reputation for working productively
and respectfully with diverse communities and populations to build capacity to effect structural
• A demonstrated ability and interest to develop and implement creative strategies to raise financial
and relationship capital from a variety of sources, including foundations and individuals; and to
grow and expand the Foundation’s base of grant making support through new partnerships.
• A working understanding of finances, investment management, socially responsible investing,
market related investments; budgeting and donor advised giving.
• The ability to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders. A demonstrated understanding
or experience in working in rural as well as urban settings.
• A demonstrated understanding of the role of social justice organizations, philanthropy, advocacy, and communications efforts within larger social movements.
• Significant experience in developing a strategic organizational vision and associated
implementation and marketing plans.
• Experience, interest, and understanding of a progressive use of metrics and the creation of
evaluation processes to assess the impact of the Foundation’s grants.
• Strong public speaking and writing skills.
The Foundation offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits.
HOW TO APPLY: To learn more about the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, please look for us on
Facebook and visit the website at www.noyes.org
To apply, please submit a substantive cover letter and resume to NoyesPresident@gmail.com. All
applications are due no later than September 1, 2015.
All questions about the search can be addressed to Ellen Gurzinsky, Search Consultant, at
firstname.lastname@example.org. NO phone calls please.