Over its nearly 50-year history, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (“CCP”) has become a statewide association whose members include philanthropic organizations of all types, and whose mission is to promote and support effective philanthropy for the public good. The past two decades have seen CCP expand from a Hartford-centered organization to a statewide membership organization composed of more than 110 philanthropic organizations representing more than $6 billion in assets and $700 million in annual grantmaking. CCP members are foundations (private, corporate, community), business and corporate giving programs, community-convener/funder/catalyst organizations, bank trusts, donor-advised funds, individual philanthropists, and those serving the philanthropic sector.
CCP, and the philanthropic sector it represents, finds itself at a crossroad of need and opportunity. CCP believes that philanthropy can be a voice of unity in a society. CCP believes there is great opportunity when we speak with one unified voice - a voice which sees philanthropy as bridge builder and as an advocate for social justice. Together we are more powerful than any of us alone. This is the vision for what CCP can be and the next President will embrace both the challenge and opportunity, and help continue the journey towards achieving this vision at a time when the State of Connecticut is facing particular challenges including: one of the widest educational and income gaps in America, an increased focus on issues of social justice, and the state’s current fiscal crisis.
CCP functions as a network for funders, connecting grantmakers to address issues both individually and collectively; a resource for grantmaking, where funders can access critical information and services; and a voice for philanthropy, representing the philanthropic sector to key audiences and raising the understanding of the role and impact of philanthropy in the state. CCP has also joined its peers in national conversations about philanthropy, elevating Connecticut’s philanthropic voice and influence. CCP is guided by the values of transparency, accessibility, ethical conduct, and responsiveness to diverse populations, and values a diverse workforce and diverse leadership.
The organization has a year-round staff of five, and is governed by a 13-member board of directors that includes representation from its member organizations. Funding is derived from member support, program fees, earned income, sponsorship, leadership gifts, fiscal services and grants. For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015, total revenues were $700,000. In addition to its role as facilitator and thought partner, CCP also serves as a fiscal agent for two key state-wide programs: the Working Cities Challenge and Early Childhood Funders Collaborative.
Working closely with the board, staff and key constituents to promote the organization’s mission, the ideal candidate will be a seasoned, dynamic leader with a proven track record. The new President will provide strategic leadership; ensure the development and delivery of innovative member programs; revisit, refine and implement the strategic plan; and identify, develop, implement and assess effective alliances on a local, regional and national basis, in a highly collaborative, service-oriented environment.
S/he must have a professional background that demonstrates an ability to quickly form and maintain relationships with a diverse group of grantmakers, government officials and agencies, business leaders, nonprofit partners, staff, board members and other community stakeholders. S/he will be passionate about promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good in Connecticut.
Learn more about the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy at https://www.ctphilanthropy.org/
Types of Council Programs and Initiatives
- Develop and disseminate knowledge and information about philanthropy in CT: compile facts, figures and trends on grantmaking and charitable giving in the state, including annual production of the influential Giving in Connecticut report; provide analysis and context; disseminate knowledge broadly to the philanthropic sector.
- Provide educational and professional development for grantmakers: average of 20 programs and events delivered across the state annually focused on a variety of topics of interest and “how-to” sessions focused on particular skills.
- Provide network opportunities for grantmakers and others: 20+ network meetings for grantmakers with common interests to share knowledge/experiences. Represent member interests at local and national meetings.
- Public policy and advocacy: serve as an advocate with elected and appointed officials, the media and general public, on impact of philanthropy on the public good; engage in public policy work to promote and protect the social purpose sector.
The organization adopted a new strategic plan in 2014 and set itself on a path of growth – growth in membership, influence, reach and impact. The plan calls for CCP to become a philanthropic hub – a place where ‘ideas are exchanged, research is disseminated, lessons learned are examined, and best practices are showcased and promoted.’ The plan highlighted the following organizational goals:
- To be a leader and catalyst for philanthropic action in response to community issues;
- To facilitate the regular exchange of ideas, experiences, information, and expertise among Connecticut grantmakers;
- To be a reliable source of knowledge and education about philanthropy for Connecticut’s grantmakers; national, state, and local leaders; and the general public;
- To increase public understanding of the value and impact of philanthropy.
Opportunities and Challenges
Three years ago, CCP experienced a transition from a long-standing founder executive (22 years), to a new leader who began the process of transforming the organization from a ‘membership organization’ to a ‘leadership organization’. Significant progress was achieved in this transformation before the president left at the end of June 2016 to accept an excellent opportunity to work at the national level. An Interim President was appointed as of July 1. CCP now seeks a new leader who can build on this momentum by continuing to fully implement CCP’s strategic plan and solidify the organizational infrastructure necessary to achieve the goals outlined earlier in the Strategic Focus section.
In planning for the current leadership transition, the Board engaged Third Sector New England’s Executive Transitions Program to facilitate the transition process. CCP’s strengths, challenges, priorities and more were identified through this process and will inform its next leader and the goal of increasing CCP’s impact for its members and for the communities served throughout the State.
Organizational priorities identified for CCP include the following:
- Becoming the unified voice for Connecticut based philanthropy.
- Strategic communications: work with internal resources and external subject matter experts; develop a communications and branding plan that better broadcasts CCP’s impact.
- Member services: continued improvement in member satisfaction and recruitment of new members.
- Operational management: strengthen CCP’s infrastructure and support a culture of learning, growth, accountability and excellence for a staff team.
- Government relations: play a productive role, through increased formalized relationships, with state agencies and the Governor’s Office; provide insight during times of State fiscal challenges.
- Collaborations: increase alliances with statewide nonprofit partners; link with regional grantmakers; and connect with larger national funders.
- Sustainability: maintain and expand model for stewardship of members; and develop a comprehensive resource development plan.
- Governance: educate and develop policies and practices around advocacy, government relations and public policy for CCP and its members.
Profile of the Ideal Candidate
The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of and passion for promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good, and have a vision for the sector’s role in Connecticut. The new leader will have experience with creating strategic partnerships, leveraging existing relationships and networks, and building consensus, while being mindful of regional and national trends. The new leader will help CCP and its members assess and shape CCP’s role going forward with advocacy and public policy.
CCP seeks an individual comfortable with complexity and change. The President will be a systems thinker and understand the big picture, and philanthropy’s role in promoting social good and social change. S/he will demonstrate a commitment to addressing inequality in our state and our communities. As the voice for philanthropy throughout Connecticut, excellent oral and written communications skills also are required.
The new President will bring an informed understanding and perspective on the challenges of supporting and growing member relationships. In striving to be a catalyst and leader for philanthropic action in response to community issues, CCP is seeking a new leader who will fully leverage a board comprised of statewide philanthropy leaders and the CCP staff to achieve exemplary member services and benefits. The new leader will have a demonstrated ability to achieve what is often a challenging goal – meeting the organization’s mission, while also operating a sustainable business/revenue model.
S/he will be a strategic thinker, a problem solver, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and a coalition/team builder. S/he will be well-organized, results-driven, committed to staff development, an inspiring leader, and a transformative communicator who clearly and often identifies and broadcasts CCP’s impact.
CCP seeks candidates for the President’s role with the following experiences and abilities:
Senior Leadership and Strategic Thinking
- Senior level management experience, including leading, inspiring and managing a diverse staff; collaborating with a strong board; promoting board engagement and recruitment; and working with a diverse group of grantmaking professionals (e.g., program officers, CEOs, finance, marketing).
- Strong track record of strategic thinking and moving an organization in a strategic direction including: aligning mission, the business model, internal systems and structures, and skills of the staff and board, and creating/enhancing/evaluating/aligning programs to support that strategy.
- Demonstrated ability to be a thought leader/partner in the field of philanthropy and public policy.
- Accomplished public speaker who has served as the primary spokesperson for an organization.
Membership Services and Programs
- Professional background that demonstrates the experience to continue to build upon CCP’s role in helping its members navigate the complex and changing public policy landscape, ideally with a state, regional and national perspective, and connecting members to emerging issues or trends.
- Managing a membership association and leading member recruitment.
- Demonstrated ability to lead an ongoing and reliable platform for the exchange of ideas, experiences, information and expertise on grantmaking and philanthropy, and coordinate multiple programs/goals into one coherent vision.
Development and Fundraising
- Comprehensive approach to resource development through direct solicitation, building new constituencies and expanding the member base.
- Proven ability to evaluate/generate new revenue streams and passion for cultivating new donor support, and to provide oversight and direction, in collaboration with the staff and Board, to the plans and efforts that enhance funding resources for the organization.
- Experience in facilitating public and private partnerships and collaborations.
Operational Management and Staff Development
- Recruit/hire, supervise, direct and evaluate staff in the performance of their duties.
- Ability to identify and nurture ongoing professional development opportunities for staff.
- Strengthening the organization’s infrastructure and fostering a culture of learning, growth, accountability and excellence. Committed to diversity in its staff and board and volunteers.
Collaborations and Alliances
- The skills and ability to listen, convene, facilitate and connect in a way that brings together a wide variety of stakeholders, champions and contributors.
- Familiarity with public policy issues and the ability to evaluate and respond effectively in a dynamic policy environment.
- Ability to represent the organization and its members before state, regional and national governmental agencies related to the goals and functions of the organization, in coordination with the staff and board.
Strategic Communications and Evaluation
- Experience working with the media and an organizational communications plan that is strategic, proactive and inclusive of emerging communications platforms (e.g., social media).
- Ability to provide leadership/oversight of communications, establish good working arrangements with key constituents towards achieving enhanced awareness of the organization and its impact.
- Oversight of data collection, strong analytical skills, and communicating insights on, for example, giving trends, philanthropy, and local needs and challenges.
Financial Management and Planning
- Strong experience understanding and managing multiple projects and budgets of numerous programs, both those currently in existence and in development.
- Oversight of all regulatory reporting, contractual obligations and donor restrictions, and ability to maintain appropriate internal policies and procedure to ensure compliance.
- Ability to manage communication with the Board to provide regular comprehensive reports on revenue, expenditures, audits and other key financial and non-financial metrics.
Personal Characteristics and Leadership Attributes
The next President will:
- Have the ability to think strategically in order both to solve problems and build coalitions, while also being able to prioritize and multi-task.
- Be well-organized, results-driven and inspiring in ways that motivate staff to continue achieving excellence.
- Possess a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, both internally within the organization and externally, and demonstrated cultural competency.
- Demonstrate good interpersonal skills, and be open-minded and inclusive to various approaches for building relationships, credibility and trust with all stakeholders.
- Have integrity and ethical standards that help guide decisions and overall atmosphere of CCP.
- Possess self-confidence tempered with diplomacy; an extremely effective listener.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm, focus, drive, energy, and a good sense of humor.
A strong candidate will have ten or more years of progressive senior leadership experience, ideally in a dynamic nonprofit or foundation, an advanced degree in a relevant field or Bachelor’s degree with extensive experience. In addition, the ideal candidate will have prior experience in philanthropy.
This executive search is being conducted in partnership with Third Sector New England’s Executive Transitions Program and Transition Consultant Michael Negrón. All submissions are confidential.
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter that describe how their qualifications and experience match the needs of CCP, along with salary requirements, how they learned of the position and any other relevant information (such as published articles). All applications will be acknowledged. While applications will be accepted until the position has been filled, applicants are encouraged to submit their candidacy within 30 days of the position posting date.
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.